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San Diegan Hopes To Make Farmers Markets Go-To Place For Food

Evening Edition

Brian Beevers has a radical vision to make farmers markets the go-to place for San Diegans instead of big box supermarket chains.

The booming farmers market industry has seen a nearly 25 percent jump in business in the past 18 years. With 56 farmers markets in San Diego County, the founder of Brian's Farmers Markets saw the need to create a coalition of market managers to set some standards and create a more efficient system.

Flickr

A San Diego farmers market.

"I run currently three farmers markets and we're working on a couple more that are going to be opening up here shortly," he said.

Beevers' outdoor markets are located in three distinctly different San Diego communities: Point Loma, Golden Hill and outside the UTC mall in La Jolla. Beevers accepts only growers who don't use herbicides or pesticides and most have been certified.

"It means that the agriculture department comes out to each of the farms, so people know that the produce they're buying is a local produce," he said.

Beevers opened his first farmer's market in 2009, leaving the IT industry behind where he did website sales and development.

"It's kind of coming full circle because I was actually raised on a farm, so I spent my childhood growing up on a farm," he said.

Brian's Farmers Markets are among a few that accept EBT cards, so recipients of public assistance can also buy fresh locally grown produce.

How often do you get a chance to meet your own local farmer? We met Eli Hofshi, owner of Eli's Farms in Fallbrook, who's been in the business for three generations.

"Once I started growing this stuff, I was able to taste the difference and I really believe that I can't go and buy stuff from the local supermarket and enjoy it," Hofshi said.

Jackie's Jams also helps local farmers by purchasing their overripe fruit.

"And for us it's a win-win because we're able to buy the fruit for a lot less than we normally would, having to purchase in the height of the season," said Resa Baron, the owner of Jackie's Jams.

Beevers' ultimate goal is for more San Diegans to choose locally-grown products over produce shipped from hundreds of thousands of miles away.

"Economics in your community are going to improve, while serving your family with better foods as well," he said.

Comments

Avatar for user 'mclanea'

mclanea | March 29, 2013 at 5:55 p.m. ― 1 year, 8 months ago

Our family buys the vast majority of our fresh produce at local farmers markets. My hope is that the city/state keep their fat little grubby hands out of it as much as possible.

And we adore Jackie's Jams. Fantastic product and a great local small business.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | March 30, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. ― 1 year, 8 months ago

I notice the boxes they bring in the produce in is the same ones that are delivered to the big super markets here. does the produce come from the same sources?

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