Farmer’s Market opens

Courtesy photo

Thrive Lemon Grove Farmer’s Market debuted its new location at Treganza Heritage Park on Thursday, May 11, and will be held every Thursday at the park from 4-6 p.m. This is a joint project between Thrive Lemon Grove, and Project New Village’s People’s Produce Mobile Farmers Market. The Parsonage Museum will be open during market hours so people can explore the museum and get fresh, local vegetables.

Thrive Lemon Grove President Joyce Moore said this is one of the great things Thrive has happening in Lemon Grove.

“It is a beautiful project, beautiful truck,” she said. “It is not your traditional farmers market where you have different farmers there, but all their produce is from local farmers in San Diego County. It is for serving people who do not have access to local grown produce. It is at a reduced price, and one of the perks that I like is they have health educators there each week who provide education about nutrition. Once a person is finished with that, they are asked to do a survey. After the survey, you get a coupon for $15 that you can use right there at the produce truck. It is a big savings, especially with the costs of groceries right now. For a parent with children, or anyone, a $15 start means a lot. You can get quite a bit with that $15.”

Moore said Thrive has been around for eight years, previously at the local VFW, and she asked to partner with People’s Produce.

“I believe it is important for people to have access to produce grown organically,” she said. “There are no pesticides. So many of our children have various allergies, and it is food related. I believe that our foods impact our health. I wanted my community to be a recipient of that. It is also in the same parking lot as our community garden where all our produce is grown organically. All our soil is organic. We use no pesticides. So, the garden will be open some days along with the farmer’s market. So, we have the farmers market, the museum, and the community garden. We have resources and food. This is a holistic approach because food is a part of health, both physical and mental. I would like to get the word out to build up the foot traffic.”

The People’s Produce MFM truck is focused on connecting communities to healthy food at accessible locations so they can use their purchasing power to change the food system and develop permanent community assets. By using an equitable food system model, it provides the freshest produce available to its customers while ensuring that local growers and food makers are paid fairly.

Project New Village’s Managing Director Diane Moss said the mobile truck was launched in September 2022 serving Lemon Grove, National City, and Southeastern San Diego.

“We call it the good food district,” she said. “We have four weekly set spots and two monthly set spots where you can find our farmers market. We have $15 coupons through the end of June, and we are approved and about to be able to accept EBT.”

Moss said that the location is a perfect fit, and that Moore really wanted it to be held there.

“We were at the VFW, and they graciously let us use their space, but if they had something else, we would be displaced,” she said. “Here we know that we have somewhere to go every week and it is beautiful. It really benefits being by the community garden as well as their programs and information available during the time of the market, which is great.”

Moss said with the survey, it has a grant with UCSD, and students come and help implement the surveys for customers.

Produce comes from local farms featuring Stehly Farms Organic, Sage Mountain Farm, and San Gabriel Ranch.

“There is no other truck currently like what we have for the community to be served,” she said. “We are proud to say, ‘It’s class act truck.’ There is no other like it in the county and we specifically want to serve who we are serving. Our neighbors. I live in this neighborhood, and I am proud to bring fresh, local good food to our neighbors.”