Old Towne Orange's Farmers & Artisans Market's Grand Opening is slated to be a lively celebration to kick off a season of family fun with approximately 20 booths, a wide array of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, specialty food items, food sampling, children's activities, and more. Sodexo Services at Chapman University will offer complimentary coffee and cake, while quantities last. Recyclable tote bags will be given out to the first 200 patrons. There will also be a raffle to win a giant "Market basket," and the opportunity to meet Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche and City Councilwoman Tita Smith at the ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:00 a.m.
According to Megan Penn, Orange resident, president and co-founder of Orange Home Grown, Inc., the non-profit organization that is operating the farmers market, "Some of the farmers and food artisans will be providing samples of the items they will be selling. There will be a certified dietitian at the market's education booth handing out information including recipes, articles the dietitian has written on certain foods, and more. There will also be activities for children such as a scavenger hunt to search for different types of fruits and vegetables at the market. There will also be a non-profit booth featuring local non-profits in the community, sharing information about their organizations and ways to get involved."
Old Towne Orange's Farmers & Artisans Market is the first Saturday farmer's market to be held in Old Towne. The organizers plan to grow the event to up to 30 booths, the limit their permit currently allows.
Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche said, "The Farmers & Artisans Market will provide a venue for community members to sell and buy their own produce, find information about local organizations and how they can get involved, and enjoy family entertainment on a weekly basis. We are grateful to everyone who has participated in making this weekly market a reality."
"It's a win-win for all: fresh food for our tables and support for local growers," said Orange Councilwoman Tita Smith. "I can't wait to have farm fresh food within walking distance every Saturday right here in Old Towne."
Gabbi Patrick, executive chef/owner of Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen, located on Glassell Street in Old Towne Orange's landmark Orange Plaza, has been instrumental in cultivating relationships with farmers for the Saturday Farmers market and has been working fervently to make sure their crops hold up to the highest standards before selecting them. With her husband Ed, the Patricks have formed a coalition of local chefs, dedicated to supporting Old Towne Orange Farmers & Artisans Market.
"We've been waiting for a farmer's market to come to Old Towne Orange," Gabbi said. "It's going to be a wonderful way to attract more business to Old Town, and in turn support our local businesses. I am also excited for the local chefs' participation and the win-win relationships we can build with our local farmers."
Gabbi plans to use the fresh vegetables and fruit purchased at the market in her weekly menu. The Patricks' enthusiasm and support for local farmers and their yearning for a weekend farmers market have helped make this community effort a huge success, said Orange resident Brian Kunisch, Orange Home Grown's board secretary.
"In addition to Gabbi and Ed Patrick, we are thankful for the incredible support and enthusiasm that this community and businesses outside of the City have demonstrated over the many months to help us launch Old Towne Orange Farmers & Artisans Market. We are grateful to Chapman University for donating the market's location and all that they have done to assist us," Kunisch added. Other sponsors include PennySaverUSA.com, KTGY Group, pprwrkstudio, Slow Food Orange County, and The Memphis Group.
Chapman University's Vice President of Campus Planning & Operations Kris Olsen, said, “Chapman University is honored to lend our historical citrus packing plant site to such a worthy venture. Anticipation is running high amongst the university community about having the opportunity to purchase locally grown produce at a Farmers Market practically in our own backyard.”
According to Diego Velasco, the executive chef and co-founder of The Memphis Group, which has two restaurants outside of Orange (Memphis at the Santora in Santa Ana and the Memphis Cafe in Costa Mesa), "I am very excited about having a chef-driven, farmers and artisans market available to Orange County chefs/restaurateurs such as myself. The ability to interact directly with the growers and producers at the local level not only translates well to our menus but also provides for excellent food practices and choices."
Tricia Esser, CEO of architecture and planning firm KTGY Group, Inc. in Irvine, and where Penn is a senior project planner, said, "KTGY is pleased to support Orange Home Grown, its mission and this community. KTGY is dedicated to sustainable practices and wants to assist Orange Home Grown in feeding and educating the community about important sustainable practices that can mean a healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle."
"Farmers markets provide consumers with a reliable supply of fresh, locally-grown produce," said Carolyn Cramp, an Orange Home Grown board member and an Orange native. "They also give growers and food artisans the opportunity to sell directly to consumers, and that means more money in the pockets of local farmers."
Orange Home Grown's board treasurer and Orange resident Betsy Elliott said that they are hoping to add more artisans that make jams, olive oils, avocado oils, salad dressings and rubs; any type of specialty food items. For information about how to become a vendor, please contact the Market Manager Brandon Kunkle at 714.348.8158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old Towne Orange's Farmers & Artisans Market will run weekly from 8:00 am - 12 noon every Saturday through November, rain or shine.
About Orange Home Grown, Inc.
Orange Home Grown, Inc. (OHG) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization founded by nine Orange, California residents Megan Penn, Betsy Elliott, Brian Kunisch, Carolyn Cramp, Martha Turner, Nedra Kunisch, Vicky Kisow, Matthew Ludin, and Kirsten Trautwein, dedicated to operating a local Saturday farmers and artisans market in the city of Orange and bringing an awareness of healthy living to their community. Orange Home Grown Inc’s primary mission is to cultivate a healthy community through family-friendly and community-based education programs in collaboration with like-minded community organizations. Emphasis is placed on wholesome nutrition, sustainable practices, health and fitness, and strengthening neighborhood and community relationships. Education and events are geared to all ages and income levels. For more information or to sign up for their quarterly newsletter, visit www.orangehomegrown.org or Facebook.