Celebrating its second birthday, the Lakeshore Farmers Market is merely a toddler. It’s not even the oldest farmers market in the Kern River Valley. I go pretty much every Saturday, rain or shine, either to pick up my subscription box of Abundant Harvest organic produce, and/or to hit the Fay Organics table for kale, onions, citrus, and goat cheese. Sometimes raisins, sometimes broccoli. I like organic produce, yes, but I’m not there necessarily for the organic certification as for the atmosphere. I’m a fairy tale fan, and many of the great tales feature a marketplace, a market-town, or a market day. That beanstalk debacle? Yep, Jack bargained for “the most wonderful beans that ever were known– if you plant them overnight, by the next morning they’ll grow up and reach the sky.” He snagged them on his way to market for what turned out to be a rough trade. What about the enchanted flea market in Neil Gaiman’s Stardust (book or movie, your pick)? So much happens to fable folk in market-towns and on their way to market.
Held under the Lakeshore Lodge’s covered pavilion in Wofford Heights, Lakeshore is on the small side as farmers markets go, but as with most, it’s fun to shop stall-by-stall, especially around the holidays. Each week, local organizations hold bake sales. Local farmers and gardeners sell veggies and herbs straight from their Kern River-fed soil. And if you’re lucky, the apple cider people will be there with both conventional and heirloom varieties of fruit. It’s a very social setting, with different bands and musical groups accompanying the Saturday morning activity. No one’s bargaining with magic beans, but the eggs and honey are fresh from Kern Valley chickens and Kern Valley bees. It’s kind of enchanting after all.