Farmers’ Markets are known for their fresh foods, flowers and homemade wares. Most cities have their own farmers’ markets and San Diego is no exception. Within San Diego, there are numerous markets each week throughout the county. None, however, quite have that “old hometown” feel to it like The La Mesa Farmers’ Market does.
The La Mesa Farmers’ Market (LMFM) is always an enjoyable weekly event; with “smiley” vendors, families selecting the ripest fruits and veggies, and the scent of freshly-popped kettle corn filling the air. On May 6, 2011, LMFM moved its location from Allison St. to the corner of Date St. and Allison St. With that move, more space for both vendors and patrons ensued and the result: still quaint, but more conducive to La Mesa’s esteemed reputation.
Before the move, LMFM housed fruit, veggie, flower and food vendors only. Now, along with the positive change of a new location is the advent of talented local artisans being showcased, as well. From hand-carved, painted gourds to hand-crafted cosmetic bags, the uniqueness (see photos at left), skill and prestige that also define La Mesa are certainly upheld here.
Around the bend, a long-haired “tween” boy playing his acoustic guitar for tips sings out a Led Zeppelin song. (Tipping encouraged for him knowing who Led Zeppelin are at his age!) Various farmers’ booths line the next two rows and next to the kettle corn gazebo is a vendor selling freshly-made fish and shrimp ceviche (see photos), which comes “highly-recommended” by many local La Mesans.
Many farmers’ markets in San Diego are grander in scale, but lack the camaraderie that is only inherent in certain suburbs. Farmer’s Markets with too many vendors can actually do the small town farmers injustice, as there is too much competition. It is essential to the survival of our economy to care about WHERE we spend our money, in addition to how much. When we purchase locally, we multiply the economy’s profit! According to The New Economics Foundation (an independent economic think tank based in London), “…twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally,” (Schwartz, 2009).
Opting to invest slightly more in order to “buy local” helps the entire community! Buying from local farmers versus the corporations helps our immediate vicinity thrive! Also, even if the cost is marginally higher for local goods and services, that extra cost is offset by the boost in local employment and cohesive neighborhood relationships. You can make a difference!
The La Mesa Farmer’s Market is every Friday, from 2pm-6pm on the corner of Date St. and Allison St.; adjacent to La Mesa City Hall. “Go green” and bring a re-usable tote to place your wares in!
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Schwartz, j.d. (2009, June 11). Buying local: how it boosts the economy. Time Magazine.