In a parking lot off Cleveland Avenue, pop music blares from speakers as residents of Linden peruse stalls of produce, baked goods and locally made crafts.
Over the weekend, Linden became the site of Columbus’ sixth farmers’ market, joining the ranks of neighborhoods like Clintonville and Bexley.
The Kroger on Cleveland Avenue, which served much of Linden, closed earlier this year. Farmers’ market manager Landon Adams says they wanted to address the gap it left in its wake.
“One of the goals was to give access to fresh food and locally produced food,” Adams said. “So farmers’ markets are the way to do that.”
Adams says it’s important the work happens in Linden, but the impact will be broader than just that area.
“We know that if you’re gonna revitalize and do development in area, you gotta do more than just one thing,” he says. “So this is part of a concerted effort, particularly in the Linden area, but this is not just a farmers’ market that serves the Linden community.”
But the farmers’ market will do more than provide fresh food.
“Food is fresher the shorter distance it has to travel,” Adams says. “It also creates economic development within a community. So if people have spaces they want to grow, they want to continue to teach the culture of growing vegetables and fruits and herbs and those sorts of things, it just gives the community a place to be able to support itself.”
City officials say they hope it will act as a prototype for other neighborhoods in food deserts. The Linden Farmers’ Market will be open every Sunday from 1-4 p.m. through the end of August.