Michael Cirone picks Blenheim apricots at an orchard near
San Luis Obispo.
Welcome to the Website of the
Southland FarmersвЂ™ Market Association
Southland member certified farmers' markets offer you the opportunity
to buy directly from the California growers who produce the products that
they sell. We hope that you will ask questions, sample the produce, and
get to know the growers at our member markets and have an enjoyable shopping
Events & Happenings - May 10, 2005
West Hollywood's New West-side Farmers' Market to Open
5.10.05 -- West Hollywood's West-side Farmers' Market opens
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 and will operate on Wednesdays from 3:00 PM to
7:00 PM on the softball field at 647 N. San Vicente Blvd (near Santa Monica
Blvd.). The West-side Farmers'Market is seasonal and will be open from
May through September.
Southland Opens Two New Certified Farmers' Markets
4.18.05 -- Southland will open two new certified farmers'
markets in May. The Panorama City Certified Farmers' Market
will open on May 20, 2005 at a location one block north of the
intersection of Roscoe Boulevard and Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City.
The market will operate weekly on Friday evenings from 4:00 PM to 8:00
PM. This market will be developed in partnership with the Valley
Economic Development Center.
The second market will be located at the Kaiser
Permanente Foundation Hospital in Fontana and will open on May
27, 2005. Certified producers interested in selling at either of
these markets should contact Southland at 310-481-0167.
Los Angeles City Council Considers Eliminating Special
Event and Street Closure Fee Waivers for Certified Farmers' Markets
4.18.05 -- The Los Angeles City Council will consider an
ordinance next week that would effectively eliminate the current practice
of waiving special event and street closure fees for certified farmers'
markets operating on Los Angeles city streets. It would appear that
markets would be required to pay more than $500 per market day in fees
to the City. Southland urges the City to continue to exempt those certified
farmers' markets that consist of no fewer than 75% farmers. Click
here for the full text of the Southland letter to the Los Angeles
Introducing a New Weekly Publication: "Southland Market
3.29.05 -- Southland announces the creation a new service
for member markets with the introduction of the "Southland Market
News" last week. This weekly, one-page news bulletin
is emailed on Mondays to Southland member markets for distribution to
growers and vendors on market day. The one-page format makes the
News simple to copy and pass out during the market. Past editions
of the Southland Market News can be found by clicking on "Market
News" found under "About Southland Farmers' Market Assn."
on the navigation bar to the left.
Los Angeles Count Department of Health Services First Bans,
then Rescinds Ban, of Wild Mushroom Sales in Certified Farmers' Markets
3.21.05 -- The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services recently
took the unprecedented action of banning sales of wild mushrooms in certified
farmers' markets. The reason given was that the source of the wild
mushrooms was not "an approved source" according to their definition.
David West, a Southland member and long time vendor of wild mushrooms
at the Santa Monica Certified Farmers' Market was essentially put out
of business. Protests from customers and calls to the County Supervisors
advising them that all wild mushrooms come from the same source added
pressure on the Department of Health Services. In the end, the Department
backed off its ban on wild mushrooms in Los Angeles County. The
reason they gave was that it was a State matter to develop standards for
approved sources of wild mushrooms. We think the Department simply
got in over its political head on a decision that made sense to no one.
letter to the Director of Health Services and the most recent Los
Angeles Times Article. Much credit for the change in the Department's
decision goes to David West, who was persuasive in getting customers and
supporters to call and write on his behalf. Laura Avery, Southland
President and Supervisor of the Santa Monica Farmers' Markets, championed
David's cause and was significant in getting the word out to radio listeners
and market participants.
Southland proposes 17 basic
reforms to the California certified farmers' market program.
for a description of the reforms
here for the text
of the legislative proposal.
Southland/Santa Monica Farmers' Market Begins Audit of Farmers' Market
2.14.05 -- Southland and the Santa Monica Farmers' Markets have been
working together to implement a review of the products being sold in the
market. Beginning in December 2004, Southland/Santa Monica staff
selected two farms each month to audit. The audits document what is currently
being sold at the market and includes a trip to the farm see the
products growing at the farm. For more information on how the program
works, click Southland
Polito Family Farms, Valley Center, CA - In December,
the staff completed an audit of Polito Family Farms. The audit found
that all products observed being sold at the market were clearly visible
at the Polito property. The audit report concludes that Polito Family
Farms successfully demonstrated that it is producing the products it sells
in the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.
