The growing popularity of the locavore movement in Arkansas has crossed paths with the increased civic pride in the SoMa neighborhood with the announcement of Little Rock’s newest farmers market to be held at the Bernice Garden. With a stated mission “to provide an open community space for local growers to sell sustainably raised foods,” the new market is hoping to provide residents and visitors with more to do in the city on Sundays, a day when many businesses are closed.
“Seeing Main Street busy and vibrant is important to us,” said market organizer Liz Sanders, adding that the market hopes to focus on local growers from SoMa itself. “We’d like to give those who grow food or raise animals for a hobby an opportunity to supplement their income by selling in their neighborhood.”
In addition to providing an outlet for Main Street area residents to buy and sell locally grown and produced goods, Sanders views the market as a chance to bring people from other areas of the city into the area. “We want to promote our neighborhood businesses,” she said, pointing to the number of shops and restaurants within walking or biking distance.
Organizers of the market have taken very stringent measures to insure that everything sold at the market is grown and produced by the people selling it — and that everything marked organic is really certified organic. At the same time, efforts are being made to keep rental fees affordable for small time growers, with a $10 daily fee all that’s required to rent a booth for eligible growers, and the market’s secondary emphasis on local artists and musicians look to make the Bernice Garden Farmers Market a fun and festive place for people from all over the community to gather.
The Bernice Garden Farmers Market will be open every Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. starting May 6 and running through October. Growers and craftsmen interested in applying for space at the market can contact Liz Sanders at 501-617-2511 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Space is still available.