The Savannah Local Food Collaborative is a small group of local citizens involved in various ways with the local food system. They came together in part as a result of the Mayor’s Healthy Savannah Initiative. The groups’ mission is to increase food access for all of Savannah and the Forsyth Farmers’ Market is one of their first projects.
SAVANNAH — On May 9 at 9 a.m., the Savannah Local Food Collaborative (SLFC) will open a seasonal farmers’ market at the south end of Forsyth Park. The farmers’ market will feature regionally grown, fresh food and food products sold by the producers and will be capable of accepting food stamps.
Every second Saturday, starting on opening day, the SLFC will host a health pavilion featuring health lectures and gardening information. The market will run every Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 21.
The FFM will have organic and conventional farmers with a variety of produce, including fresh fruits and vegetable, a fresh flower vendor and an edible plant vendor.
“We want to make sure the farmers are going to do a good business since many of them come from so far away,” said Cynthia Hayes, organizer and director of the Southeastern African-American Farmer Organic Network. “Area farmers are very excited about the new location.”
The FFM will focus on food, nutrition and community access to healthy options.
Grace Badiola, the fitness/wellness instructor for St. Joseph’s/Candler’s African-American Health Information and Resource Center, will present a lecture on the role of fresh fruits and vegetables in nutrition. There will also be a workshop about urban gardening techniques and vermiculture. It is the hope of the SLFC that community gardens will utilize the market as a central place for ideas and networking.
“Better health and local food security are intertwined issues that are finally creeping into the local consciousness,” said Teri Schell of Union Mission. “ I am very excited to be a part of this effort to connect the entire community with the local food system.”
The SLFC has joined forces with the 2-year-old Starland Farmers’ Market and vendors from the Starland Market will be moving to Forsyth.
“I am excited to move our market to a more prominent location and I look forward to broadening its reach,” said Jenny Weldy, manager of the Starland Market. “ While I’m sad to lose our loyal craft vendors, I feel that the Forsyth Farmers’ Market’s emphasis on health and nutrition will benefit the entire Savannah community.”
Members of the SLFC have been involved with several other farmers’ markets in Savannah and feel that the historic, iconic, shady Forsyth Park, along with an aggressive marketing campaign will serve as the perfect location to supply food for all.