Zamora Farms, Vista, CA - In December, staff notified
Zamora Farm that it would be subject to an audit of the products they
sell at the Santa Monica market. The audit was never conducted, however,
as Zamora Farms abruptly left the market. Efforts to contact them
since have been unsuccessful. Zamora Farms will need to complete this
audit before they will be allowed to re-enter Santa Monica markets.
Nakamura Farms, Oxnard, CA - Staff audited Nakamura
Farms in January 2005. We visited both production sites in and near
Oxnard. The audit concluded that Nakamura Farms was able to demonstrate
that the products being sold at the market are being grown at the farm.
McGrath Family Farms, Camarillo, CA. - Staff documented
the products being sold at the market by McGrath Family Farms. We
observed that these products were well established and growing at the
farm. The audit report concludes that McGrath Family Farms is selling
products at the market that are easily seen growing at the farm.
National Transportation Safety Board Cites Inadequate Road Closure Barriers
in City of Santa Monica Farmers' Market Tragedy
8.4.04 -- In a decision that may effect all farmers' markets on public
streets, the NTSB has cited language in the federal "Manual on Uniform
Traffic Control Devises" as source of a requirement that street
barriers for the Santa Monica Farmers' Market should be highly visible
with three stacked bars. According to the Los Angeles Times today,
the Board criticized the City's current practice of using farmers' vans
and trucks to block the market's entrances. Officials said that
the vehicles' gas tanks could explode if struck by a fast-moving car.
Southland Opposes USDA Proposal to Allow Importation of Mexican Hass
Avocados into California.
7.22.04 -- Southland was written to the USDA in opposition a proposal
that would allow the importation of Mexican Hass avocados into California
and the other 49 states. The Bush administration has plans to lift
a 90-year old ban of importing avocados into US avocado-growing regions.
Southland joins with the California Avocado Commission and other organizations
to raise concerns that Mexican fruit will introduce harmful pests into
California avocado groves. The deadline for written comments in
July 23, 2004. You may join in opposition to this proposal by going
to www.stop usda com.
Santa Monica Farmers' Markets' Sales Increase
7.19.04 -- The Santa Monica Certified Farmers' Markets sales continue
to grow each year. The Wednesday Market's sales lead all markets
with a 17% increase over last year, the Saturday Organic Market has increased
by 15%, the Saturday Pico Market by 8% and the agricultural product sales
at the Sunday Market increased by 7%. Congratulations to the Santa Monica
Market staff for such terrific results.
Southland Proposal For Grower Protections & Due Process Approved
by the Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee
7.12.04 -- The CFMAC approved a Southland proposal that would set forth
the due process protections that market operators must provide to market
participants. It is the policy of CDFA to require due process whenever
a grower is fined, suspended or expelled from a market. The Southland
proposed process would ensure that growers are properly noticed of the
action and given a right to a hearing before the discipline is imposed.
For more, see Our Legislative Voice
Southland Visits With Marin County Farmers' Markets Association on July
7.6.04 -- Southland President Laura Avery and Executive Director Howell
Tumlin will attend the July 15, 2004 Board of Directors' Meeting of the
Marin County Farmers' Markets Association in San Rafael, CA to discuss
Southland's proposals for reform of the certified farmers' market program.
Southland Writes Los Angeles Department of Health Services Director
Dr. Jonathan Fielding
7.6.04 -- Southland has written a letter
of concern to Health Services Director Jonathan Fielding regarding
the Health Department's new policy of not accepting personal checks for
payment of health permits. The Department recently returned a check
issued by a local government agency under this new policy and insisted
that the city involved pay via money order.
