Extending Our Food Drive…For The Season!

As some of you may already know, we have a food drive every season for the Mattie N. Dixon Community Cupboard in Ambler. Located on North Main Street, the Cupboard has been serving the community for over 30 years. It distributes food to clients on Mondays and Wednesdays; there are an estimated 100,000 food insecure people in Montgomery County which translates to 34% of residents falling below the poverty line.

Our vendors also make a weekly donation of unsold goods to the Cupboard which last year totaled over 2500 pounds of food. Since the Cupboard comes once a week already to pick-up from the vendors and since there is a constant need at the Cupboard for certain items, it seems only natural that we extend our own Food Drive to every week throughout the season. Therefore, we will be running the Cupboard’s monthly “Wish List” in our newsletter and on our Facebook page. You can drop off your donated items at the market tent and we will see that they make it to the Cupboard! This program begins Opening Day, May 2nd.

Our market tagline is “Cultivating Community Through Food” and we want to make sure this extends to the entire community. We feel like this is a small step in that direction. See you at market!

May Wish List

Fiorenza-Dowlin Opens Up Market!

Fiorenza-Dowlin, together for 15 years now, is performing outdoors in the summer at farmers markets and festivals in the the suburban Philadelphia area. Their acoustic music ranges from James Taylor to The Mavericks. The duo switches from guitars to mandolin, harmonica and percussion throughout their shows…and they are coming to market on Opening Day!

The Countdown Begins

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Pennypack RampsHere we are folks! One month – four weeks – 28 days away from the Ambler Farmers’ Market 2015 season. Opening day is May 2nd and we wish it was tomorrow. This winter was brutal and the only thing that kept us going was the visions of eggplants dancing in our heads. Eggplants and heirloom tomatoes and freshly baked bread and peaches and apples and goat cheese and hot coffee and…well, you get the picture. We know you have been dreaming about it, too!

Market is going to look a little different this year as we have made some additions to our roster. You can find the updated list on our vendors page. And guess what? We aren’t even done adding yet…stay tuned…

As always, besides offering the finest in farm fresh produce and locally produced artisanal goods, the Ambler Farmers’ Market will feature a weekly musician and programming to fill your minds as well as your bellies.

Trax Restaurant and Cafe will be participating in the market more regularly this season. Owner/Chef Steve Waxman will be providing some hot food on occasion at market and also hosting farm dinners at the restaurant. Your weekly market newsletter and this blog will keep you up to date as to when to expect these tasty tidbits.

As always, we’d love to hear from you. Comment on this blog about how much you can’t wait for market…what you are looking forward to and how have you survived during the off-season without us. We are so excited to see you all…before you know it, we will all be together again celebrating the bounty of local, sustainable food.

WHO ELSE IS EXCITED???

So Long…And Thanks!

DSC_0281Our last market of the season was this past Saturday jand just like the rest of the season, everybody had a great time! Not only did we have the freshest produce and best artisanal goods around, but we had cake (above), entertainment (below) and delicious smoked chicken (in our bellies). While it was sad to say so long, the overall mood was of celebration. We came together to celebrate the Ambler Farmers’ Market and all who helped to make it possible.

We want to thank all of you who helped make this year the success that it was –

Thanks to the vendors – without you guys, there is no market. You work tirelessly throughout the season so we can enjoy your bounty.

Thanks to the customers! Seeing all of your happy faces on market day is the fuel that keeps us going.

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Thanks to all of the speakers and musicians that helped entertain us and teach us and gave us something to think about – food for thought, as it were.

Thanks to our visiting chefs, Ambler celebrities (yes, Mayor, you are a celebrity) and our friends in the press.

Thanks to SEPTA for letting us set up and giving everyone a place to park.

Special Thanks to Ambler Main Street for…well…everything!

Thanks to Chef Steve Waxman of Trax Cafe for the graciousness in the use of your electricity and facilities.

From all of us at the Ambler Farmers’ Market to ALL OF YOU…THANK YOU ALL AND SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!!

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Food Drive This Saturday!

While we are having our first Ambler Farmers’ Market Apple Festival this Saturday, there is another huge event of even greater importance taking place at market on the same day – Our second annual Food Drive!

The food drive will benefit the Mattie Dixon Food Cupboard, located on North Main Street, in Ambler. The Cupboard has been serving the community for over 30 years.  It distributes food on Mondays to all lower-income families in need.  There are an estimated 100,000 food insecure people in Montgomery County which translates to 34% of residents falling below the poverty line yet ineligible for food stamps.

“Our relationship with the cupboard started before our market opened last year, when we arranged a weekly food contribution at the end of the market day. So far this season, we have contributed over 2,500 pounds of food and, with the upcoming food drive, we have a goal of 3,500 pounds – an increase of 1,000 pounds over our 2013 season,” says Sara Hertz, one of our co-founders.

That’s right folks – you can do the math – we want to do over 1000 lbs this Saturday! A lofty goal indeed, although we at the Ambler Farmers’ Market have confidence that our customers are up to the challenge! The food drive this Saturday, October 11th, will focus on food items for holiday meals such as canned potatoes and vegetables, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, pasta sauce and jelly. The Ambler Farmers’ Market wants to help the Cupboard serve as many people as possible this upcoming holiday season! The food drive also provides shoppers at our market with an opportunity to make a contribution to a local and very worthy organization!

Ask the Farmer!

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Hey All. We were considering doing a virtual market tour with Lancaster Hummus Company’s Sean Bruce as the interviewer. We would record him asking different vendors questions posed by you, the customers. We thought it would be fun and it would also help us all get to know each other better! See, at a farmers’ market you actually can get to know the people who sell you your sustenance. To us, that is one of the more wonderful things about a community farmers’ market such as ours.

If we get enough interest, this is a go! Please submit your questions as comments here on the blog. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Rainy Days on Saturdays Don’t Always Get Us Down!

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Wow, what a day!

After last season’s perfect weather record and this season’s “nearly perfect” weather, we had a doozy of a day at market today! Rain, wind, then a mild respite and then more rain and wind. Sounds like a perfect market day, right? We would have pictures but the market manager didn’t want to take his camera out for fear of water damage. La-di-da.

This blog’s purpose isn’t to rehash weather though. Instead, let’s talk about how today really showcased how committed we all are to making the market a success. When I say we, I mean everyone. I mean the vendors, who start their work while most of us are sleeping and continue to work all the live long day so we can enjoy the fruits of their labor (pun intended Frecon!). Then, they stand in the rain all morning with hopes of making someone’s day with a Nectarine or Eggplant or a delicious baked confection. Without them, there is no market.

The market manager’s commitment is as strong as his beard is long. He ran around in the rain today moving signs, rearranging vendor stalls, looking for a working power outlet for vendors, conversing with and helping vendors throughout the day. Without him, there is no market.

The Ladies of the Ambler Steering Committee were all on hand throughout the day to help process credit card payments, direct customers, and also make all who braved the weather feel welcome. They brought the market to Ambler and their efforts to cultivate community through food truly represent the heart of the market. We can say figuratively and literally say that without them, there is no market.

Finally, we cannot discount you, the customer. This was a rainy, stinky day but you were undaunted. Vendor after vendor was impressed with the turnout on what would usually prove to be a lousy day. We at the Ambler Farmers’ Market are proud that our customers are so connected to the market that inclement weather doesn’t slow you down. You need your apples, your chard, your baguette and you don’t care if you have to stand in the rain to get them! We think that is pretty awesome. And, of course, without YOU, there is no market. Thanks for helping us make it possible.

With all that said…let’s hope it’s sunny next week.