Nothing says “summer’s here” like the the bustling crowds and bounty of vibrant, locally grown produce at open-air farmers markets. But – as with just about everything else these days – the seasonal spots operate very differently than in years past.
The El Monte Farmers Market is open – with a different look, new sponsors, and new guidelines about how the market can operate amid the impact of COVID-19.
Sponsored by Longo Lexus, The San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance, and Goodman Industries, this Farmers Market is shaping up to be a great way to spend the summer. Main Street will be closed between Santa Anita and Tyler Ave so members of the community will have plenty of space to wander, ask questions of the vendors, and take in the live entertainment.
The official local farmers market season is off to a good start despite restrictions. Customers seem supportive of restrictions and guidelines including the wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, and vendors minimizing the handling of produce and products.
From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support the El Monte farmers market. Here are just a few to keep in mind as you wander Main St, meeting new people and saying hello to old friends.
The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.
Family farmers and local vendors need your support. Right now, big businesses dominates the food industry and economic restrictions are devastating to everyone else. Small family owned farms, restaurants, and businesses have a hard time competing in the food marketplace.
Buying directly from our local vendors – whether its apples at the stand, or a burger while sitting on the outdoor patio of one of our downtown restaurants, – gives them a fighting chance in today’s COVID-19 economy.
At the El Monte farmers market you find an amazing array of produce and vendors that you don’t see in your average supermarket. You might see red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, or mushrooms you can’t recognize. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.
Very few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers can give you tips on how to cook what you buy, but farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmers market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling.
Wouldn’t you rather stroll through outdoor stalls of fresh produce than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The El Monte farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful city.
The El Monte Farmers Market is open on Thursday nights until September 24, and lasts from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm. For more information, readers are encouraged to visit the City of El Monte website.