Organic haven found in the street
Posted May 8, 2009
Sherazad Shaikh
Tony Banuelos and Dave Gayman opened Jake’s Roadhouse in March 2000 in the Old Town Monrovia. Cooks, Rafael Figueroa and Benito Moreno the food for the Jake’s Roadhouse stand at the La Verne street fair. The La Verne Family Festival and Street Fair takes place every Thursday evening throughout the summer. A wide variety of vendors occupy D Street from Bonita Avenue south to Second Street. Farm animals and pony rides attract families with small children and live bands play on into the evening.

Samantha Sincock, Web Editor
Mark Vidal, Arts Editor

It is that time of year again. The aroma of freshly popped kettle corn is drifting in the spring air. Children are laughing and playing in the middle of the streets. Outdoor vendors are proudly displaying their handcrafted bracelets and earrings. This can only mean that the farmers’ market season has started.

Look no farther than the northeast corner of the University of La Verne on Thursday evenings to join the fun.

And come hungry because food ranging from barbeque to Greek to Mexican can be found along the curbsides of D and Third Street.

At the La Verne Farmer’s Market, visitors can choose from vast assortments of homemade jams, candies and pastries in addition to fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts.

With a petting zoo and original pieces of art, there is no reason not to step into this neighborhood treasure.

If you are feeling like a quick trip out of town then head over to the Wednesday night San Dimas market off of Bonita and Walnut, where a unique variety of goodies will be at your fingertips.

Lily Weil is a vendor at the San Dimas market and she can be found surrounded by her painted wooden flowers.

“I have been making these flowers for three years. Just chip them, glue together and paint. I figured everyone likes flowers and these ones never die,” Weil said. “Heck, my name is Lily, I might as well sell flowers and I love every minute of it.”

Although San Dimas offers little selection when it comes to food and crafts, the live band playing adds to the market as you browse.

If you find that San Dimas and La Verne do not satisfy your appetite, Covina’s Friday night Farmers’ Market may just be the cure.

Located off of Citrus and San Bernardino road in historic downtown Covina, this quaint market transforms a simple park into a shopping mall for the eclectic.

Ronald de Zwart, an antique silverware dealer, recycles damaged silverware by turning it into jewelry.

“Every time my family would invite me over for dinner I would always notice the details of the utensils being used and I thought hey, that would look nice on someone’s wrist,” Zwart said. “I have been doing this for 35 years and I have silverware ranging from the colonial periods to forks from World War I Russian crafter.”

Across from Zwart’s booth is Michael Hubbert, a retired local who passes time by writing poetry and displaying it in decorative frames.

“I have written poems to go with graduations, birthdays, obituaries, anniversaries and just about anything you can think of,” Hubbert said. “Poetry is a dying art and I love being able to bring it back.”

More than forty tents and booths offer jewelry, knitted clothing, henna art, toys and plants.

But the main attraction is the food.

Hidden between the large barbeque tents and a dried fruit stand sat a small booth with the name “Tina’s Tiny Donuts” written in pink.

Tina Senft and her family own and run a small donut business, catering these tiny treats to make some extra money.

Senft is also a stay at home mother.

“They are mini donuts made hot, fresh and ready to order just like Krispy Kreme’s,” Senft said.

With a live band, ponies and a train ride for the kids, the Covina market has something to offer for the entire family.

While sweet snacks and crafts are enough for the usual market shopper, if you call yourself an organic maniac you should head over to the Green Market Wednesday nights in Claremont.

Located in the Packing House, the Green Market’s items range from home made soaps to organic fruits and vegetables.

There is also a play area and a petting zoo for children.

With all of the homegrown food, holistic medicine, edible gardens and herbs, there is no question as to why this small market thrives.

This Farmers’ Market season is shaping up to be one of the best yet, and it has only just begun.

So do not hesitate to hit the streets all summer long.

Mark Vidal can be reached at
Samantha Sincock can be reached at

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