Adams Ave. Farmers’ Market Postponed Yet Again — to Spring 2010
By Leslie Wolf Branscomb
One week after postponing the launch of the Adams Avenue Farmers’ Market from Sept. 9 to 23, organizers have now decided to delay the event for at least six months. The problem? The California Department of Transportation owns the right-of-way to the street where the market is planned, and they aren’t about to relinquish it soon.
The city’s newest farmers’ market was ready to go before the land-use conflict was discovered the first week of September. At first, the market’s backers thought the issue would be resolved within a month. But working things out with Caltrans has proven to be more difficult than they expected.
Local Caltrans officials were supportive, but things bogged down at the state level, said Catt Fields White, the market’s manager.
The city is now involved in the negotiations, as is Sen. Christine Kehoe’s office, White said. A possible long-term solution may involve the city taking back ownership of the stretch of 40th Street where the market is planned.
“We’re working hard to resolve this, but when you’re working with a multitude of government agencies it takes a while,” White said.
Now they’re aiming to start up in March or April, 2010, she said. “Time flies, and it will be spring in no time,” said White.
Despite the existing farmers’ markets in nearby Hillcrest and North Park, there is still demand for another, said Jim Schneider, executive director of the Adams Avenue Business Association, which is sponsoring the market. “In this neighborhood, people are clamoring for it,” he said.
Regarding the delay, Schneider said, “I’ve gotten a lot of support from the community, overwhelming support. The response is just so strong that we’re going to do everything we can to get it going.”
Most of the vendors at the Adams Avenue market will be local farmers, and the focus will be on fresh produce, meat and seafood. “A lot of shoppers, especially chefs, have let us know they need a midweek market to obtain fresh produce,” White said.
The market will eventually take place on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., on 40th Street south of Adams Avenue, just to the west of Interstate 15, where Normal Heights meets Kensington.
There are 52 approved vendors. “It will be very heavy on locally-grown fruits and vegetables, from sprouts to squash to micro-greens, citrus, avocado and berries,” White said. There will be farm-direct meat for sale, including beef, lamb and pork, and two fish purveyors, one selling shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels.
Fresh eggs and cheese, baked goods, sea salts and spices will be available, as well as gourmet popsicles from Viva Pops in Normal Heights. There will also be a natural pet food vendor, “just to cover everyone in your family that eats,” White said.
Some locally-made arts and crafts will be sold, and live music will add to the ambience. Eventually, White plans to add chefs’ demonstrations and book-signings to the mix.
For more information, visit www.adamsavemarket.com or call 619-233-3901.