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The Crenshaw Farmers' Market


The Crenshaw Farmers' Market: A Day Of Health, Entertainment, Fun, And Community Unity.

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View Baldwen Hills Crenshaw Farmer's Marker on a larger map.
The Crenshaw Farmers' Market is located right outside of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, an ideal location for shoppers looking to hit the mall and get groceries all in one trip.
Call (323) 463-3171 for further directions.

Marie-Alise de Marco, manager of Crenshaw Farmers' Market, speaks about SEE-LA, the non-profit that operates the market. SEE-LA engages in self-sustaining community and economic developments. Its farmers' markets are only one avenue by which it does so.

"SEE-LA’s purpose is to build sustainable food systems and promote social and cultural activities that benefit both low-to-moderate income residents of Los Angeles while also supporting California small- and mid-sized farms and local small businesses."

- See more at See-LA

By Madeline Morris

Rain or shine is never completely predictable, but one thing is: the Crenshaw Farmer’s Market.

Rest-assured that whether there is a torrential downpour --- but who are we kidding, this is Los Angeles --- or a heat wave, the residents of Crenshaw always have somewhere to go on Saturdays. For seven years now, the Crenshaw Farmers’ Market has served as a home-away-from-home for many living in east L.A.

Kim Townsend, a Crenshaw resident and clothing designer who has sold her label at the market for 10 years now, has enjoyed seeing all the comings-and-goings of her community members. Townsend has witnessed friendships formed and forged over the years, as many of the same people return to the market again and again. They meet one another and look forward to uniting every weekend or so, “definitely at least two times a month, if not more.”

"It important that we keep this farmers’ market because it gives the people in the area a place to come…It’s more than just a farmers’ market, it’s also a meeting place where people like to come and sit and eat and chit-chat and just… have a good outing. All throughout the day, there are waves of people who come and meet each other.”

The vision that Townsend paints is idyllic. However, only a little over half of the residents living in the neighborhood in or around Crenshaw and Baldwin Hills are aware of the market’s existence, based off customer responses over the course of two Saturdays.

Chavez, owner of an organic bath and beauty product company who also sells his products at the market, is aware of this lack of knowledge about the market. Chavez said, “[The market] needs some more advertisement. A lot of the people going in the mall next door are not going to know about it unless you go and actually talk to them.”

Chavez stressed the need for more awareness, saying, “We need this kind of market. We don’t have many alternatives in terms of our food source. We have very little control over where our food is coming from, its different conditions, and how it’s being grown. Here’s where you can come and get fresh fruits and vegetables. The big markets are not going to be as fresh, I find.”

While Townsend pointed out the social significance of the market, Chavez was more fixated on the market’s ability to deliver fresh, local food to him and his community.

This is important to Chavez because Crenshaw and the surrounding area is a “federally-recognized food desert,” as Marie-Alise de Marco, manager of the Crenshaw Farmers’ Market, called it. Much of the area is in need of healthy produce, as well as knowledge about how to live a healthy lifestyle. De Marco and others that are a part of SEE-LA, the non-profit that operates the market, are on a mission to make this happen.

The market also pairs well with the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza’s bFit health initiative. De Marco hopes that more people will attend the plaza’s weekly Zumba and yoga classes and then be motivated to shop for healthy food at the farmers’ market next door. For fitness class schedules, visit

Though it’s not likely all the market-goers are also in the mood for a workout, it is clear that they are all in the mood for the artisan goodies sold by local farmers and businesses that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

Take Tiffany, a satisfied college-aged customer who comes a couple of times a month. She comes to the market to get her fruits and vegetables because, as she said, “it’s a good price and the quality is better than at a supermarket.” Tiffany said she thinks the market is good for the community because it gives people local food that is healthy for them, free of pesticides that other places are more likely to have. “Obviously, there aren’t as many farmers’ markets over here as there are on the west side. I think it’s important to support what we do have.”

Mr. X, another market-goer, echoed Tiffany’s comments. “Anything that brings revenue into my community is good. Life is good.”