This year, river-wards residents might just find themselves living near what could be Philadelphia’s unofficial holiday headquarters.
That’s because, this year, Greensgrow Farms, the urban farm at 2501 E. Cumberland St., is providing a holiday experience with a local flair.
The farm is decorated for the season and is hosting its fourth Holiday Bazaar. The event started last weekend and will continue through Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18.
Along with fresh produce, Douglas firs, Fraser firs and balsam firs, from 8 inches to 8 feet tall, are on sale.
Bryn Ashburn, a farm employee and one of the key organizers, noted that she and farm manager Dave Prendergast have been piecing this event together for the past few months.
“We started working on it right after our fall festival, which is the first weekend in October. We started with our call for vendors, and this year we had a really great response,” she said. “We’re still getting people asking about signing up. We’ve had a wait list.”
Throughout the festival, Greensgrow will offer shoppers Pennsylvania-cut Christmas trees, green garlands, swags, wreaths and holiday plants and decorations.
And there will be much, much more.
“We’re selling our stuff,” noted Ashburn, “But each day, there will be thirty additional vendors. Almost all are local. More than fifty percent are from (ZIP code) 19125 and over ninety percent are from Philadelphia.”
Some of the local vendors include Barry’s Homebrew, which recently relocated here from South Philadelphia; Kensington Community Food Co-Op; Earth’s Elements; Reanimator Coffee; Green Street Coffee; Cares4Pets; and Inliquid, just to name a few.
Kensington-based brewers of the popular Kenzinger, Walt Wit, Joe Coffee Porter and other beers, the Philadelphia Brewing Co,, will be at the bazaar as well and will offer samples to shoppers.
Some of the hops that Philadelphia Brewing uses in its products are cultivated from Greensgrow.
“We give them whatever we can,” Ashburn said.
Throughout the weekend, local vendors will be selling a variety of gifts, crafts, foods, fine arts and more.
“The bazaar is a way for Greensgrow to support local entrepreneurs and provide a venue for local artists and crafts people to sell their goods,” said Ashburn. “Folks can have some fun while doing holiday shopping, meet new people and support their local economy… . To us, it’s part of bringing the community together.”
On Saturday, Dec. 17, Greensgrow also will host a Community Supported Agriculture program pickup-day to allow neighbors to obtain locally grown fruit and produce.
The CSA consists of about 300 members and their families.
“The CSA pickup days are always a community gathering. You come and see a bunch of your neighbors,” Ashburn added. “That’s a big part of it as well.”
Throughout the weekend, Greensgrow also is offering cookies and cocoa to attendees. There will be beautiful, unique gift items for sale, all made by local vendors.
Ashburn said she is very excited about the event and all that the weekend has to offer.
“If you think about it, the difference between coming to Greensgrow and having a nice walk around the farm versus going to the Walmart parking lot during the holiday season (is that) you know it can just take your blood pressure down a couple notches,” she said. ••
For more information on the Holiday Bazaar, visit Greensgrow Farms at www.greensgrow.org or call 215-427-2702.