Farmers Market Update – July 2023

by Ken Katz

A welcome addition to the farmers market last Saturday was the first of this year’s corn crop at the G & S Farm booth, an annual occurrence that typically marks the arrival of summer. This year it appears that Brentwood has been blessed with sun while we have not, but at least we now get to feast on fresh-picked, locally grown corn.

At the opposite end of the market in the Sunnyland Farms booth, Eddie Menchaca Jr. had a big smile thanks to the recent arrival of his first child, Gabriella. His parents, Maria and Eddie Sr. are equally excited by the arrival of their first grandchild. For newcomers to the market, the Menchaca family, operating as EGB  Farms was one of the very first vendors at the market then under the freeway circa 1998.

Last month, in the process of introducing himself as the new Market Manager, Mahader Tesfai made a point of tipping his hat to the rest of the Farmers Market team. In the above photo, left to right, that’s Assistant Manager Derek Pena; Katie Derrick, who has been volunteering weekly for at least a decade; Mahader; and Assistant Manager Terrence Powell.

In last month’s news, we mentioned that the relocation of the arts and crafts vendors to the perimeter of the market has seriously impacted sales. AIM’s position is that they want to focus on their core objectives (farmers and food products), but they are sympathetic to the artisans’ complaints, especially Mahader who is himself a fairly well-known local artist. Latisha Baker, who has been selling her art and jewelry at the market for as long as I can remember, drafted a summary of their concerns and Mahader emailed me a copy, which you can read here. Hopefully, a long-term solution will be found but, in the meantime, please take the time to check out their wares on the Lake Park sidewalk.

The Grand Lake Market is looking for new vendors but with very specific guidelines. If you’re interested, applications are at this link.