Walking in Kensington's Winter Wonderland

With its fourth an­nu­al Hol­i­day Bazaar this year, Kens­ing­ton's Greens­grow Farms has seem­ingly be­come Phil­adelphia's un­of­fi­cial hol­i­day headquar­ters.

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.

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