Produce in the parking lot — at Wildberries

By Rebekah Staub
Flapjack Chronicle staff

Lauren Ballard selects produce at a local farmers market in the Wildberries’ parking lot.

A potent, sweet smell of ripe fruit wafted from the parking lot of Wildberries Marketplace and into the noses of passersby who became eager to taste this delectable scent. Like bloodhounds on the trail of a deer, pedestrians were lead to a farm stand with bright strawberries overflowing from baskets. With their pallets satisfied from a juicy sensation, consumers were finally able to take in a weekly farmers market in downtown Arcata.
Wildberries Farmers Market occurs every Tuesday of the week from 3:30-6:30 p.m.
It is an opportunity for farmers who are part of the Northwest Growers Association to sell their produce.

Lauren Ballard, a vendor of goods like sweet strawberries and onions the size of softballs, takes advantage of the market.
“It’s pretty handy being in a shopping center because produce is specifically what shoppers are looking for,” she said. “I like Northtown Arcata because a lot of people are walking by, so it’s a good location.”
Wildberries Farmers Market grabs the attention of pedestrians walking by with its intriguing sounds of independent artists and colorful displays of goods.

Jacklyn Salgado, a marine biology major at Humboldt State University, was drawn to the market on her way past.
“I heard the music and decided to check it out,” the 18-year-old said. “Then I saw how fresh and delicious those peppers were and I just had to buy some.”

Wildberries Farmers Market bring people out to experience farmers markets on a weekday. It also offers a place for produce exclusive to the area to become acquaintances with customers.
“We’re so lucky in this area because you have your cool-weather crops, and inland is all of your hot-weather crops,” Ballard said. “You really have a good selection and variety.”
Doug Kelley, a former graduate of HSU, sells rich salsa ingredients. One of his favorite tomatoes is among them.
“Early Girl tomatoes have an amazing flavor,” the geography major said. “Their taste is unique to this region.”
Kelley has free recipes and free smiles to offer.
“I just love the giving atmosphere of farmers markets,” he said. “With this one you can experience it in the middle of the week.”

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