The Town of Southampton kicked off its Flanders Farm Fresh Food Project Saturday with a press conference announcing the opening of a youth-staffed community farmers’ market at the Flanders Crohan Community Center. Organized by Town of Southampton Councilwoman Bridget Fleming and the Southampton Town Housing Authority – with technical assistance provided by Sustainable Long Island – the market will provide fresh fruit and vegetables to residents in the surrounding hamlets of Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton.
“This market is a perfect example of neighbors helping neighbors. It’s just what we need in this tough economy–to encourage our teens to build a sound financial future, to support local farming, and of course to bring nutritious fresh produce to this underserved neighborhood,” said Fleming. “I am deeply grateful for the many willing hands who are making the vision a reality.”
Bonnie Cannon, Chair of the Southampton Housing Authority, aided in the recruitment of local teens to work at the market. “This project brings great opportunity for economic development within the community. The idea of youth staffing the market is an outside the box concept which helps our young adults grow into experienced entrepreneurs,” she said.
The market will operate every Saturday from July 16th through October 29th and run from 9am to 1pm at the Flanders Community Center at 655 Flanders Road (Route 24). Area youth will staff the market under the supervision of a market manager, gaining valuable job experience and training in business, customer service, and safe food handling. The produce sold at the market will be provided by eight local Southampton farms including Country Garden, Halsey Farm & Nursery, Halsey’s Green Thumb of Water Mill, Kraszewski Farms, Lisa & Bill’s Fresh Vegetables, Milk Pail – LLC, Pike Farms, and Sagaponack Potato Company.