Southland Farmers' Market Association Seeks Donated Office Space
6.30.04 -- Southland is looking for approximately 500 square feet of
donated office space on Los Angeles' Westside. Our current office
space lease ends on August 31, 2004. If you know of anyone who may
be interesting in supporting our mission with a donation of a small office
space, please let us know at 310-481-0167.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Unveils Instructional Video
on Farmers' Market Salad Bar Program on July 1, 2004
6.30.04 -- Nutritional Specialist Dona Richwine will present the a newly
developed video and manual designed to show other public schools how to
establish their own farmers' market salad bar program tomorrow at 1:00
PM on Thursday, July 1, 2004, in the Boardroom of the Santa Monica-Malibu
Unified School District offices. The SM-MUSD offices are located
at 1651 16th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404. The instructional video
and supporting materials were produced as a sub-grant of Southland's Buy
California Campaign Grant Funding. We are grateful to the California
Department of Food and Agriculture for funding this program. Southland
is looking for additional funding to enable us to duplicate these materials
and make them available to any school that is interested in developing
a farm-to-school salad bar program. For more, see the
Buy California Campaign Funds Free Website Design for Los Angeles County
Certified Farmers' Markets
6.28.04 -- Southland unveiled a free website design program for Los Angeles
County certified farmers' markets today at the Brentwood - Bel Air Holiday
Inn. Farmers' market operators from the 84 Los Angeles County certified
farmers' markets were invited to a luncheon and presentation by website
designer Donna Freiermuth of Organic-Design
to learn how a market can receive free website development. The
design tools and presentation were graciously funded by the Buy California
Campaign Program and the Southland Farmers' Market Association.
Southland received a $100,000 Buy California Campaign grant that it has
leveraged into 13 sub-grant projects generating more than $280,000 in
specialty crop promotions in Los Angeles County. If you are a Los
Angeles County certified farmers' market operator, and want more information,
contact Howell at 310-481-0167, x-13.
Redondo Beach Farmers' Market Conducts Tour for Summer Camp Kids
6.24.04 -- The City of Redondo Beach provided a tour of the Redondo Beach
Farmers' Market today for summer camp kids. This project is funded
by the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Buy California
Campaign Grant to encourage consumers to purchase specialty crops from
California growers. CDFA Staff member Josilyn Hendricks traveled from
Sacramento to attend this event and see first hand the benefits of introducing
young kids to the fun of certified farmers' markets. Many thanks
to John York for making this program so successful. See
Beach News article for more.
Southland Confirms Los Angeles Farmers' Markets Will Not Be Forced to
Pay High Street Closer/Permit Fees
6.22.04 -- Southland met with City of Los Angeles Council member Jack
Weiss' staff yesterday. It was confirmed that Council member Weiss
was the originator of the proposal to eliminate fee waivers for special
events that require street closer/permits. Council member Weiss'
staff assured us that certified farmers' markets will not be subject to
the requirements of other commercial events nor expected to pay $528 per
week in fees, as reported by City of Los Angeles staff.
CDFA Proposes New Direct Marketing Regulations
6.16.04 -- CDFA has proposed new regulations regarding the definition
of sprouts, the requirement of markets to have a current certificate and
the posting of organic registration. See the CDFA
Notice for the text of these proposals. Comments on these proposals
must be received by CDFA by 5:00 PM, July 26, 2004.
Westwood Farmers' Market Expelled From Association for Code of Ethics
6.15.04 -- Southland expelled the Westwood Farmers' Market from the Association
for its failure to comply with the Code of Ethics, including the market's
refusal to provide financial accountability to the community it serves
and failure pay its annual membership fees. The Westwood Farmers'
Market was organized by Southland in 1994 as a service to the Westwood
Village community. The press
release provides the details. On June 28, 2004, the UCLA Bruin
newspaper wrote the following story about the Westwood Farmers' Market's
expulsion form Southland. For the full story, click
Letter to Los Angeles City Council Proposes Certified Farmers' Market
Exemption From Proposed Special Event Permit Fees
6.9.04 -- Southland opposes a proposed City of Los Angeles' ordinance
that would categorize certified farmers' markets as commercial events
and therefore no longer eligible for special event and street closer fee
waivers. We urge the City to modify the definition of commercial event
to exclude certified farmers' markets where at least 75% of the vendors
are farmers. For more, see letter
to Los Angeles City Council.
