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Belmont’s farmers’ market vendors build close community

Belmont%27s+farmers%27+market+filled+with+fresh+fruit+and+vegetables+on+Sunday+morning.+Samples+are+laid+out+for+customers+to+taste+the+local+produce.+
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Belmont’s farmers’ market vendors build close community

Belmont's farmers' market filled with fresh fruit and vegetables on Sunday morning. Samples are laid out for customers to taste the local produce.

Belmont's farmers' market filled with fresh fruit and vegetables on Sunday morning. Samples are laid out for customers to taste the local produce.

Leela Stuepfert

Belmont's farmers' market filled with fresh fruit and vegetables on Sunday morning. Samples are laid out for customers to taste the local produce.

Leela Stuepfert

Leela Stuepfert

Belmont's farmers' market filled with fresh fruit and vegetables on Sunday morning. Samples are laid out for customers to taste the local produce.

By Shayna Yurovitsky, Carlmont High School

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Starting bright and early on Sunday mornings, Belmont’s weekly farmers’ market opens up to the public, inviting everyone around to enjoy the fresh and local merchandise.

Tucked to the side of El Camino, this open marketplace partially occupies a parking lot, contributing to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of a small community. With around 30 vendors to buy from, a trip to this community gathering would not take long. One could potentially return home with bags full of fresh produce from family run business and local suppliers.

“The farmers’ market gets me up and outside in the morning,” said Maddy Leon, a Belmont resident. “After coming here for some time, I feel like I’ve gotten to know my community better. Every time I come I get to meet new people and the vendors are always so kind.”

With cities like San Carlos, Redwood City and others so close to Belmont, finding the right farmers market could be a struggle. Belmont’s vendors are aware of this and they do everything they can to fit the needs of their customers.

“If a customer comes up to me asking for some kind of vegetable and I don’t have it, I try to figure something out to get it to them the next time I come to the farmers market,” said produce vendor Teng Lee. “I either buy the seed and grow it or I am happy to take seeds that my customers give me and grow them with the materials I have.”

This marketplace allows family business to keep growing and reaching out to more people. It brings awareness to small business and promotes a healthy and natural lifestyle.

“This is actually a family business, so I was pretty much born into this,” said strawberry vendor Ulyses Leon. “It benefits me and it’s for the family. I love doing this.”

From the perspective of the merchants, the farmers’ market is a great way to expand and improve products. The open market space allows for feedback from customers because of the friendly atmosphere and openness to criticism.

“I used to sell to grocery stores, but then I realized that at every location and all the different cities that I go to, I get a special connection with the customers,” said tamales vendor David Mohdi. “When I get new products, before selling them to Whole Foods, I sell to my customers in the marketplace and they give good feedback.”

Between the sellers, there seems to be community growth surrounding the shared experiences and interests of promoting local industries by looking out for one another, and supporting and providing for customers’ needs to create a successful business.

According to Mohdi, he is able to get fresh vegetables for his products from the very farmers in the farmers’ market.

“As a college student, I really like the unified feeling that there are at farmers markets, especially getting to go to a different community and having a meaningful role there,” said Jonah Vogel, an employee of Beckmann’s Old World Bakery. “I also get a lot of discounts on food. At the end of the day, whatever’s left over between the different vendors we trade what we have left. For me, I don’t need to buy groceries for months on end while I work here and it’s all healthy.”

The weekly market gathering that brings farmers, local business owners, and members of the community together has been a tradition in many cities for many years.

Taking one morning a week to connect with the community could be an unexpectedly blissful experience.

A highly active participant of the Belmont farmers’ market, Robin Melsur, said, “This experience brings happiness into my week that I never expected could come from such a simple task. I encourage anyone that has the time, even ten minutes in the morning, to see what this community has to offer for all of us.”

This story was originally published on Scot Scoop News on December 10, 2018.

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