Across the country, from small towns to big cities, a vibrant downtown likely includes a farmers market. That is exactly what city leaders from Greenwood, S.C., were thinking when they talked about revitalizing their downtown. The Greenwood City Council voted unanimously to approve a $2.1 million construction bid for a new multi-functional farmers market, the Uptown Market. The Uptown Market will be 156 feet long and 47 feet wide and a focal point for the community. The planned site was originally the location of the town’s railroad station and inspired the design that mimics a train station to fit the historical character of the town.
USDA supports partnerships across the country to create greater economic impact for rural Americans. In 2013, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Architect Fidel Delgado got involved in providing technical assistance for the development of Greenwood’s new farmers market. With over 20 years of experience, Delgado provided case studies and worked with City Manager Charlie Barrineau to understand the community needs, learn about the area farmers, and review the site. Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams said, “Fidel brought great insight to the project and really helped expedite the process.”
Greenwood city leaders, together with the community, have been discussing the possibility of a farmers market on lower Maxwell Avenue for several years. One of the goals was to bring back liveliness to the center of town and foster ties between farmers, the community, and local businesses. Once completed, the Greenwood Farmers Market will create a sense of place and community and provide a new business opportunity for local farmers. “It will be a real asset,” Mayor Adams said. “We are busy moving dirt and we should be ready by December. We are really excited and can’t wait.”
As an architect who specializes in wholesale market and facility design, Delgado works with local architects, state agriculture agencies, farmers market associations, wholesale market managers, and local farmers to serve as a technical advisor for design projects. In addition to Delgado’s architectural expertise, AMS has a team of experts that can provide other insights to and support for local food businesses. The agency’s leadership is a go-to place for local food support, whether it’s sharing best practices about trends, marketing and resource guides, or grant dollars.
AMS has a long history supporting local and regional food systems by investing in projects like Greenwood’s Uptown Market. USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative coordinates the Department's policy, resources, and outreach efforts related to local and regional food systems. These efforts are part of USDA's commitment to support local and regional food systems.
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Excellent news. Farmers markets are the best place to source good quality, tasty, healthy food for your family. I go regularly to the Saturday market in my town. Some things are more expensive than in the stores but you can often pick up good weekly deals or special promotions. Plus, I love to chat to the farmers and the sellers about what they recommend and which foods are best and freshest at that time of year.