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Govanstowne Farmers Market is growing in its third season

A musical group called Sojourne, from Radnor-Winston, was playing at the fast-growing Govanstowne Farmers Market on July 10.

"So far, so good," said Marie McSweeney, who manages the Wednesday afternoon market, now in its third season as a collaboration of Loyola University Maryland, the York Road Partnership and the Govanstowne Business Association.

The ambitious market is up from 12 vendors on average last year to 15 on average this season — and 19 last week, although a few food trucks were among other purveyors of produce, natural ice cream, flowers, fruit, poultry and meats.

The market draws a crowd of 300 to 400 people a week, said McSweeney, 24, business resource coordinator for the York Road Initiative at Loyola.

"We're still a young market, but we're growing with each year," McSweeney said. "It's exciting, because people want us around."

This year, the summer market is running two weeks into the public school year, whereas it was only an 8-week market last year," said McSweeney, an AmeriCorps Vista worker assigned to Loyola. She said there's even been talk of making it year-round.

"That's like a dream right now," she said.

The market draws its share of traditional vendors at farmers' markets, such as Ferguson Family Farms and the Priegel Family Creamery, as well as urban farming groups such as Real Food Farm, of Clifton Park. But it also draws vendors like Samantha "Sam" Jesner, 15, of Homeland, a student at Bryn Mawr School, who sold cookies, brownies and toffee bars while her father, Jason, and brother, Dylan, 12, looked on proudly.

"I'm doing it for fun," said Jesner, who even has a Facebook page for her business. "I needed something to do this summer."

"This is our first foray into entrepreneurship," Jason Jesner said. He said his daughter got a license from the Baltimore City Health Department to sell her home-baked goods at the market.

Alice Sheehan, of Lauraville, was glad to see her friend selling sweets.

"It makes people happy," she said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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