Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Altadena Urban Farmers Market
Granted, it's a big house, but it is indeed private property. If you're local you're likely familiar with the Zane Grey Estate, owned by Steven Rudicel and Gloria Putnam, a young Altadena couple. I can't claim to know them but this past Sunday I stood in the goat pen (beyond the grape vines out back) and introduced myself to Steven, just to have a chance to tell him "thank you." I'm awed at how these two regularly open up their historic home to their community.
John and I thought we might pop up to the market and buy some soap from Anne Louise Bannon (because her hand-made soap is superior to every other soap we've ever used), then pop back home. But just because we don't know Rudicel and Putnam doesn't mean we didn't know about half the people at the market, and that included patrons and vendors. Besides Anne and her wine-making husband Michael Holland, we stopped to talk politics with this one, hiking trails with that one, etc. Our neighbor from across the street was there with her daughter. Michael Coppess from East of Allen stopped to chat. Our friend the Apron Strings Baker was there! She who makes the cookies for A Penny for Your Thoughts, the coolest coffee-shop-within-a-gift-shop in Pasadena, was selling challah and cookies at the market! She sold out, of course, as did Anne. You want the good stuff, you get there early. These folks make and grow things at home. It's small business at its loving best.
Felicia Friesema's LA Weekly article to learn more about this unique event. Felicia herself gave me this giant, delicious mulberry when I saw her at the market. You meet the most fascinating people there.
The Altadena Urban Farmers Market is more than a market. It's a community bonding event. Yet it's possible John and I attended the final one. Let's hope there'll be another market in June.