Southland Board of Directors Sets Dates for Meetings - Save the Dates
5.23.04 -- Southland Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on the dates
listed below. Please note that this schedule is subject to change. Check
this website for updates. The meeting dates for 2004 are: July 18
and October 17. Meeting dates for 2005 are: January 16 and March
13. Southland's 2005 Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, April 17.
Certified Farmers' Markets and IRS Form 990
5.19.04 -- A nonprofit corporation is required to file IRS Form 990 if
it has annual revenues of $25,000 or more. Nonprofits that operate
certified farmers' markets sometimes learn of this requirement only after
being penalized for failure to file in a timely manner. The penalty
for failure to file may be as much as $100/day with a maximum of $50,000.
For more information, click here.
The IRS also has a FAQ
that may assist you. Nonprofits operating on a calendar reporting
period must file by May 15th. If you have a fiscal accounting year,
then you are required to file by the 15th of the fifth month after the
fiscal year ends.
CACASA Issues Important Discussion Paper Proposing Reforms for the Certified
Farmers' Market Program
5.12.04 -- CACASA, the association of California county agricultural
commissioners, has joined in the growing call for fundamental reform of
the Certified Farmers' Market Program. CACASA presented an important
discussion paper to the Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee this
week. It lists six proposals, the sum of which would "return
the Direct Marketing Program back to its original intent".
Mirroring the Southland proposed reforms from the certified producer's
point of view, CACASA offers a package of major and minor reforms to restore
the promise of the program from the regulator's perspective.
The CACASA discussion paper is
an important contribution to the discussion on how to restore integrity
to certified farmers' markets. Anyone who is concerned about the
future of farmers' markets should read and carefully consider its suggestions.
Southland is soliciting comments for these proposals from all who have
Southland views the CACASA proposals as another indication that there
is a growing movement of serious and committed growers, market operators
and regulators who are ready to deal with the unsavory practices of a
small but growing number of dishonest market operators and participants.
Southland has lead this movement because we view the unaddressed abuses
of farmers' markets as threatening this extraordinary program. We
welcome CACASA's contribution to this effort and applaud their initiative.
CFMAC Adopts Southland Proposal Regarding Noncertifiable Agricultural
5.11.04 -- The Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee yesterday
adopted a Southland proposal regarding noncertifiable agricultural products.
The Committee approved memorializing current practices while it continues
to study how to address the pressing issue of value-added and processed
foods in the certified farmers' market program. To see the regulation
adopted by the Committee, click on the "Legislative Voice" link
in the green navigation bar to the left.
World Trade Organization Ruling On U.S. Farm Subsidies Brings Globalization
Closer to Home
4.28.04 -- The WTO has ruled in favor of Brazil's cotton growers who
challenged farm U.S. subsidies for domestic cotton producers as unfair.
This is the first agricultural case to successfully confront the practice
of farm subsidies for agricultural products. For more, see this
Washington Post Article.
City of Los Angeles Looks to Certified Farmers' Markets for Revenues?
4.27.04 -- The City of Los Angeles has alerted certified farmers' markets
located on Los Angeles' city streets that a proposed ordinance would eliminate
the authority of LA City Council members to waive street closure and special
event fees for certified farmers' markets in their districts. Effective
July 1, 2004, the ordinance would require markets that do not currently
have a street closure and vender fee waiver to pay $528 per week in City
The purpose of this ordinance is to create a One Stop Special Events
Office and to end the practice of waiving fees for "commercial"
special events. To the degree that a certified farmers' market is
a special event, it would qualify as a commercial event because the food
and merchandise sales are for the benefit of the not-for-profit sponsoring
The effect of this ordinance, if passed, would to put most certified
farmers' markets located on City streets or property out of business.
Southland has alerted the Council offices of its strong opposition to
this proposal and will actively oppose the City's efforts to solve its
fiscal difficulties by driving farmers' markets either out of existence
or onto private property. We urge all City of Los Angeles certified
farmers' markets to contact your Council office and express your outrage
at this effort to undermine this important program.
...more recent events
At a Southland Farmers' Market,
you are assured that you are purchasing quality produce
from certified local growers and producers. Southland
Farmers' Market Association serves member markets, local
California farmers and consumers by promoting and protecting
the integrity of certified farmers' markets in Southern
Photos by David Karp
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