The farmers’ market in downtown Menlo Park reflects another side of Menlo Park. Starting at 9 a.m. each Sunday, community life changes at the parking lot on Chestnut Street, between Santa Cruz and Menlo avenues.
Button-down shirts and business casual workwear are replaced with flowing dresses, T-shirts, sandals and sun-protective hats. Parents linger with their kids over what bakery treats to buy; people stand and listen to street performers.
Locals come out in force – by car, bike and foot – to the weekly market to buy fresh produce, chat with the farmers who grow it, and catch up with friends.
And what do the people behind the produce counters think about their work and the Menlo Park market? The Almanac took advantage of an informal celebration of the market’s 25th anniversary on July 9 to talk to some of the market’s longtime vendors.
Howard McGinnis of McGinnis Ranch, a 17-acre farm in northern Monterey County, said he began farming full-time in 1970. “I got tired of working for wages,” he said with a grin.
At the time, he said, there weren’t many farmers’ markets. He had been working at a market in San Francisco when he was approached about the opportunity to join the new Menlo Park market. He took it.
“We always wanted to have something superior to the grocery store – that’s what it takes to survive in the farming operation,” he said. “If your stuff is better, they’re going to come to you.”
Now his daughter runs the farm, which produces flowers, berries and vegetables, he said.
Lucero Organic Farms
Curtis Lucero Jr. of Lucero Organic Farms, located in Lodi, California, is a third-generation farmer. He worked at the…
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