By Laura Swanson
What’s more “all-American” than our local farmers markets? For 15 years, the Manzanita Farmers Market has been gathering our local farmers and food producers on Friday evenings to the delight of residents and visitors. Featuring local musicians and the bounty of the season, the market is a place for families and friends to meet, greet and eat – for kids to learn about where their food comes from. The market provides a colorful carnival of our local bounty – and no place for politics.
As the first Manzanita Farmers Market manager (2008-15) I remember well when we adopted the policy of “no politics” in the market. We were nearly overrun by “petition signers” and sign-wavers, and regardless of our political stance, the market board deemed the farmers market a “safe zone” – no petitioners or protesters. The main reason is that if we allow the “pro-this” or “anti-that”, then we have to allow “the other side” to also be present.
Kendra Hall, Manzanita Farmers Market manager commented, “The farmers market is where anyone and everyone can relax and feel safe, to escape from all that – to shop, eat, and listen to great music. It’s all about enjoying each other in a fun atmosphere – it’s a happy place.”
The Manzanita Farmers Market is located at Underhill Plaza off Manzanita Avenue, every Friday from 4 to 7 pm, through October 7th. For more information go to www.manzanitafarmersmarket.com