The Encinitas Station Certified Farmer’s Market goes single use plastic bag free in 2013
The Encinitas Station Certified Farmer’s Market is under new management. Carris Rhodes, a local community member and former program assistant at the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association (DEMA), will now be managing the Wednesday evening market. Wednesday evenings will come alive in downtown Encinitas. On the calendar for 2013 Rhodes is working with Whole Foods to bring foodie films to Pacific Station on Wednesday evenings. Rhodes has also been working with local chefs to get farmer’s market produce and special farmer’s market creations on their menu for Wednesday evenings. The market will also feature more organic produce vendors in 2013 and will have quarterly special events like food demos and market tours. Bike/Walk Encinitas, a community group dedicated to promoting bike and pedestrian accessibility will be parking bikes and handing out bike bucks to those who ride to the farmer’s marker. For the month of January Rhodes also encourages those who ride the coaster to and from downtown Encinitas to show their pass at the market managers booth and receive $2 market dollars to spend at any stall you like!
The market is also making the new years resolution to go single use plastic bag free! The market will be getting a head start on their resolution by participating in Day Without a Bag, a county wide event dedicated to raising awareness and going plastic bag free. Although Day Without a Bag is on Thursday December 20th, the market will be implementing the program one day earlier this wednesday evening. For several years, the city of Encinitas has been investigating a city wide ban on single use plastic bags. DEMA will be partnering with other downtown merchants to pass out re-usable bags to customers throughout the month of January.
Rhodes’ goal is to integrate the farmer’s market into the Wednesday evening culture and every day lives of all who visit and live near Downtown Encinitas. The market is intended to fill the need for a mid week farmers market in Encinitas. Carris Rhodes, former Program Assistant at DEMA was the lead on the project and is thrilled to be serving as market manger again. DEMA has been the main coordinator of this farmers market and aims to bolster foot-traffic in the downtown Encinitas district while giving residents more access to fresh, organic local produce. This market was designed to be a compliment to the Sunday Farmer’s Market coordinated by DEMA’s sister organization the Leucadia MainStreet. The Leucadia Market is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Paul Ecke Elementary on Union Street. Please call or email Carris Rhodes for more information or market pictures.
The Market is held every Wednesday, rain or shine, 4pm-7pm October through April and 5pm-8pm May through September at Parking lot B 600 South Vulcan Ave, Corner of E Street and Vulcan.
New Farmers Market Fills the Work-Week Void
Raquel Peña is a farmers market connoisseur. Most Saturdays she shops at the markets in Little Italy or Vista. Occasionally she’ll drive up to the market in Irvine. On Sundays she hits Rancho Santa Fe. Now her mid-week shopping is taken care of at the new Downtown Encinitas Market. Of course, she doesn’t go to every market every week. And, of course, she is the manager of a couple local farmers markets, so she is there on business as well as produce-purchasing pleasure. But still, you can see how she knows a thing or two about farmers markets and what makes them work.
She knows the sales side—the part where the perfectly ripe zebra tomato changes hands from farmer to home cook—as well as she knows the production side. Because not only does she go to seemingly every market in a 100-mile radius of her home in Carmel Valley, but she also visits the farms of all the farmers that sell their produce at the markets that she manages, and she sees that zebra tomato delicately twisted from its vine after months of babysitting.
So when Peña says, “We need more mid-week markets,” it is not only because she recently began managing the new Downtown Encinitas Market on Wednesdays. It is also because she’s attuned to the wants and needs of the constant market shopper. Mid-week markets “are the answer,” Peña said. “You always run out of food by Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Encinitas can now join the crowd of similar-sized seaside towns with multiple farmers markets each week. On Saturdays, Paul Ecke Elementary School in Leucadia plays host to farmers, artisans, chefs, musicians, and the occasional knife sharpener. And, each Wednesday, the Encinitas Station on the corner of Vulcan and E Street comes alive with seasonal produce.
Aside from Peña’s experience and obvious enthusiasm, the new farmers market owes a good portion of its existence to Carris Rhodes, the former Events Coordinator at the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association, who pushed through a year and a half of negotiations about permits with the city to see the market move from thought to reality.
“We’d heard that people wanted a mid-week market,” Rhodes said. “Other cities had a lot of success and a lot of other coastal communities have multiple markets. It seemed odd that we didn’t have one.”
The Wednesday market is smaller than the Saturday market—there are forty vendors instead of seventy—there isn’t any hot food to go, and there are fewer people selling crafts. “I like farmers markets to be more business,” Peña said. “Still friendly and available, but with a focus on the farmers. They come from a long way away. They work hard. It’s important to maximize their time here.”
The farmers were in turn excited to be a part of a market so focused on keeping the farm in farmers market, and, as Rhodes is quick to point out, “they know Encinitas is a good demographic for them.”
Weekend markets tend to be mellow affairs. A sunny Saturday begs for leisure. Weekdays are different: there are only a few precious hours between work and family time. It’s lucky that the new market has a manager that understands the differences inherent in the timing of the two types of schedules. “Everyone needs somewhere to shop after work to help them complete their week of shopping,” Peña said.
That doesn’t mean things are all business. After all, Peña is focused on education just as much as she is on farmers—hence all the trips to the farms. She has chef demonstrations in the works and has been talking with Solace restaurant, Whole Foods and Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria about putting on events in conjunction with the market.
Peña and Rhodes are also working hard to make the Wednesday market a plastic-free zone. There are currently no single-use plastics and all the vendors are given biodegrable produce bags to distribute to customers. “One baby step at a time,” Peña said.
So far the community has been supportive of the new market. “It took a long time to get going,” said Rhodes. “But it was well worth the wait.”
The Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association Presents
A weekly farmer’s market focusing on local organic farm fresh produce
Every Wednesday Rain or Shine
4pm-7pm October through April
5pm-8pm May through September
Parking lot B 600 s Vulcan Ave, Corner of E and Vulcan
Encinitas will be getting a new farmer’s market. The downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association has been working for over a year on the new Encinitas Station Certified Farmer’s Market Project. The market is intended to fill the need for a mid week farmers market in Encinitas. DEMA has a long history coordinating farmer’s market but unfortunately the proper location has not been available until now.
Carris Rhodes, Program Assistant at DEMA was the lead on the project and is thrilled to introduce a night time farmer’s market to downtown Encinitas. DEMA has been the main coordinator of this farmers market and aims to bolster foot-traffic in the downtown Encinitas district while giving residents more access to fresh, organic local produce.
This market will be taking a different angle than most in the county and will have no prepared foods vendors or arts and crafts vendors. The market will focus on spceailty food items such as cheeses meats, honey breads and local gourmet organic produce. The market has a strong partnership with Whole Foods Market and the North County Transit District. May through September, the farmers market will run from 5 to 8 p.m.—and October through April, it will run from 4 to 7 p.m.
This will be Encinitas’ second farmers market. This market was coordinated to be a compliment to the Sunday Farmer’s Market coordinated by DEMA’s sister organization, The Leucadia 101 MainStreet. The Leucadia Market is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday at Paul Ecke Elementary on Union Street.