Priced out of the market /Fresh fruit market feels the squeeze | March 12, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - March 12, 2010

Priced out of the market /Fresh fruit market feels the squeeze

Future murky for East Palo Alto's farmers market, now scheduled to close

by Sue Dremann

On weekend mornings throughout the Midpeninsula, fruit and vegetable vendors call out from stalls brimming with small mountains of fresh produce: dark-green wavy chard and lime-green lettuces; orange carrot bunches arranged like sentinels; shapely apples and pears in crimsons and yellows.

This story contains 2054 words.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be e-mailed at


Posted by Collective Roots, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:01 am

If you are interested in the future of the East Palo Alto Community Farmers' Market, please visit Web Link.

Posted by concerned resident, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

I was very happy to hear that we had a Farmers Market in town. However, here are MY thoughts and experience.

I realize and understand that this NOT an easy task, but believe that frank feedback may help.

The leafy vegetables were wilted. Beans and eggplant did not look appealing.
the price of fruits and other items were higher than other Farmers markets in nearby communities. Thank you for listening

Posted by karen, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

Great concept but the cost was way too high for the produce. Since there was no middle-man why were the costs just as high as a super market or higher?

After spending $1 per orange I went to Whole foods and the cost was less for the same organic item.

Posted by Beth, a resident of Stanford
on Mar 12, 2010 at 11:32 am

"There, despite an arguably greater need for residents to have access to fresh vegetables and fruit, the city's fledgling East Palo Alto Community Farmers' Market is close to shutting down after only a two-year run."

Unfortunately, "needs" don't encourage supplies. Demands encourage supplies by rewarding the suppliers with money--if there were a market demand for the fresh veggies, a supply would probably come. It sounds like there are many efforts afoot to encourage the demand, which is a good step toward making a farmer's market viable.

Alternatively, what's wrong with getting fresh veggies from Mi Pueblo? They have a great variety.

Posted by Concerned Retiree, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

More funding is needed?? It almost seems a knee jerk response to say -- even in the scenario of a Farmers' Market -- that there are wonderful intentions, but more funding is needed. Funding to get started, perhaps, but not long term.

If a business addresses the needs of its customers with good service and good products at fair prices -- it will be self-sustaining.

And if the EPA Farmers' Market has lousy produce at lousy prices, well then it has sealed its own fate.

Posted by Michael, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Great to see the people already lined up ready to work on the future of the Farmers Market:
Web Link

I think the ideas already circulating about the East Palo Alto Backyard Garden Network show that a lot has been learned already about how to proceed. Let's see that Silicon Valley spirit of not being put off by a few set backs!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I agree that it just doesn't make sense when farmers markets charge higher prices than grocery shops.

Posted by concerned resident, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Mi Pueblo can be a good resource. Here is a thought.
For those interested to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, give out fruit and vegetable vouchers that may be used at LOCAL EPA stores.

Just a thought.

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