Each weekend, Vilma Gutierrez packs up her van with produce from her farm and drives three hours to Santa Clarita to sell all of it at the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market, to give people access to fresh food.
The Old Town Newhall Farmers market began three years ago in May 2015, offering a rotating selection of local farms and their freshly picked produce each week. Stalls like Gutierrez’s line the parking lot of the Newhall Library with different fruits and veggies, as well as food and drink for all to enjoy and purchase.
“The city has always had a (market) in the area, then they stopped for a while,” said Greta Dunlap, the market manager. “The city then came and talked to me. I live in Newhall and I have done markets for a long time and we just decided we need one in Old Town Newhall because it’s just so exciting, the changes that have been going on in Newhall.”
Dunlap has been running the market since it started, while also helping the 60-year-old Beverly Hills Farmers Market for eight years. She also helps bring other farmers into the market, including a Val Verde organic farmer who’ll be setting up shop next weekend —- one she hopes stays as long as many of the other stalls.
“I am here every Saturday since the beginning, going on almost three years already,” Gutierrez said. “We get to bring fresh vegetables for everyone here who can’t go out to a farm and pick it themselves. We get customers who come back every weekend. What I love about it is that every weekend they have a good comment towards our berries. They tell me, ‘Your berries are 10 times better than the ones in the store.’ It’s great.”
Larry McClements, who was manning the Tenerelli Orchards’ booth alongside his son Saturday, his passion for the produce comes from wanting to know exactly where his food comes from while trying to find the best produce available.
“I met (John) Tenerelli, and he told me he has the best peaches around, so I went around the market and bought six different peaches and did a blind taste test — his won both weeks I did it,” McClements said. “I can drive up to (San Luis Obispo) and see Gutierrez’s farm and tell people how good her berries are. It’s about connecting to where our food comes from. It’s authentic.”
The Old Town Newhall Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the side parking lot of the Newhall Library.