Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Altadena Urban Farmers Market

What in the world is an urban farmers market, we wondered? Only one way to find out: drive all the way up there and check it out.  Which is exactly what we did last Sunday. The market was on the grounds of the Zane Grey Estate. It was only a few dozen stalls, mostly of people selling baked goods and marmalade (we couldn't find fresh produce anywhere). The smell of manure and hay was rife (the estate has a petting zoo, which was open). The atmosphere made me immediately think of the Women's Institute (UK readers will know what I mean), with a good layer of Bay Area hippie. Even the shoppers looked transported from San Francisco. Who knew there were so many Bay Area types in L.A.?

This venture is fairly new. We couldn't find a webpage but they do have a Facebook page. On this page there is a mission statement which reads:

To encourage more local food production, and make that food easily accessible to Altadena residents. Through partnership with the Arroyo Time Bank, to make buying locally grown food possible for those with limited financial resources.

The market takes place on the third Sunday of every month. To shop there you have to be a member, but I think anyone can be a member. Basically, you sign a "membership" form before entering, but the form was just a legal disclaimer which freed the market from injury suits. If you do go, check out the cookie lady with the most amazing butterscotch cookies. She's really nice, too.