It was a rainy Tuesday, but tents at the Fresh Stop Market near me were in full swing.
If you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know all about Fresh Stop Markets, they are an opportunity for folks living in Louisville to buy local, organic fruits and vegetables from nearby small-scale growers.
On various days of the week, tented marketplaces spring up at appointed stops all over the city. They are Louisville’s coolest pop ups.
This is important because what we eat and where we buy our food have a profound impact on the planet we all share. Corporate farms are spraying food with chemicals that kill bees and butterflies, to name just two casualties. Organic and small growers work with, not against, our natural resources.
Also, the transportation of food from, say, California or Mexico, involves trucks, diesel, train cars, and carbon dioxide emissions which are devastating our air and climate, causing asthma in our children and heat waves bad enough to kill grandma.
And vegetables that are grown without pesticides a few miles from your home are delicious!
You can sign up for Fresh Stop Markets shares online and this needs to be done in advance, because they sell out. You can start here: https://newroots.org/fresh-stop-markets/
According to Karyn Moskowitz, “99% of shares are paid for in advance. We only purchase two extra shares to be sold at the market in case of walk ups.” Moskowitz is the Executive Director of Fresh Stop Markets and New Roots, Inc.
“New Roots is the nonprofit that raises $$$ for the Fresh Stop Markets, organizes the markets with community leaders, speaks on behalf of food justice all over the country, and works on policy issues that help families get equitable access to fresh, local food,” she explains.
Being a Fresh Stops Markets subscriber means taking small but exciting risks with your diet. Because you get something different every week, and you never know exactly what you’re getting.
Some people find this kind of uncertainty unbearable. Not the crime partner.
He embraces the unknown with fervor. So far, he’s used Fresh Stop Markets ingredients to re-imagine potato pancakes as turnip pancakes, and he used collard leaves instead of tortillas to wrap our enchiladas.
We have committed ourselves to building our weekly menus around Fresh Stop Markets and Gray’s street Farmer’s market ingredients.
That way, instead of looking at the Swiss collards and saying, “What the hell am I going to do with this?” the question becomes “What is the least amount of shopping I have to do at Kroger to make this work?”
This is not a brand new concept. It’s called consumer supported farming. For decades, some small farms have succeeded by selling their crops in advance to nearby households. The farm then gets the funds they need to grow. The buyers are guaranteed a box of food will arrive at their door periodically during the growing season.
Fresh Stop Markets refine this model, to everyone’s benefit. Food shoppers get a better selection because they are buying from multiple farms, not just one. Farms also save money on transportation and other costs. Fresh Stop Markets make excellent, nutritious food available to folks who live in big or small cities. They have been particularly vigilant about making farm fresh groceries affordable for everyone, including low income families.
“On our website under Fresh Stop Markets is the list of where we pop up in the dates and also on our calendar on our website everyone has to purchase one week ahead of time and set up automatic recurring payments for both people who want to use Snap benefits and people who want to use debit credit,” says Moskowitz.
“Also our mission is to ignite community power for fresh food access. And or number one priority is to connect families with limited resources to this glorious local organic food,” she adds.