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Growing Together: The Journey Ahead for Hollywood Farmers Market. Community Input Needed

Customers at the Hollywood Farmers Market

At next Tuesday’s meeting, the Council will discuss the future of the Hollywood Farmers Market (website, Facebook). Among the options on the table is temporarily “pause” or suspending market operations. This pause could potentially be indefinite, indicating that there is a possibility that the market may not resume its activities.

The Hollywood Farmers Market was started by a group of volunteers (including myself) in 2013. The first market day was June 1st, 2013. A market committee comprising residents was formed. The committee members recruited vendors. They also started the market website and social media presence and worked on getting the permits from the county. The market committee also started writing weekly newsletters and attended events promoting the market.

A year later, the City offered to help the market with a part-time staff and some funds for marketing. The staff primarily served as the market master.

This continued until 2018 when the City took over the market’s operations. At this time, the City had two staff working as contractors for the market. An additional staff joined last year as a food access coordinator. The FY24 budget alloecated $22,000, primarily supporting staff and marketing.

The market has supported several local farmers and vendors, with a maximum of  24 vendors in the past. Many of these vendors consistently return, demonstrate profitability, and include participants such as the meat and poultry farmer and the prepared food vendor. Notably, the market has attracted farmers from surrounding Maryland areas and within College Park and Berwyn. Furthermore, local musicians have enriched the atmosphere by offering live entertainment for patrons, complementing the vibrant community spirit fostered by the market.

According to the staff report, the market faces challenges, including vendor retention and competition from new grocery stores. After COVID, the number of vendors attending the market has declined. Yet, the market attracted a maximum of 14 vendors in the last market season. With declining sales, fewer vendors, and staffing issues, proposed solutions could include enhanced marketing, paying vendors, and reducing frequency. However, the staff’s primary concern is attracting a strong produce vendor.

The market has also served as a focal point for community engagement. Numerous community members have appreciated the opportunity to meet with their neighbors every Saturday morning. Additionally, the market has hosted diverse events such as Crafts for Kids, Trunk or Treating, cold weather clothing drives for Hollywood Elementary School, canned food drives for local food banks, and serving as a stop on Trolley Trail Day. It has also facilitated initiatives like the Campus-City Connection and electric vehicle events and served as a starting point for community cleanup efforts.

Another goal behind the creation of the market was to help revitalize the Hollywood commercial district. Many customers attending the market also attend the businesses in the shopping plaza.

The M-NCPPC is planning to build a community center around the area where the market currently takes place. It’s anticipated that the construction of the Community Center won’t commence until at least the following year, possibly even later, as the design phase has not yet begun. Community meetings will be scheduled during the design process to gather input. One proposal from community discussions suggests relocating the market, potentially to the opposite end of the parking lot, during the construction period. The intention is to reintegrate the market into the plaza of the completed community center once construction concludes.

Staff proposal about the market’s future includes revisiting starting the market once the community center is built. A new community center may help attract more customers to the market.

Unfortunately, the community center may take several years to be built. In the meantime, the community will lose this wonderful amenity for these years, assuming that the City decides to bring it back. Staff proposals also include relocating vendors or engaging residents for input on community events. Furthermore, the old vendors may not return after these years as they may have settled in another market.

The decision regarding the market’s future will hinge on how the community defines a “viable” market—whether it should rely solely on the presence of a major produce vendor or continue to support the existing returning vendors, who still draw a significant number of community members.

Please write to the Mayor and Council about your thoughts about the future market at cpmc@collegeparkmd.gov. The Council will appreciate your input during next Tuesday’s discussion. Thank you.

New Produce Vendor Joins College Park Farmers Market

We are pleased to announce the Montoya Farms has joined the College Park Farmers Market in Hollywood, offering a range of local produce.  We expect Montoya to stay with us through November.  We also have specialty organic vegetables from Blue Berwyn, meat from the Waltz Family Farms, locally roasted coffee, and other vendors.

The market is fully set up to accept SNAP benefits and persons using SNAP can double the value with Maryland Market Money.  We will distribute flyers with a $5.00 coupon at the upcoming Friday Night Live (July 14), and will soon have musicians playing at the market from 11 am to 1:00 pm (in addition to our longtime group that plays from around 9:30 to 11:00).

Please visit the website, https://hollywoodmarket.org/ to get updates on the vendors and please share information about the market with your neighbors!  The farmers market will also be prominently displayed in the upcoming Here and Now (in the College Park Post section) and the July Municipal Scene.

Employment Opportunity – Farmers Market Food Access Coordinator

The Hollywood Farmers Market needs a person to run the Market Money Program. This program is designed to aid people on SNAP and WIC to have affordable access to the Farmers’ Market and farm fresh produce. This food Justice and food Equity program has created growth at the Riverdale Park Farmers Market and the Greenbelt Farmers Market. The need has been significant enough to make a difference for the vendors in those markets.

The market should start in late April or early May, so the timeline is relatively short. The Market Money Coordinator would need to be at the market every Saturday for the duration of the market to manage the program. Here is a Word document detailing the program. Bilingual is a plus (Spanish/English), but not necessary.

This position will run from the date of hire through November 18, 2023, and is at a rate of $18/hour.

Please spread the word. Thank you.​

Farmers Market Food Access Coordinator Position Description

Pre-Order Delivery for the Hollywood Farmers Market

The first PRE-ORDER DELIVERY is planned for Saturday, January 7th from 12-1 pm. Emails will be sent out soon. You must pre-order. If you want to be added to the email list PM the market your address. They will meet at Duvall Field, 9119 Rhode Island Ave.

