Pomona market offers fresh affordable fare

Erica Williams, volunteer for the Pomona Community Farmers Alliance food access booth, picks out vegetables for customers Feb. 26 at the Pomona Valley Certified Farmers Market. The market has been around for 40 years, providing certified organic food at affordable prices. It is open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday at 209 W. Pearl St. in downtown Pomona./ photo by Darcelle Jones-Wesley
Erica Williams, volunteer for the Pomona Community Farmers Alliance food access booth, picks out vegetables for customers Feb. 26 at the Pomona Valley Certified Farmers Market. The market has been around for 40 years, providing certified organic food at affordable prices. It is open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday at 209 W. Pearl St. in downtown Pomona./ photo by Darcelle Jones-Wesley

Isabel Amezquita
Staff Writer

The Pomona Farmers Market, held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., offers a variety of farm fresh, organic items, prepared foods and crafts, many at surprisingly low prices. 

Located in a parking lot on Pearl Street off of Garey Avenue in downtown Pomona, roughly 25 vendors welcomed many community shoppers to their small tents. 

For those interested in hanging out, tamales, aguas frescas and a few choices for tacos such as al pastor, asada and chorizo were on hand, along with outdoor tables to eat and socialize. 

Additional booths featured a free lending library, story time for kids, free seeds for families to plan their own veggie gardens and free coffee.

The market, which also accepts federal nutrition assistance benefits like CalFresh and WIC, is staffed largely by volunteers, including Cal Poly Pomona students, keeping prices low.

Francisco Benavides, a Cal Poly Pomona student, said his stand, The Seed Exchange, was there to help the community. His free seeds Saturday included basil, cilantro, tomatoes, carrots and more.

“I hand out free seeds so that the community can share that with other people,” Benavides said. “I’m a plant science major at Cal Poly Pomona and this has introduced me to new ways of growing and I can share that with the community to help them.”

One vendor, Cyndy Smith, sold hand-made jewelry with a twist through her stand, The Crafters Market, which is  also on Instagram. Her items included necklaces, earrings and bracelets made out of soda cans, straws, and beads. 

She said selling her items at the market makes her happy because she can see others and wear them.

“Everything is hand-made and hand grown,” Smith said. “I like selling my jewelry here because it gives people a chance to see the unique items I make like this soda can necklace.” 

Conny Valenzuela of Pomona said she comes to the market every Saturday to buy bread because it is affordable and helps feed her many children at home.

“I am going through a tough economic time,” Valenzuela said. “This dollar bread has helped me and my children a lot and I appreciate it so much.”

Another fan of the market shopping Saturday was Elias Rodriguez of Pomona.

“I love the food here,” Rodriguez said. “They are fresh, and not at all expensive. I especially like the honey here because it is natural and it always tastes delicious. The eggs here are also really good.” 

For more information visit pomonacfa.org.

Isabel Amezquita can be reached at isabel.amezquita@laverne.edu.

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Isabel Amezquita, a senior English major and communications minor, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

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Darcelle Jones-Wesley, a senior photography major, is photography editor of the Campus Times. Her work can also be found at photographybydarcelle.com.

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