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Market is hub for local farmers, artisans

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Hailey Martinez
Staff Writer 

People gathered Sunday to shop at Claremont Farmers and Artisan market, which takes up two blocks on Harvard Avenue in the Claremont village. 

The weekly market has much more than a variety of fruits and veggies. It also has vendors selling plants, jewelry, ceramics, dog accessories, handbags, paintings and more. 

“The concept is that we are supporting local farmers and entrepreneurship,” said Market Manager Oscar De León. “We’re creating community, and we’re also providing the healthiest food available out there.” 

All the produce vendors are regulated by the Department of Agriculture, they’re all certified growers and are only allowed to sell what they grow, De Leon said. 

The market was started in 1996. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays year round.

It first started as a small gathering of local farmers and has grown as the largest market in eastern Los Angeles County, De León said.  

As the Claremont farmers and artisan market is a California-certified market, each farmer has to be checked by the government to make sure that the produce is grown by farmers and has also followed state agricultural guidelines. 

Among the vendors is Jose Mejia. 

“We sell … honeycombs, bee pollen, raw unfiltered honey with no sugar or flavoring added,” said Mejia, of the  family-owned honey business Palo Alto Honey.

Palo Alto Honey has been around for 25 years and despite its name is based in the Inland Empire. Palo Alto Honey is named after Mejia’s uncle, who learned the whole beekeeping trade in a small village in the state of Jalisco in Mexico called Palo Alto.

Orange blossom is a popular honey for the business, even sweeter is sage honey, Mejia said. 

One of the artisans, ceramicist Marianne Galleon, sells “Marianne’s Clay Creations.” 

“My goal is to make functional pottery that people can use on a daily basis,” Galleon said. “I love farmer markets. This one is my favorite because I love the other vendors, and the people that come are usually really nice. I love the trees and the atmosphere here.” 

Galleon has sold her ceramics at the Claremont farmers market for four years, and her top-selling items are mugs and noodle bowls, each price varies based on the piece. At the moment, she is now enjoying making bells.

Shoppers enjoyed browsing, tasting and buying the variety of fruits, prepared foods and crafts. 

“It’s a really nice way to start off a Sunday morning,” said Maiah Oyekanmi, a freshman at Scripps College. “There’s so many people out and about, fruit and good vibes. There’s always a little bit of everything … to look at and buy.” 

Oyekanmi, who was there with friends, said she and her friends love the ambiance of the farmers market. They enjoy looking at the painting and the jewelry which they find unique. She said they like supporting small businesses and farmers. 

For more information visit claremontforum.org/farmers-artisans-market or just show up any Sunday rain or shine. 

Hailey Martinez can be reached at, hailey.martinez@laverne.edu.

Hailey Martinez is a junior journalism major with a photography minor. She is a staff writer for the Campus Times and a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

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