The market buzzes with a steady stream of chatter, shouts of vendors selling samples filling the air. People move from stall to stall, examining the size of lettuce heads and tasting fresh-cut oranges.
It is Sunday, and the Palo Alto farmer’s market is open for business. Located on California Avenue, the market opens from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday all year, and has sold its organic products to the citizens of Palo Alto since 1981, yet it is still growing.
Just this year, the market expanded into Birch Street, accommodating 25 new vendors ranging from fresh vegetables to baked goods. From handing out samples to browsing the stalls, the activities at the market beckon to people of all ages, including Palo Alto High School juniors Zach Levitan, Owen Staiger, Will Snodgrass, Maggie Peng and senior Heather Strathearn.
Quotes from Paly Students
“It’s fun to walk down and see all these stands and see all these people enjoying the outdoors.”
— Maggie Peng, Junior
“Now instead of just one band playing, they have two music stations, so it’s a really cool atmosphere to go and pretend to be a hippie.”
— Heather Strathearn, Senior
How did you get involved in the farmer’s market?
Zach Levitan: “One day, I was walking by, and one of the booths had a help wanted sign, and I needed a job.”
What is your role in the farmer’s market?
ZL: “I work for Prevedelli farms. I sell apples, I hand out samples and I work register.”
Owen Staiger: “I would help out with the register, and I would often be cutting up apples, handing out samples, stacking boxes and just generally helping the place run.”
Will Snodgrass: “I handed out samples, I worked at the cash register, I restocked everything; basically, I just did any sort of jobs that they asked.”
What was your favorite part about working at the farmer’s market?
ZL: “All the delicious food, great fruit and other foods.”
WS:“Getting the experience working, interacting with people and seeing everyone.
Do you have a trick to giving out samples?
ZL: “I always try to play a game. I try to switch up everything I say so I do not say the same thing twice ever throughout the day, which is very hard because you are out there for four hours at a time. But no tricks really — smile.”
OS:“Well, you kind of have to put yourself out there and talk to as many people as you can, because not often will people come up and ask you, so you just have to put yourself out there.”
What is a special memory you have of working at the farmer’s market?
WS:“There was this one day where it was just absolutely pouring rain, and we had to set up the stand basically attached to the truck so it would not blow over, and there were not many people there, so we were just sitting there in the rain.
What’s your favorite booth at the farmer’s market?
OS: “I really like the orange stand, [and] whoever sold orange juice, because the juice is really good there. They fresh squeeze from the oranges, and I guess it’s a bit expensive, but it is worth a try. “
WS: “There was this one booth that sold sweets and stuff, and a lot of the vendors would trade stuff, so she would always trade food with the guy that worked at our stand.”