Ponderosa Park Farmers Market Brings Great Produce to South Anaheim

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Dave Lieberman

Take a look at the list of the county's farmers markets and you'll notice something: they tend to be in well-to-do neighborhoods. The biggest is Irvine's Saturday market near UCI; there are markets in Tustin and Laguna Beach, Old Town Orange and Newport Beach, all places that aren't exactly scrimping.

The--let's use a euphemism here--transitional neighborhoods of Orange County seem to be missing the opportunity to buy fantastic produce. Santa Ana doesn't have a farmers market; neither does Stanton. Anaheim's downtown market and Garden Grove's sparse market are the lone exceptions.

Marla Jo Fisher of the Orange County Register announced the organization of a new farmers market in Anaheim's Ponderosa Park at the corner of Orangewood and Haster, in a neighborhood that isn't a food desert (there's a Vons at Chapman and Haster) but doesn't necessarily have access to the best produce.

I haven't seen a midday farmers market so crowded since the Wednesday Santa Monica market. Hundreds of people passed through, especially parents picking up children at the adjacent Ponderosa School. Vendors were surprised by the community response; one sold as much at the Ponderosa market as at the Laguna Hills market. Nearly every person had at least one bag of produce, and lines at the stands selling peaches and nectarines were four deep.

This is the second week the market has been open; it's got plenty of fruit and vegetables from stands well-known to weekend market warriors, like Berumen Boyz [sic], and prices are slightly lower than other markets. It could use a bread vendor--someone selling just-made bolillos would make a killing at this market--and protein (fish, chicken or meat).

The organizers intend to invite more prepared-food vendors, betting that the ability to get lunch will draw workers from the nearby Angel Stadium-area office towers, from the Chapman corridor and from Tile Mile the Platinum Triangle.

Visit the Ponderosa Park farmers market on Tuesdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the southeast corner of Orangewood and Haster in Anaheim. Free parking is available in the adjacent lot; enter from Orangewood.

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