It happens every Monday. Vendors and shoppers meet and fete at Welk Village for the weekly Welk Certified Farmers’ Market from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
It’s the only one of over 50 San Diego County farmers markets open Monday, so has the pick of the litter when it comes to fruits, vegetables, food and vendors. It’s also one of only 11 county certified farmers market accepting food stamps.
Nothing like a little Memorial Holiday spirit to bring the market to life, vendors said, you guessed it, Monday. Crowds were a bit larger than usual as more leisure time ensued courtesy of America’s annual celebration of military decoration.
The holiday started as Decoration Day in several municipalities following the Civil War. It became institutionalized as a national holiday by LBJ in 1966, not coincidentally during the heightened awareness surrounding the Vietnam War.
With friendly fanfare, Welk activities guide Erick Castro, pointed to Oceanside Gourmet Tamales and the rotisserie lady’s food booth with full BBQ dinners as two of the hot spots for food fare. otherwise, arts, crafts, jewelry and interesting clothing filled the open space area between the theater and golf course.
Valley Center’s Tasha Ardalan and Brandon Janiss manage the market. They also manage the Wednesday evening Encinitas station Farmers Market.
“We have 90 vendors with lots of locals and even out-of-towners coming to the market,” Ardalan said on a sunny day in front of a vendor’s truck last year. “We get a few hundred people and usually fill up the parking lot. We try to have a good variety of products including a small certified organic products section.”
Market shopper Melody Harkness checked out the pillows concession saying, “I think it’s pretty good here. I’ve been coming here five years.”
Farmers’ Markets provide venues for farmers to sell directly to consumers and supports small farming operations. The farmers market filled with fabulous food finds, handmade items, free raffles, and more. The Welk market features lots of extras, including the ability to accept food stamps for those who might want to use them.
The official market location is 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr., Escondido 92026. For more information call (760) 651-3630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about any of the dozens of county markets, visit the San Diego Farm Bureau page at http://sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/Farmers-Markets.php. Another listing is at http://www.ediblesandiego.com/local-food/farmers-markets.html.