The Summer Market in The Set
The Set is Delray Beach’s newest branded neighborhood. What was originally one of the earliest settlements in South Florida is today The Set: a friendly, melting-pot community of entrepreneurs, innovators, friends, neighbors, and visionaries dedicated to the bold future that was first planted in an equally bold past. The Set is located between Swinton Avenue and I-95, and between Lake Ida Road and SW 10th Street. Live, Play, Grow, Groove…The Set is the place Where You Can!
The Set is one of the most appropriate places for the GreenMarket. Historically, the West Atlantic community has a rich farming heritage. Henry Flagler’s railroad in the early 1900’s brought many people to Delray Beach for work, many of whom took up farming after the railroad was built. Truck farming (horticultural practice of growing one or more vegetable crops on a large scale for shipment to distant markets) became very popular, as vegetables could be produced year-round in the warm weather and rich soil. In Delray Beach, crops could be produced every 90 days year-round versus only one crop a year in many other parts of the state. Some of the produce grown in Delray Beach included pineapples, beans, tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, and eggplant. The population grew and included many Bahamian immigrants who came to profit from the rich farming in Delray. At that time, Solomon D. Spady, one of Delray Beach’s most active and influential citizens, was the principal at George Washington Carver High School. As such he, ensured that the students’ curriculum not only included typical subjects, such as reading, writing, math and science, but also included instruction on agriculture, because it was so important in the daily lives of Delray Beach residents. Solomon Spady, affectionately known as “Prof Spady” served the Palm Beach County School District as both a principal and a teacher from 1922 to 1957. Due to a large freeze in the 1940’s (where everywhere North of Delray Beach froze) gladiola farmers moved to Delray due to the climate and the large demand for flowers throughout the country. In the 1950’s vegetable farming gave way to the farming of decorative flowers, such as gladiolas.
Today, agriculture still remains within The Set. Boasting six of Delray Beach’s community gardens within it’s district, The Set is (literally) a place ‘where you can grow.’ The Delray GreenMarket has found a summer home in The Set every summer from June through July. Every Saturday from 9am-Noon you can find the GreenMarket at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. Be a part of The Set’s history by supporting local agriculture and visiting the GreenMarket every Saturday in the summer!
*thank you to the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum for the information and photos for this post. If you would like to learn more about the museum, or about the history of The Set, please visit their website at http://spadymuseum.com/