PALM DESERT – Opening day for the Certified Farmers’ Market in Palm Desert couldn’t have gone much better.
Plenty of fresh produce and food were for sale at the Palm Desert Visitors’ Center on Highway 111, with no shortage of customers. And mind you, this is a mid-week market open only on Wednesdays.
“I am so pleased seeing the community support,” said Paul Palodichuk, manager of the Certified Farmers’ Market. “That’s what it takes getting the farmers here. It’s what makes the market. It’s what drives the market. I am overwhelmed.”
Vendor Deborah Chamberlain and her son were also overwhelmed by the volume of their business.
Tomatoes picked from their 10-acre farm on the east side of the Salton Sea were going fast.
Having another local farmers’ market to go along with the weekend markets held in Old Town La Quinta and Palm Springs makes their lives so much easier.
“Usually, we have to travel all over to different farmers’ markets in the state,” said Wong Farms owner Deborah Chamberlain. “I mean Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach, different places.”
Vendors say they also save money.
Besides buying the fresh-off-the-farm food, there’s a social experience to the markets.
“Honestly, farmers love people and we don’t get to see a lot of people while we’re working on the farm all day,” said Christina Kelso, a partner at the Flying Disc Ranch. “They get a taste of the country and we get a taste of the city.”
And on the subject of taste, since this market is certified by the state and the Riverside County Agricultural Department, fresh takes on a whole new meaning.
“I just bought some eggs that were laid yesterday,” said Palm Desert resident Doug Mellian. “You can’t beat that…I love it and it’s a beautiful day.”
The market will be held each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through June 10th.