Today we took a trip up to the Altadena Urban Farmer’s Market. This seemed like a mysterious, cool place, because you had to be a member and sign a waiver. People make homemade “stuff” (I wasn’t entirely sure what this stuff would be) and, well, it has the words “Farmer’s Market” in the title, so I thought for sure we’d get some good produce. It’s also held on the Zane Gray Estate, which seemed like a place I’d like to see. Plus, my oldest and dearest friend is visiting from Missouri, so I thought it would be a cool thing for all of us to experience.
We had to park a bit aways, but it was a lovely day, and the market was nestled in the mountains.
The space itself was pretty cool. When you first arrive, you sign in and donate what you can (they suggest $1).
My first impression was that it was smaller than I thought it would be.
They had some produce, but it was a small booth, and I wasn’t exactly sure what the deal was. You could work and use the time you worked to pay for the produce. I wasn’t sure if that was the only way you could pay for the veggies and fruit, and suddenly found myself too shy to ask, so we just walked by.
There was a booth with jam, some with sauces, one made curries. There was a booth for the community garden which gave away seeds, which was very nice.
There was a cookbook swap (take one, leave one) and a sort-of community swap (for lack of a better word). It looked like people just brought in whatever they didn’t want and people could take it if they left something as well.
They had soaps and lotions and even eggs. They had herbs and plants you could buy to start your own gardens at home. They had honey – which I bought.
(It’s actually taking all the willpower I have not to break out a piece of my husband’s homemade bread and slather it with the newly purchased honey!)
They had a petting zoo in the back, and classes on gardening, cheese making, bread making, and similar things. They also had a leather booth.
There were also booths with desserts, pastries, and food, but most of it was gone by the time we got there.
Though we were a little disappointed that they weren’t a more traditional farmer’s market, and that we missed a chance at all the treats, I think I’d like to visit it again. I like the idea of a community coming together and helping each other, by swapping, supporting, working, and sharing. Hopefully it will happen again, and maybe one day I can even participate by bringing in something I make.