Friday, June 02, 2006
Old MacDonald Had a Farmer's Market
E-i-E-i-ohhhhh. There are a number of different farmer's markets in the area, including two in Pomona. You can get organic (or at least pesticide-free) produce, which is fresher and lasts much longer than what you get in the stores. Sometimes it's cheaper than the stores, sometimes it's not, but it's always going to be more nutritious. Writer Dayna Macy of Yoga magazine wrote an article on the appeal of buying local produce that described how: "a tomato can travel thousands of miles before it lands in a grocery cart. Most often, it's a hybrid that was bred to survive the trip rather than to taste great, and it may have been picked before its prime, in order to last days if not weeks in the supermarket. It used up plenty of the earth's resources as it was packaged, refrigerated, and trucked from farm to distribution point to store. Poor tomato. Poor you." Doesn't something picked 24 hours before you buy it at the farmer's market sounds more attractive now? Plus, kids have fun in the farmer's market setting, where they can run around without any store shelves to obstruct your view of their whirling bodies. Most farmer's markets even set up children's play areas.
My hands down favorite is Saturday mornings at Pearl and Garey in Pomona. That's located one block north of Holt, just west of Garey, in the parking lot of the Pomona First Baptist Church. In addition to the fresh produce, there's a flower vendor, an outdoor plant vendor, fresh juice, roasted potatoes and roasted corn, a tamale booth and baked items. They always have a kid's table with puzzles, chalk and coloring supplies, and they periodically have children's crafts. A great place to hang out for a couple hours (under the canopies) to have breakfast/early lunch and people watch. Official hours are 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., but they actually don't close down until about 12:30 p.m. On Father's Day Saturday, they will be giving out free bagels and cream cheese to fathers and children. Starting in July and through the summer, they will be celebrating their 25th annivesary with various events, including a salsa cook-off.
Wednesday evenings on Thomas Street in the Arts Colony, Pomona. Located in the 300 block of So. Thomas from 4 to 8 p.m. I've never gotten out of the car for this one, but have seen that it is teeny tiny. There's a competing Wednesday evening farmer's market in San Dimas Old Town on Bonita Avenue. Information on it is here: http://www.sandimaschamber.com/City/city8.htm . And beginning June 14, there's even another farmer's market on Wednesday evenings in Chino at their City Hall, 13220 Central in Chino. This one goes from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and will have live entertainment the opening night. So if you are late for the Pomona one, check this one out. For info: http://www.chinofarmersmarket.com/
Sunday mornings in the Claremont Village. A picture-perfect outdoor market, complete with art and jewelry vendors. The only meal type food they sell there is fresh pita bread and hummus, but then you're near the Village eateries if you're hungry. Slightly more produce than at the Pomona market, including gourmet mushrooms. Not as homey as Pomona, and there's no kid area or seating, but kids off-leash still works here. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday evenings on D Street in LaVerne, held during the warm months from 5 to 9 p.m. Their banners boast all sorts of fun stuff for kids, as well as music. Downtown LaVerne is located between Bonita and Arrow Highway in La Verne. The often have car shows there on the weekends. There's another one on Thursday evenings in Upland. Also from 5 to 9 p.m. during the warm months. Located at 9th Street and 2nd Avenue in Upland. For map and other info: http://www.cafarmersmarkets.com/showMarket?marketid=421
Saturday mornings in Diamond Bar. Another Pomona competitor. this ones at the Southland Christian School at 8 a.m. A lot of the farmer's markets are sponsored by churches. http://www.diamondbarchamber.com/calendar/events.asp?date=6%2F10%2F2006
Hey, geuss what? This is another category where Pomona ranks high, with *two* different farmer's markets, as opposed to the one (or none) offered by nearby cities. I'm impressed, and you should be too!