Produce Picked at the Peak of Flavor, Fresh-Cooked Foods, Flowers and Much More at the Del Sur Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ markets are a traditional way of selling agricultural and home manufactured products, and a weekly market day is a part of normal life in villages and town squares throughout the world.

Now, thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of the Del Sur Education Foundation, residents of Santaluz, 4S Ranch, Del Sur and the surrounding area have the opportunity to also experience produce picked at the peak of flavor.

Adults (left to right): Peter Kunowski, Laura Taylor, Mike Cassity, Bev Cassity, Lori Martine

Del Sur Farmers’ Market & Family Festival, which launched in mid-May at the corner of Camino del Norte and Lone Quail Road, features fresh fruits and vegetables and other farm fare, as well as flowers and plants, home-manufactured products and other goods, fresh-cooked food of all kinds, information booths – and plenty of music and fun for the whole family.

 Conducted weekly from 3 p.m-7 p.m. on Thursdays, the event took more than nine months to plan and organize. The DSEF then hired Cassity Productions (which puts on a similar event in Scripps Ranch) to pull off the year-round gathering, which typically touts an average of 70 vendors and hundreds of eager customers.

Much of the local market’s success is due to the location, according to Laura Taylor, DSEF board president. “The location is an ideal; it is a very visual area for this market,” said Taylor. We felt that the corner offered ease for people to come in, shop and leave without driving through streets to get there.”

Obtaining approval for the spot took some effort, but Taylor credited Black Mountain Ranch, the Poway Unified School District and the DSEF board members for making it happen – providing an improved opportunity for success of the farmers’ market.

Among the highlights of the market each week:

  • A wide variety of foods prepared at the market, including “Kettle Korn”, Mexican, Indian, Asian BBQ, gyros, cookies, cupcakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, fresh pesto, etc.
  • Lots of family-oriented activities for the entire family, “jumpy house”, a slide and shaved ice treats.
  • Plenty of room to sit and eat and enjoy live music (by musicians from throughout San Diego).

“The ‘Family Festival’ part of our name says it all,” Taylor said. “This market covers all ages and tastes.”

Del Sur’s new farmers’ market follows a wave of popularity across San Diego and the U.S. for such events, due in part to the increased interest in healthier foods and other factors. The number of American farmers’ markets increased from 1,755 in 1994 to 5,274 in 2009.

What sets the Del Sur event apart from others is its dedication to community and to the education of the area’s youth. “Our farmers’ market is first and foremost a community affair,” according to Taylor. “It is our pleasure and our vision to provide this wonderful event for the entire community. A portion of the proceeds go back to the children of Del Sur Elementary.”

She noted she hopes the market can actually change local residents’ way of life. “We hope everyone can get into the mindset to shop at the market for their produce, buy gifts, purchase herbs and flowers, enjoy dinner and take home prepared foods,” she said. “This is more important than buying that bag of oranges or eating the amazing burritos; this is about being a community!”

Additional vendors are welcome and school organizations can utilize a free booth space on a first-come basis for fund raising by contacting Bev Cassity at DelSurFM@aol.com or calling 858-586-7933.

~photos by Spark Photography