Tomorrow – The Last Day of Hollywood Farmers Market’s 2022 Season

This is the last weekend for the Hollywood Farmers Market’s 2022 season. Please visit the Hollywood Farmers Market TOMORROW, November 19th, from 9 am until 1 pm.

Make your holiday meal planning easier with a one-stop shopping trip to the market. With fresh produce, meats, eggs, cheeses and coffee – you can find almost all that you need at the market. While there, stop by Amity Kitchen for a delicious lunch.

The market accepts – WIC & FMNP, and they can run an EBT card. The market will match the WIC & FMNP coupons with tokens that may be spent at the market.

City Staff to Run Hollywood Farmers Market Operations

The Hollywood Farmers Market

The Hollywood Farmers Market is staffed by two seasonal contract employees (Julie Beavers and Aaron Springer) who serve as independent contractors.

The Hollywood Farmers market started 10 years ago. It runs in the parking lot of the Hollywood Shopping Center located at 9801 Rhode Island Avenue, on Saturdays between Saturday, May 7, 2022, and Saturday, November 19, 2022, from 9 am-1 pm.

The City now wishes to change the employment relationship with the two seasonal employees from being an Independent Contractor to becoming a Part-Time, Temporary City employee, without benefits.

This change would become effective in the 2023 Market Season. The City will also secure insurance for the Hollywood Farmers Market operations.

At next week’s meeting, the City Council will consider approving these changes.

TOMORROW – The Last Market Day of the Hollywood Farmers Market

Tomorrow, Saturday, Nov 20th is the last Farmers Market for the season. The market has a full vendor line-up. Great day to stop by. Open from 9 am-1 pm at 9801 Rhode Island Ave College Park MD.  In the MOM’s shopping center. Please stop by, and say Thank You to the wonderful vendors, and the market organizers for bringing this fantastic amenity to our neighborhood!!

In Pictures – Hollywood Farmers Market 2021 Opening



Hollywood Farmers Market to Open this Saturday!

Finally, the Hollywood Farmers Market is going to open this Saturday. According to the market board, they will have all our permits to open the market .This has been a long wait. The market is from 9am-1pm. The location is 9801 Rhode Island Ave College Park, MD, in the parking lot at MOM’S.
The market contacted the vendors yesterday evening and heard back from most of them. They are expecting Calvert Farms – produce, eggs and flowers, Alcoba Coffee, Backyard Boogie Gardens & Bakery – veggies, microgreens, baked goods, Profish- fresh Seafood, Janelle’s Crumb Shoppe & Bakery – sweets & baked goods, Twin Valley Distillery , Victory Chapel Family Farm – Honey, Thai Amity – hot meals cooked to order, Waltz Family Farm – meats, cheeses & eggs, Sharrah Orchards – fruits & produce.
Please spread the word! Looking forward to seeing you all!

Winter Farmers Market – Please Pre-Order by Today for This Weekend’s Market

The Hollywood Farmers Market has started a winter market at the Duvall Field parking lot.

Vendors will be taking pre-orders for this Saturday, Jan 30th delivery from 12-1 pm. Waltz Farm and Calvert Farm will be back again on Feb 6th.

You’ll find Pro Fish and can order from their store at https://www.profish.com/home

Also, Janelle’s Crumb Shoppe and Bakery will be there. Please order by 6 pm on Wednesday. You can view many of her baked goods on their FaceBook page.

Thai Amity will also be there and taking orders till 4 pm on Wednesday. Please see their menu below (and in the picture)
1. Khao new mu ping(Grilled pork with sticky rice) 1 order #10
2.Sai Aua.(Thai northern sausage with herb) 1 order$10
3.Tum Ma Muang (Green mango Thai salad with skin pork).1 order$8
4.Kluay Teaw Tom Yum noodle.(mixed pork shrimp and fish tofu.)1 order $13
5.Kang massaman kai. (chicken curry with veggie)with rice 1 order #10
6.Khao sai Naue(Beef curry noodle soup
)1 order $12
7.Bha Mee Mudang(Egg noodle with BBQ pork)1 order$10
And Thai dessert
8.Ka nom Ta ko(Thai pandan pudding )1 order$7
9.Klauy Ping(Grilled Thai banana with Sweet coconut milk+young coconut)1order $7

 

AND, here’s Thai Amity’s regular menu……. Regular menu

1.Chicken Pad Thai, Veggie Pad Thai
(chicken=$8,Veggie=$7)
2.Chicken Fried Rice=$8, Veggie fried rice=$7,
3.Thai basil fried rice chicken =$8 Shrimp=$9
4.Drunken noodle( chicken=$9, shrimp=$10,)Veggie Drunken noodle=$8
4.Veggie Spring rolls=1order$5,Pork spring rolls=1order$6,Chicken Spring rolls=1 order $6.
5.Panang chicken&Veggie with Rice=$10,Panang Veggie with Rice=$9.
6.ChickenCoconut Soup$8 ,Shrimp=$9,Veggie coconut soup=$7
7.Papaya Thai Salad=$6
8.Mango with Sticky Rice.=$7
9. Sticky rice with egg custard=$7
10. Green curry(Chicken=$8 =$9Shrimp),Veggie green curry=$7
11. Thai garden Rolls Chicken or pork or tofu=$7
12.Thai Tea=$4
Thai Tea with Bubble Tea=$5

You can place an order inbox here or text to 301- 5753407
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Hope this reads well. Take care and enjoy the snow if you get any.

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