A nice place to shop
Local food activists partner with architecture school to create attractive farmers’ market site.

Posted February 10, 2005

Editor’s NOTE:

We serve a diverse audience of readers engaged in regenerative, organic and sustainable agriculture at many levels for many reasons. We want to hear from you about the issues that are important to your life and work, and your vision for agriculture that builds a strong future.

We run selected comments from readers in this space. Please tell us who you are, with name, address and phone number for verification. Sending correspondence to us conveys a right to us to publish it as is, or in a form edited for length and/or style. Opinions expressed in this space do not necessarily represent the perspective of The New Farm® or The Rodale Institute®.

If you have something important to say about agriculture in a sustainable global food system, please -- speak to us.


Dear New Farm,

After five years of struggle to overcome the stigma of shopping in a ‘bad’ neighborhood, The Commercial Street Market in uptown Springfield, Missouri, has partnered with nearby Drury Universitys' School of Architecture Design-and-Build Class to construct a permanent pavilion on the market site. The historic neighborhood is beginning to see a comeback as retail and loft apartments bring in a younger, upscale client base. The architect students must go through the entire process, from design, permits, procurement of materials, etc., through to the completed project in just one semester. The addition of this pavilion at the base of the historic Jefferson Street Footbridge will be a place for art shows and picnics as well as an attractive place for vendors and customers alike.

Nearly 90 percent of the market customers are low income and elderly who rely on WIC and FMNP coupons to buy fresh produce. Nutrition education is a high priority of the market and its vendors. Student interns work all season to come up with fun events that showcase the produce that is in season and teach the customer how to prepare fresh foods.

Leah Bonebreak
Springfield, Missouri