The Fruits of Compromise
Pacific Grove farmers market debuts its new digs.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Teenage girls in the Feast of Lanterns Royal Court glided among their admirers. Readers browsed a book sale to benefit Pacific Grove Library. The Microtonic Harmonic plucked spry bluegrass tunes while shoppers picked up fresh foods from farmers market stalls spanning two blocks of P.G.’s Central Avenue.
“It’s been a great turnout for a chilly day,” said Everyone’s Harvest organizer Iris Peppard, keeping warm in an artichoke costume.
The market relocated from its original spot on Lighthouse Avenue after two years of bickering between some downtown business owners, who claimed the weekly event hurt their sales, and defenders of the market’s right to stay put. (For a full plate of the drama, visit www.mcweekly.com/pgmarket.)
On Monday, July 19, from 4-7pm, the market celebrated its new location between Jewell Park and the P.G. museum.
“I’m happier now,” said P.G. Chamber of Commerce President Moe Ammar with a sunny grin.
Mayor Carmelita Garcia, who also backed the move, was equally stoked. “I think it’s fantastic! We have the only farmers market in Monterey County that’s surrounded by a library, a museum and a park,” she said. “I don’t think we could have asked for a better solution.”
Everyone’s Harvest leveraged the move for a few changes. The city installed two permanent banners advertising the market and new “No Parking” signs, effective market hours. And beginning in August, the market will expand to include non-certified vendors who live outside of P.G., reflecting a recent change in its use permit.
“I’m looking forward to [the business community] truly collaborating with the farmers market now,” Peppard says. “I hope when people see how nice the new location is, this will help bridge the divide in Pacific Grove.”