By Dave Link, Eastside News
For the fourth straight year, Groundswell Conservancy and the Linden Cohousing apartments will partner for a Thursday farmers market. The market will be held at Linden Cohousing, 2082 Winnebago St., from 3-6 p.m. starting May 25.
The market features Dane County Hmong farmers selling produce grown locally. Linden Cohousing started the market with assistance from Groundswell in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering many farmers markets, leaving Hmong producers without a venue. When many markets went online, some Hmong farmers could not make the shift due to language and technology barriers, said Yimmuaj Yang, Groundswell’s community director.
“Those markets (at Linden) had safety protocols and were small and controllable,” Yang said. “Linden Cohousing provided a welcoming space.”
The market has become Linden’s pride, and the location is great space to gather and socialize, she added. While Linden hosts and its residents run the weekly markets, Groundswell provides marketing and makes connections with Hmong farmers and entrepreneurs of color.
Groundswell is a nonprofit land conservancy that has protected hundreds of special places around central and southern Wisconsin. It does also have farm plots (think large community gardens), but none of the Linden growers farm them.
Now as the pandemic slides further into the past, the Linden farmers market looks to host not only producers, but food-related vendors, like food carts on market days. As with producers, vendors need to also be people of color. There’s space at Linden Cohousing for at least six producers and vendors.
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