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Letter: Farmers market is changing hands

December 13, 2013
  • People shop for fresh vegetables and fruits at the downtown Farmer's Market on Brand Blvd. in Glendale on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. In 2014, the city of Glendale will hand over the operation of the Farmer's Market to the Downtown Glendale Association.
People shop for fresh vegetables and fruits at the downtown… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

I had the privilege and honor of serving the farmers as the manager of the Glendale Certified Farmers Market for the past 13 years.

Twenty-one years ago, the city of Glendale hired Gretchen Stirling to start one of the very first farmers markets in the Southland, right in plain view on Brand Boulevard.

One of the unique aspects of the Glendale Farmers Market was that the city’s intent was not to make money, per se, but rather to bring people into the downtown so they’d shop at the restaurants and other stores as well. Still, the market always paid its own way. And the city made the wise decision to never have prepared foods at its Farmers Market, so as not to compete with the established restaurants on Brand. Now, all of this is about to change.

As of January, the Downtown Glendale Assn. will take over operation of the market. It will no longer be in plain view on Brand Boulevard. I have been told that the association believes the market has been an eyesore on Brand. Really? It’s a farmers market! And, I’ve been told they will be delete the word “farmer” from the market. That says a lot. Everyone owes a debt a gratitude to small farmers, and they should be respected.

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And, or course, the prices to the vendors will go up, and the new market will no longer have the policy of not competing with the restaurants on Brand.

Nevertheless, I wish the new market and its management well.

If you wish to visit the last of the Glendale Farmers Market on Brand before it’s over, come each Thursday in December, including the day after Christmas.

Christopher Nyerges
Eagle Rock

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