Now established as more than just a place to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, the Mar Vista Farmers Market turns seven Sunday, Aug. 4.
The market, in the words of manager Diana Rodgers, has now become “a transient town square.”
What initially began as a small venue that occupied one block of Grand View Boulevard has spawned into a thriving, open-air urban market that encompasses five blocks with some of the best quality organic farmers around and a thriving local purveyor food court with everything from empanadas to kosher offerings, says Rogers.
“It has turned into the hub of the community and operates as Mar Vista’s transient town square on Sundays when the whole community turns out to shop, share information, take kids to cooking class and to celebrate community,” she said.
Mar Vista Community Council Chair Sharon Commins said it was “an absolutely crucial economic decision” by her council in 2005 to go beyond new median/clean-up projects in the Venice Boulevard Corridor and support a Sunday farmers market on Grand View Boulevard.
“The market became an anchor use, and ignited growth along the boulevard resulting in an influx of new businesses – over 22 and counting,” Commins recalled. “Today, the Mar Vista Farmers Market is recognized throughout the region and the commercial corridor is thriving.”
Rodgers and her team plan to have a country fair anniversary for the market, complete with a pie baking contest with a $100 gift certificate to the farmers market as the first place prize.
Other contests include corn shucking and seed spitting as well as square dancing with the First Page String Band and caller Susan Michaels at 11:30 a.m.
RJ Comer (Americana) and Mar Vista resident Al Keith’s band Al’s Peace (soul and reggae) will also perform at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
Paul Kolling of Nana Mae’s Farm in Sebastopol in Sonoma County will be featuring a truckload of Gravenstein apples to showcase at the anniversary as well.
The Mar Vista Farmers Market is at Grand View and Venice boulevards. It is open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.