Area farmers' market reaps a $35,500 grant


Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

A grant of $35,500 will help the High Springs Farmers' Market establish a new community garden and let the market install a system so that customers can pay by credit card.

Sharon Yeago, manager for the High Springs market, said the grant comes from Project for Public Spaces Inc., a private organization.

Part of what's being called the High Springs Food Security Project, the community garden will be built next to James Paul Park, which also is slated for improvements.

"This is a real big deal for us," Yeago said.

Yeago said the garden, which will begin taking shape in February, will be large enough to accommodate 27 plots.

Lys Burden, a vendor at the farmers' market who started the idea of a community garden, said the 100-foot-by-24-foot garden is something High Springs has needed.

Burden says she hopes the garden near James Paul Park will lead to more community gardens in High Springs.

"We hope to have them in just about every neighborhood in town," she said.

Another part of the Food Security Project is to help low-income people buy fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of the money from the grant will be used to help the elderly buy goods at the market through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program.

Also benefiting from the grant will be families with young children, who will be better able to afford goods at the High Springs market through the USDA's Women Infants and Children program, Yeago said.

A key part of the Food Security Project will be the installation of a wireless system that allows access to the Internet and allows customers of the market to pay for goods via credit card, debit card or Electronic Benefit Transfer.

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