Market offers organic, fresh choices in Bakersfield

Megan Luecke

Visitors to the market on April 28 cooled off with the purchase of a freshly made drink. The drink choices included a fresh lemonade with mint.

Breanna Fields, Reporter

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A crowd gathered on April 28 for the Brimhall Farmer’s Market, which offered locals a chance to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and other organic products like raw almonds, homemade bread and honey.

Located on the corner of Brimhall and Calloway in the Brimhall Square Shopping Center, the farmer’s market occurs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Managed by Jaclyn Allen, the market has grown since it began just two years ago.

“Honestly, I was on such a small budget when I started this, that this market truly has grown just by word of mouth,” said Allen. “I didn’t have the money to advertise.”

Even without a formal ad campaign, the Brimhall Farmer’s Market has managed to attract the attention of buyers who choose to purchase local over non-organic grocery store products.

“First thing is, this stuff was picked yesterday,” said Allen. “So, it’s super fresh. In the grocery stores you’re getting things that have, on average, traveled 2,500 miles just to get there. They get picked really early and are ripening on the truck rather than on the tree.”

A certain reassurance comes when purchasing all-natural and organic products at a market like this, Allen explained. Farmers are on site to assist customers in their purchases and give them information on the products for sale.

“The thing is that you’re buying better quality so it’s not comparable to grocery store fruits,” she said. “It’s better. The farmers actually drive here and have picked the fruit themselves.”

Saturday’s market hosted more than a dozen vendors and local farmers including those from relatively close areas like Tulare. France Bakery was there selling homemade breads and Gold Coin Farms sold fresh produce stacked in rows.

There were a few obscure vendors like Raw Nutz, who sold bags of homegrown almonds, and BJ’s Lavender Farm, which sold lavender-based products.

While prices of organic foods can fluctuate, for example, during the winter strawberries are more difficult to grow so they may be costlier during that time, Allen assures buyers that there are plenty of deals to be found with regular vendors that attend each market.

“There’re certain times where they’ll do really good deals that blow away supermarket prices,” said Allen. “They’re tricks of the trade,” said Allen.

For those who haven’t gotten their fill of organic products by the end, a new farmer’s market also managed by Allen has recently opened on the corner of Ming and Haggin Oaks. It will be held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and feature new vendors that will also offer a selection of hot foods.

“We have based it on what a true farmer’s market should be: small, local and for the community,” said Allen.

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