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Mobile Market Provides Produce To The Public

Alisha Martindale | August 14th, 2022

Mobile Market Provides Produce To The Public

Culture & Community  |  Fair Haven  |  Fair Haven Library  |  Food Justice  |  Photography  |  Arts & Culture  |  New Haven Free Public Library  |  Common Ground

AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9518Kae Vargas. Alisha Martindale Photos.

In the heart of the Fair Haven neighborhood, amidst the sound of afternoon traffic rolling through a concrete cross-section and power lines criss-crossing above, a small line of residents and curious pedestrians formed in front of a pop-up tent perched outside of the Fair Haven Library. 

They waited patiently to be helped by a group of friendly farmers to pick and pack fresh peppers, thick ears of corn, leafy bunches of kale and more. 

Welcome to the Common Ground Mobile Market Initiative, a so-dubbed “farm stand on wheels” that rolls around the city to sites including the Fair Haven Branch Library, Mary Wade Home, Wilson Branch Library, Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, and The Shack among others each week. It was established in 2012 by Common Ground and CitySeed New Haven

Supplied with local kale, tomatoes, corn, peppers, peaches and other veggies grown on the Common Ground Environmental Education Center farm, the Mobile Market also provides fresh produce grown by various farms across the state. 

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Alisha Martindale Photos.

Last Wednesday, the popularity and need for these mobile markets could easily be felt in the gratitude expressed by patrons as they walked away with their pick of locally grown items, some of which they say they have been missing for the last two years due to the pandemic. 

“I missed the corn”, said Anna Kortosky (pictured below), who came in purple sunglasses that matched her exuberance. “We haven’t had markets for the last two years because of the pandemic.”Kortosky went on to explain that these markets are beneficial for her as a senior, because she enjoys the benefits of the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The program provides a book of checks for seniors to use, like cash, on fresh produce. 

“We make a point to focus on providing produce to senior housing areas and senior centers through our partnership with the New Haven Department of Senior Services”, said organizer Kae Vargas. “The Mobile Market program is grant funded so it allows us to sell produce at a much lower cost than normal farmers markets”. 

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Miguel Vargas, Max Goodwin, Kae Vargas, Leany Munoz. Alisha Martindale Photos.

Katiel and his grandfather, Miguel, say they especially enjoy the fresh strawberries they pick up when they visit the Mobile Market. 

“The Mobile Market accepts and encourages WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks, cash, and card payments,” according to the Common Ground website. “Customers get 50 percent off with SNAP purchases (thanks to CitySeed).” 

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AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9436AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9456AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9529AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9466AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9440AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9458

AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9536AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9484AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9523AMP_Common Ground Market Fair Haven_22-9494More info about the Mobile Market initiative and current pop-up times and locations can be found here.  All photos are by Alisha Martindale.