Coming from the small town of Hockessin, Delaware I was excited for the vast possibilities that lay ahead for me with going to school in a large city like Los Angeles but was unsure of what exactly those possibilities would be. Looking for a way to connect with my new community and urged by my love for locally made and grown products, I visited the Westwood Village Farmers Market. After two quarters of going consistently, I can confidently say that those Thursday afternoons turned out to be one of my favorite times of the week.
I met some incredible people and businesses with visionary missions that range from encouraging healthy lifestyles to rehabilitating gang members to feeding the homeless. Whether networking or looking for inspiring new friends, conversing with and learning more about the vendors who come from all different types of backgrounds is a must. Through businesses like Soup Goddess and Homeboy Industries I had the opportunity to connect with my local community by serving and giving back. With Trashfish, I found a vision that appealed to my passion for environmental friendly practices.
Moreover, I learned more about the local food policies and culture of Los Angeles. Through speaking with local sellers like Coldwater Canyon Provisions, my eyes were opened to how the organic and fair trade labels “work,” what some of the issues with those regulations are, and solutions people have used to address it.
Lastly, the fresh food made Westwood Village Farmers Market one of my favorite times of the week! At the market I could indulge in foods that could not be found in the dining halls at UCLA, especially certain fruits. Some reminded me of my childhood while other foods like tumeric tea were new treasures introduced to me by the vendors. At the Westwood Village Farmers Market, I found pomelos and Asian pears; foods I had enjoyed at home but had not seen for several months. I was ecstatic to say the least. Shopping at the farmers market was a highlight of my freshman year, and I hope that others would go enjoy it for themselves, too!