Farmers’ market „My Farm“

At the end of March, 2003, two New Yorkers came to visit the Green Network of VojvodinaSteve Davies and Phil Myrick from the Project for Public Spaces organisation (www.pps.org) which had been working on revitalisation of public spaces in the USA since 1975. These two men arrived in Novi Sad, having been warmly recommended by our friend Bill Moody, who was at the time the programme director of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for this part of Europe. During an hour and a half of their visit, Steve and Phil convinced us that the placemaking method is inspiring for the people who wanted to express their wishes about the contents of the public spaces in their own towns and cities. The result of their visit was the birth of the idea which involved organising a green, farmers’ market that had not been organised up until then. Our small team consisting of <b>Professor Branka Lazić, Duško Medić, Ana Marija Vujošević and Olivera Radovanović</b> rolled up their sleeves and started digging. The decision was made that the future market should gather traditional producers, mainly from Vojvodian farms, those who have small estates and a big desire to harmonise their agriculture with the nature and the people, i.e. people who wanted to become producers of certified organic products. In December 2003, we had a two-day education seminar in Čenej, which gathered our target group. Farmers from Čenej, Kisač, Nadalj, Temerin and Kovilj arrived. We talked to them about good agricultural practice, about organic agricultural production. We also told them that the traditional look and design of farms should be brought back, and we talked about the advantages of renewable energy sources and the possibilities of how to place their products. During the spring of 2004, we had many meetings with our farmers. It was clear then that we had gathered a network of producers ready to learn and work following the rules of new practices which were created in the European Union and other developed countries in the world. Again, thanks to our friends, Olivera and Ana Maria went to New York to learn how Farmers’ Markets are created, and based on the experiences of the Market of Organic Products at the Union Square in New York, they learned that farmers with certified organic products can sell their goods at prices that are significantly higher than the same food from conventional production. There they saw that Julia Roberts loves buying her groceries at the market in the middle of the famous New York square. They also noticed that buying food in the most urban place in the world can have an old-fashioned air about it, where a man can speak with the farmer who produced the vegetables.