The smart shopper's goal is top quality merchandise at rock-bottom prices. That's the ultimate deal. Yet many bargain hunters miss the opportunity to acquire primo products at the lowest possible prices by not taking advantage of one of the Southland's best deals--the Farmer Direct Markets.
Every week, countless Southern California farmers bring in fresh produce to 23 locations in Los Angeles County where they sell right off their trucks to the consumer at just about wholesale prices. It's a lot more fun than the supermarkets because you deal directly with the farmers who take great pride in the quality of freshness of their produce, and the prices are just a tad over wholesale. Sometimes you can even negotiate.
Locations and hours for weekly the Farmers Direct Markets in the San Fernando Valley are:
Burbank, 3rd Street and Palm Avenue, public parking lot, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Mission Hills, 14941 Devonshire Street (between Woodman Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard), 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday.
Other markets in Los Angeles County include:
Alhambra, corner of Chico Street and Stoneman Avenue, north of Main Street, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
Bell, Bank of America parking lot at 6312 Atlantic Ave., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Bellflower, Laurel Street and Bellflower Boulevard, half-mile north of Artesia Freeway, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.
Compton, Hub City on the east side of Alameda Street at Compton Boulevard, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday from March to November, and until 5 p.m. from November to March.
Gardena, Hollypark Methodist Church, 13000 S. Van Ness Ave., 6:30 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Hermosa Beach, 13th Street and Hermosa Avenue, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Highland Park, Sycamore Grove Park, 4600 block of North Figueroa Street, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Long Beach, The Promenade between 3rd Street and Broadway, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
Los Angeles, St. Agnes Catholic Church at Adams Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday from Sept. 6 to June 19, 2 to 5 p.m. from June 20 to Sept. 5.
Monrovia, Library Park at Myrtle and Lime avenues, 3 to 6 p.m. Friday.
Norwalk, Alondra Boulevard west of Pioneer Boulevard, across from Excelsior High School, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Pasadena, City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; Victory Pasadena High School, Paloma Street and Sierra Madre Boulevard, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday; Villa Park Neighborhood Center, 363 E. Villa St., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.
San Pedro, 3rd Street between Mesa and Centre streets, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.
Santa Monica, Arizona Avenue and 2nd Street, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday in the winter and 1 to 7 p.m. in the summer.
South Gate, South Gate Park, 4900 Southern Ave., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday.
Torrance, Charles H. Wilson Park, 2209 block of Crenshaw Boulevard at Jefferson Street, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Venice, corner of Venice Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, 7 to 11 a.m. Friday.
West Hollywood, Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.
Whittier, 12000 block of Balloy Street, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
If you're driving through the countryside any given weekend, you might want to have the Farmer to Consumer Directory that lists about 1,100 Southern California farms that sell to the public. To obtain one, call (800) 952-5272.