Rancho Santa Fe

Farmers market proposed for Ranch

RANCHO SANTA FE — The organizers of the proposed farmers market for Rancho Santa Fe took the next step to its fruition by asking the Association for the go-ahead at its Nov. 1 meeting. 

The issue was tabled until the community could be notified.

“We need to allow time for member input,” said Pete Smith, Association manager.

The topic will return at the Nov. 15 meeting.

“Nine months ago we started working with the merchants in town to try to get a farmers market in the Village,” Association Director Eamon Callahan said. “We are almost there. I think it will be a great thing for the Village.”

Janet Christ, a local realtor and one of the organizers, told the Association that before giving its approval, the county asked first for the support of the Association.

She said the market will sell only high-quality produce, bread, flowers and the like.

“We will have quality vendors who really want to be here,” she said.

It would take place on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The most likely proposal for the location of the market would be closing El Tordo between Avenida de Acacias and La Granada during the farmers market, said Ivan Holler, planning director for the Association.

“Because El Tordo is a public road, the county must approve any road closure plans and some form of traffic control will also be required,” Holler said. “In addition, merchants and property owners along the affected portion of El Tordo are being notified and must agree to the road closure.”

In addition, if every one agrees to its location, the county will probably require permanent streets signs noting the time of the market.

“It will become more of a walking district on Saturday,” Christ said.” I don’t think parking will be an issue at all.”

The farmers market will be self-sustaining because vendors will pay a small fee for a spot at the market and also a portion of their profits. The rest will be donated to Archie’s Acre’s for its Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Program that teaches transitioning veterans how to run an organic farm.

“We want to make sure we are not knocking out our own merchants,” said Association Vice President Anne Feighner.

Association Manager Pete Smith said nothing about the market is set in stone.

“Let’s see. If it works, that’s fine. If it doesn’t, we can roll it up,” Christ said.

The idea of a farmers market was initially proposed by the Garden Club and several merchants as a way of bringing more business to the Village.

“As one part of the larger marketing effort, earlier this year the (Association) board initiated a series of meetings with interested village merchants and property owners,” Holler said. “Through those meetings, several of the merchants identified a local farmers market as a way of brining additional business to the village.”

Holler said although the attendance at the meetings has waned, the Garden Club has remained the champion of the farmers market.

“All costs associated with establishing a farmers market would be borne by the Garden Club or other interested sponsors,” Holler said.