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Market Shines For Anniversary

LA MESA -- The collection of farmers, bread makers, olive oil purveyors and meat and flower pitchers that make up the weekly Farmers Market in La Mesa put on an extra polished performance on Friday.
Festooned with new banners to mark its 20th anniversary, there was more music, more children and a bit more than the usual buzz that surrounds the temporary tent city that forms every Friday afternoon.
The city and the market regulars were celebrating 20 years of bringing fresh farm foods directly to the people, an effort that was clearly ahead of its time when it was started two decades ago and now has become almost a battle cry for the food conscious: Grow it local!
And more and more, you can eat it here too.
The number of vendors giving samples or offering fully prepared foods has increased in recent years and -- quiet, don't tell anyone -- it is now almost possible to wander through the market, munching away on samples and avoiding the need for dinner! It's La Mesa's version of the Costco Sample Brunch that occurs, also quietly, on weekends.
And the good thing about the Farmers Markets like this in California, they occur year round. No snow and frost to force us back to the tiled aisles unless we want to.

Gina Garcia is a Realtor (CA BRE #01704251) and is publisher of LaMesaToday.com. To contact her, e-mail Gina@GinaGarcia.net.

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Tags: Chris Gonzales, La Mesa Farmers Market, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper, Petrou Foods

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Comment by David Stanley on October 26, 2013 at 9:55am

I am torn in two directions regarding "Farmer's Markets', both in general and here in La Mesa specifically.  On one hand, I really do enjoy strolling through these "markets" wherever I might be. There is a grand "Farmer's Market" in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Boston has magnificent browsing and strolling, looking, peering, admiring and often sampling the myriad fruits and vegetables as well the other more "Flea Market:-type items. Gobs of fun. It truly brings a community together. Background music, often performers and entertains also in the mix. Santa Cruz' offering is very nice as well as is San Francisco, Salinas, Solana Beach and on and on.

Now, on the other hand, however, no matter where I find myself in the country, as I browse I see outstanding fruits and vegetables but quality and presentation is never so appealing as one finds at practically any regular market. I stroll about and also notice generally far higher prices that one finds at most regular markets. I buy things here and there and on sampling some am often disappointed in tastes or textures even with the higher prices. For me, supporting local growers in the most important thing but also for me buying their more expensive products then simply throwing them away later seems counter productive.

Braggarts who boast the price is no object, and there will be some following this opinion, ill disguise the fact that most of them, like we living on somewhat limited income, today must also mind what they spend and how they spend it. Boasting of the ability to paying higher prices merely for ambiance is just that, "Boasting". Two dollars a pound at a "Farmer's Market" vs. fifty cents a pound at a market for the same product, is an example of "Look at me! Aint I grand?"

So, as said, I am torn between the "event" and the "products". I still go out of my way to go to a "Farmer's Markets": and I do, my wife and I, purchase things here and there but certainly not for the prices. Rather, for the "Community" and because, like a crow I suppose, shiny and fancy things grab my attention. Mostly though for the people that are there about me.

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