Claremont's "Freshest" Attraction

Think about your typical Sunday: you wake up late, wander to brunch, and then spend the rest of the day half-heartedly attempting to catch up on all the assignments you’ve put off the whole weekend.  But it doesn’t have to be this way: you can make Sunday a day to look forward to by walking to the Village for the Claremont Farmers and Artisans Market. The lively atmosphere, cheap prices, and variety of goods will freshen up your whole week.

Founded in 1996, the Farmers and Artisans Market features all-local providers of fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and exquisite crafts.   Live music from local musicians sets the mood each weekend, as shoppers explore the treats the various stalls have to offer.  Beyond the delicious, “off-the-farm-and-into-your-mouth” fruits and vegetables that countless stalls display, there are also bakers offering fresh bread, dried fruits and nuts straight from the tree, fresh squeezed fruit juices, and seafood.  There is even a whole stand devoted to bee products, from jars of amber honey, to beeswax candles, to little baggies of “bee pollen” which can be taken like a pill that provides nearly all of your necessary daily vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  There are just as many vendors selling non-edible goods as well.  Displays of fresh cut bouquets, indoor and outdoor plants, and hand-crafted jewelry and pottery line the aisle and add an additional draw for shoppers looking for more than just food.  One stall is dedicated exclusively to flashy-looking cacti of all shapes, sizes and colors.  The vendors are all local, and most have been in the business for many generations, and I spent many minutes discussing the various attributes of different cacti (who knew that different cacti were so unique!) before finally deciding on a particularly Dr. Seuss-like variety with purple flowers to take back to my room.

The variety at the cactus stall is represented in every booth: one fruit stand had six varieties of apples and five types of pears on display, along with the usual oranges, tomatoes, avocados, and dates. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed by all the choices, though: the best part about the market is that there are samples offered at nearly every stall! After spending a few minutes in front of the Greek food tent (“Mom’s Specialty Mediterranean Appetizers”) being fed samples of hummus, taboule, pita chips, and halvah.  Round off your sampling “meal” with a stop at a few fruit and veggie stands, and you won't even need to go to brunch. When you decide to move on from sampling and make a purchase or too, your wallet will be as happy as your stomach: prices are low to begin with, special deals are constantly being announced, and depending on the seller, haggling is often an option.

Excited for Sunday yet?  I’ll see you there!