There's a new market to add to the already long list of Los Angeles farmers markets. In the heart of East Hollywood, the Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC) Farmers Market at Barnsdall Park offers food lovers yet another opportunity to shop for local, California produce.
For those of of you stuck on the eastside, or who can't manage to get out of bed early enough to catch Wednesday's popular Santa Monica market, the LAMC Market opens at noon and runs until 6 p.m. That even gives those 9 - 5ers time for a quick stop to shop for produce after work. The market originally opened in June but closed due to management issues. Working in conjuncture with sponsorship from Kaiser Permanente, it was re-opened a month ago with new management by Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, See-LA, who also organizes the Sunday Hollywood market and several other community markets.
At the base of the hillside Barnsdall Art Park near the corner of Vermont and Hollywood, this new, small market is already well received. "We're already busier than last week," says honey gatherer Bill Lewis, as the market begins to open. Along with honey from Bill's Bee Honey, shoppers can find hydroponic greens from Living Lettuce Farms, fingerling potatoes from Zuckerman's Farm, and apples, persimmons, and fall plums from farmers in Fresno, Stockton, and Reseda. If you're looking for lunch while you shop, the LAMC market features a few options including rotisserie chicken, pupusas, spring rolls and kettle korn. You can even fill your coffee craving with espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos from Cafecito Organico, which sells organic, LA roasted coffee.
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While most See-LA markets are open for five hours (offering enough hours for customers and a manageable day for farmers), "it's really a necessity to have this market open from 12-6," says market organizer Mathew Bachelor. "It has been interesting working with Kaiser," he says. "It's their job to bring in employees, and we are busy during the lunch hours of 12-2 because of this." Bachelor and his See-LA staff focus on the local communities of Los Feliz, Silverlake, and East Hollywood. "This market is also popular from 4-6, with people getting off work in the area," he says.
With a handful of farmers and some food vendors, the Barnsdall Park market certainly isn't as large as the markets in Santa Monica or Hollywood. As Bachelor says, "there is a fine balance between having enough vendors to have people come back the next week and not overcrowding the market." While he is still looking for a few additional producers, for now he is happy with the line up of farmers and vendors at the LAMC market. For an area that needed a weekday market with accessible hours, LAMC Farmers Market at Barnsdall Park works.
Los Angeles Medical Center Certified Farmers Market at Barnsdall Art Park: 4800 Hollywood Blvd.; (323) 463-3171.