On a calm Saturday morning, the sunlight streams down on a vendor’s booth. Busy crowds wander through the streets, intrigued by different smells and sights. The bustling farmers’ market captures the community and eye of many in the Bay Area.
For some SCHS students, a walk through the market has been a long-lasting tradition. Senior Rachel Gardner and senior Faith Son have been visiting the Palo Alto Farmers’ Market together every Sunday morning since Aug. 2021.
“Sometimes I go with my mom on Saturdays, but on Sundays, they’re reserved for Rachel,” Son said.
With the help of their weekly tradition of revisiting the farmers’ market, Gardner and Son quickly became friends. Along with their relationship, Son considers the significant benefits of purchasing from vendors rather than grocery stores.
“Supporting local vendors is always kind of cool, besides just buying things from the store,” Son said. “I think it’s a better experience you get when you go out in the morning to buy fresh groceries.”
While exploring farmers’ markets, Gardner recently discovered Backyard Brew, a family fun cafe in Palo Alto.
“I drink coffee every day, but I think that’s probably the best coffee I’ve had around here,” Gardener said.
For sophomore Robin Weedermann, visiting the Santa Clara farmers’ market held in Ben Franklin’s Square has been a continuous expedition to collect groceries, but after comparing the products from a market and grocery store, Weedermann claimed the market to hold greater value because of its process.
“When you buy a full meal in a grocery store, it is frozen or not the best quality,” Weedmerann said. “I like the food at the market because it is made fresh at the stands and is not a huge store chain.”
For freshman Sarah Brady, the crowds draw her attention at Santa Clara’s farmers’ market just as much as certain products.
“I always get samosas every single Saturday I go there,” Brady said. “It’s very happy. It’s clean. It’s nice. There are always a lot of people there, mostly college students. Everyone always has the cutest outfits.”
Along with her positive sentiment towards local markets, Brady accounts for her personal accessibility of the farmers’ market opposed to nearby grocery stores.
“I feel like since grocery stores are open every single day of the week, my family usually just purchases groceries and stuff from there,” Brady said. “When we have the opportunity, we get stuff from the farmers markets.”
With an intention to purchase products from smaller businesses, Gardener found an opportunity to do so with local markets.
“I think supporting small businesses is important because it’s better than contributing to fast food obviously, or big corporations,” Gardner said. “It’s important to keep small businesses in business especially during COVID-19 when it’s harder to compete with the bigger stores.”
With his personal experience, Weederman considers the value in purchases and the effect they have in the Bay Area rather than the individual. Weederman believes the impact of visiting a local farmers’ market outweighs that of any grocery outlet.
“It is important to visit them because you never know what else these people do for a living. It is always nice to support local people like you, especially if you enjoy their food or product,” Weedermann said.