When enriching a community, one co-op of urban farmers follows the mantra, “You are what you eat.” The Walnut Hill Farm Stand makes healthy eating accessible to all incomes thanks to its location on a neighborhood-run lot.
Allison Blansfield, 25, has served as farm manager since the stand was established. “The stand is community-based,” she said. “It was the residents in the community who voiced their concerns about the lot … and wanted to make a community garden.”
Located at 4610 Market St., the Farm Stand stays open from June through October and provides quality organic produce at low prices to consumers. It works in collaboration with The Enterprise Center Community Development Corp., just two doors down from the stand. In operation for two seasons, the Farm Stand has seen steadily increased interest since its inception.
Blansfield marveled at the influx of costumers despite being situated just across the street from an Aldi supermarket, saying that customers are now starting to come to the stand for their produce before heading to Aldi for their essentials.
Amani Shakheti James, 17, was visiting the stand for the first time and loved the idea. She noted that the stand allowed customers to use Access cards, a credit program based on low-income status, which makes the quality produce available to people of all socioeconomic levels.
“A lot of this food isn’t (offered) in the local grocery stores,” she said. “It draws the community in and helps them eat better for a healthier lifestyle.”