The month of May marks the Hollywood Farmer’s Market 25 year anniversary! The year was 1991 and the idea was a suggestion of a City Council member to create a safe community event, support local businesses in the immediate Hollywood area and provide a sales venue for small California farmers. It was a new concept and one of only about 10 farmers markets in all of Los Angeles. At this time I usually like to clarify that this is the type of farmer’s market that pops up once a week for a few hours, then packs it in until the same time next week. The Original Farmer’s Market at Third & Fairfax started as such a market but has grown since 1934 to be a permanent food emporium with more than 100 restaurants, shops, and only two remaining produce stands. It truly is a Los Angeles landmark and one of my personal places to visit and take my out-of-town visitors.
The Hollywood Farmer’s Market takes place every Sunday from 8am to 1pm (rain or shine) and is set up on the intersection of Ivar and Selma Avenues. Parking can be found around Sunset and Cahuenga, some like to park in the Arclight Theatre structure. More than 150 local vendors are featured and approximately 8-10,000 visitors stop by each Sunday. I am always so surprised when I arrive on the early side (by 8:30am) and people are already leaving with arms full of colorful goodies. About 26 of the vendors have been part of the market from day one, they are called Legacy Farmers. You’ll find everything from beautiful fruits and vegetables (including plentiful samples) to cheeses, breads, ice cream, olive oil, herbs, honey, flowers, soaps, jewelry, prepared foods and more! There’s also live music, children’s activities, book signings and sometimes special animals will make an appearance. This little fellow is named Cotton and his “parents” are from Soledad Goat Farm and were not only selling goats cheese but also lovely handmade vegan soaps. I bought a few last minute Mother’s Day gifts.
There are many extra-special offerings planned during this Anniversary month. I stopped to listen to one of the demos, it was chef/historian Ernie Miller who was talking about the finer points of California grown strawberries. I picked up an anniversary schedule, and noticed that many of LA’s most popular bakers and restaurant owners will be stopping by for a demo, including our friends Betty & Denise the Grub Gals speaking on May 22. If you like Aussie Curtis Stone you may want to head to Hollywood on May 29. But whether you make it this month for the anniversary celebration or not, I hope to see you there some Sunday morning perusing the cherries or tomatoes. Happy Anniversary Hollywood Farmer’s Market!
By Trish Procetto