Founders Market begins July 7 at YouthBuild

July 3, 2012

Staff Report

YouthBuild Rockford, 917 S. Main St., will host a Founders Market the first and third Saturdays of the month, beginning July 7 and running through Sept. 15.

The market, which will feature food growers, artisans and cultural-creatives, will run 9 a.m.-noon. Interested vendors are pre-qualified and should contact Amy at (815) 963-6236.

The mission of the market is based on Old-World themes where building a vibrant community is a cooperative effort rooted in cultivating sustainable living practices.

Featured at the market will be locally-grown organic herbs, fruits and vegetables gathered alongside artisans with re-imagined and re-purposed furniture, refurbished bicycles, affordable artisanal soaps and candles made from natural ingredients, 100-percent USA-grown alpaca fiber producs and perennials for the avid gardener.

Take a tour of three organic vegetable gardens that are the product of “Eco-Advocates” — a partnership with Angelic Organics Learning Center and YouthBuild Rockford. The Eco-Advocate program combines urban agriculture training with GED preparation and support services. Eco-Advocate students are involved in the hands-on planning, design and implementation of community gardens, transforming vacant city lots into green spaces.

Founders Market is located in the significantly historic area of Rockford’s near southwest side, where Swedish immigrants first landed by train in 1852. Just west of the Rock River, looking up Founders’ Hill, you can see Tinker Swiss Cottage bordered by Kent Creek, and backed by a hill that offered the first settlers a magnificent view of the river with a comfortable rocky ford.

Strolling a couple blocks south, you can visit the Ethnic Heritage Museum to learn about the primary immigrant groups who established factories near the old “waterpower district,” including the former knitting factory that made Rockford synonymous with the “sock monkey.”

For more information, contact YouthBuild Rockford at (815) 963-6236.

From the July 4-10, 2012, issue

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