“Farmer’s” Cultivates Community

For 35 years, the Downtown San Luis Obispo (SLO) Farmer’s Market has become one of the most beloved events on California’s Central Coast and has brought not only locals, but visitors from surrounding areas together to connect with their community.

“I have never felt so welcomed into a new place more than the first time I went to the Farmer’s Market Downtown,” said Kali Devarrenes, a second-year student at Cal Poly.

Devarennes is one of the thousands who attend the Farmer’s Market regularly and recommends that “anyone who hasn’t gone needs to.”

The Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market stretches down Higuera five blocks and houses over 200 businesses where people can buy produce or simply interact with their community.

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(Above is a link which shows what types of businesses people should expect to see at the market according to the Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market Website)

 

Vendors like “Hayashi and Son’s” Farms have been in business in Arroyo Grande have been “here since the beginning,” according to Allan Hiyashi.  The farm prides itself on selling some of their famous strawberries to locals as well as an abundance of other produce.

Another business beloved by farmer’s market goers is “Mama’s Preserves.”  Owner, Lori Heal’s farm has been a member of the Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market for 33 years because she “loves providing the public with good produce and being a farmer” and she plans on remaining at the farmer’s market for as long as her business is around.  No matter if it is her “best selling Olallieberry Jam” or her juicy berries, customers can guarantee they are getting good product.

“I love people. We’ve been like five generations here so we know so many amazing people in town.  I would say that I am very grounded in SLO and as long as the kids continue to carry it on, we won’t be leaving,” said Heal.

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(All photo’s shown were taken by myself at the Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market)

Aside from going to the Farmer’s Market to eat good food and buy unique products, it also offers a wide variety of entertainment. From rock n’ roll bands, to jazz singers, to even unicyclists, Downtown SLO makes sure that they provide something for everyone.

Ryan Gelinas, a fourth-year at Cal Poly, is one of the many regular performers that the farmers market.  Unfortunately he did not want to be interviewed or recorded, but he can be seen at the farmer’s market almost every week.

Finally, the Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market provides a way for Cal Poly students to connect with their community as well.  Various clubs and organizations participate every week in order to promote their club and hopefully gain membership as well.

“A lot of our customer base are freshmen and we figured a lot go to the farmer’s market every week, so we thought it would help us get our name out there and get new members,” said Hannah Sanders, a member of Cal Poly’s Ski Club; adding, “What I really love meeting people.”

Personally, my favorite part about going to the Farmer’s Market is getting to interact with my community.  Coming from a larger city, I was never truly able to immerse myself within my town; however, at the farmer’s market, I am able to not only engross myself within the town, but I am also able to actually engage face-to-face with others in my area.

“It may not be much, but getting to meet nice people like you is my favorite part of Farmer’s,” said Heal; adding “There’s something about seeing familiar and friendly faces walk Higuera every Thursday that just gives me a sense of home. Needless to say, if you haven’t already, you must go to Farmer’s at least once to experience its greatness.”

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