A place to eat, meet and greet
By Terry L. Wilson
The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is much more than a one-stop-shopping collection of vendors and stalls. For many of the regulars, this is a gathering place where neighbors can hang out together. It’s a place to see old friends and to meet new ones.
Scripps Ranch resident Kristin Schwartz is one of the many dedicated customers who wouldn’t dream of missing a trip to the Farmer’s Market. It’s the highlight of her week, she said.
“I love the Farmer’s Market here at Scripps. I have two boys, Liam and Declan. They wouldn’t miss a trip to the market,” Schwartz said. In fact, they actually mark the days leading to the Farmer’s Market on a calendar, she said.
“I am a big believer in bringing my kids with me, it’s such a positive environment for them. They get to see their friends and to interact with vendors in a way that you don’t get in a store, ever,” Schwartz said. “Just two weeks ago, we got into a conversation with one of the vendors from Tunisia. In French I ordered, ‘Deux pains au chocolat’ (croissant with chocolate in the middle), then the vendor started talking to me about France and his experiences going to school in Tunisia, and how that differs so much from the educational system we have here. It was a phenomenal chance for me and the kids to interact with him, and to practice our French.”
Meeting and greeting the vendors is a big part of the fun for Schwartz and her sons. It allows them to expand their curiosity about the world around them – one pain au chocolat at a time.
“My kids have tasted more unique fruits and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market than they ever will in a grocery store,” Schwartz said. “There are times I’ve found mushrooms, nuts and fruits at the Farmer’s Market that I’ve never even seen before, and I was a foreign exchange student.”
Schwartz pays homage to the market for offering such diverse dishes, which in turn can be an Epicurean education for her and the boys.
“All these foods come in different shapes and sizes and vibrant colors, and that’s how you get people interested in trying something different and new. Once you expand your taste buds and connect with the food and how it’s prepared, you will become interested in the history of where it originated,” Schwartz said. “The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market gives me an opportunity to really develop a relationship with the person who is either growing or making your food. It’s not just a blind purchase like you would have at a supermarket, it’s a purchase that has to do with connecting with another human.”
In addition to providing the residents with something to do each week, the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market provides visitors and locals alike an opportunity to experience a unique sense of community.
“Connecting is something we are lacking in abundance. This was true before COVID. But with COVID, we lost the sense of community. … that (sense of community) is one of the greatest strengths, the forte of Scripps Ranch,” Schwartz said. “The fabric of this community is one of the things that keeps us unique, and the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market plays an important role in that process.”
The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is held each Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. at 10045 Carroll Canyon Road (Next to Newtopia Cyder). Free parking is available across the street in the National University parking lot.