Farmers and small businesses participated in the Local Harvest Farmers Market in Long Beach on March 4, in spite of the wet weather.
The farmers market is held at Marina Park every Wednesday from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Per pandemic safety guidelines, social distancing and masks are enforced for all customers.
Many local farms, such as Chavez Farms, annually participate in the market.
“The farm has spent many years doing this,” said Itzel Xuconoxtle, a salesperson for the farm. Their booth consisted mostly of vegetables and their organically grown strawberries.
“They don’t sell to grocery store chains. We only sell our produce at farmers markets,” Xuconoxle explained.
Other vendors included “Power in Herbs,” which sold a loose variety of tea herbs. They advertised that their herbs help the body and maintain a person’s health.
“Our ‘Golden Mix’ can help with inflammation, brain development, brain function, focus, diabetes, heart disease and pain,” claimed Annie Delang, a salesperson for the business. “We have a lot of different types of teas that can improve a person’s health and wellness. Some of our teas have no caffeine, so you can enjoy them daily.”
Returning vendor “Gusto Bread” is a favorite among returning customers. According to salesperson Gregory Marken, their booth usually sells out by the time the market closes.
“The favorites that we sell are the California loaf and cedar loaf,” Marken said. “Our baguettes are really popular and we’ve already sold out of our biscuits. We have a lot of popular items.”
In addition to the organic produce, many people returned to the farmers market for the sense of community they felt with other vendors and customers.
Caitlyn Yoshioka brought her two-year-old daughter Mina to the market as a way to support small businesses and safely get out of the house.
“We always get our eggs, chicken and bread here as our fun outing,'” said Caitlyn as she put two baguettes from “Gusto Bread” in her bag. “I feel that everything tastes better here. All the food is fresh. I still feel weird about taking her to a grocery store right now.”
As she finished talking, she ran into Mina’s babysitters.
Customer Patty O’hallaron comes to the market for better quality food and a sense of community.
“I’ve shopped at this market for years. The food tastes better, and there are a lot of friendly faces,” she said.
“It needs to be a priority to promote small businesses,” said Delang. “This is all hand-made, not by a manufacturer. You get to meet the person who made that product, and you can see the effort and value in their work to serve the community.”