Starting March 5, Rancho Mirage will host a weekly farmer’s market at The Atrium shopping center on Highway 111.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY CHRISTIANA GREEN
Two months after successfully launching a farmer’s market in Indian Wells, Christiana Green is at it again only this time in Rancho Mirage.
Taking place weekly on Fridays starting March 5 at the parking lot of The Atrium shopping center on Highway 111, Green will bring the infrastructure to help Rancho Mirage create its own version. Green says she received a call from Katie Stice, CEO of the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce, after hearing rave reviews of her farmer’s market in Indian Wells. “I jumped on the opportunity,” Green says.
Green is excited over another valley city connecting to the family farms that surround the Coachella Valley. “It's about supporting small family farms that have amazing produce, but are not a corporation that sell at grocery stores,” Green says. “All of the farmers in our markets are certified producers; meaning, that it is regulated, how their food is grown, what they grow, and that they only sell what they grow.”
The Atrium became the top location to host the weekly marketplace after Stice connected Green with Stella Adena, who owns Rancho Relaxo at the shopping center. Adena connected Green with The Atrium’s owner, Robert Cohen, who in turn asked Adena to become the liaison between the city, the farmer's market, and the tenants of The Atrium.
Palm Springs Life spoke further about the farmer’s market with Green and Adena.
What measures will take place to give people a safe experience during the pandemic?
Christiana: Everyone is required to wear a face covering and keep social distancing, six feet apart. There will be circles drawn on the ground and people can line up. Volunteer staff will keep count at the front door. Capacity is 180 people. Everyone is supposed to park on the south side of The Atrium. There are two parking lots reserved — one an entrance and the other an exit. That way we can keep count and know the capacity.
How will the farmers market be distinguished from the others in the area?
Stella: I think the central location is amazing. The trip to Rancho Mirage is significantly shorter than the trip all the way across the Coachella Valley to Palm Springs.
The evening hours during the summertime will give people who are working the opportunity to visit a farmer’s market. They will have an evening alternative. Having evening hours during the summer is amazing. Customers can enjoy the market, the beautiful landscape, and The Atrium. They will be able to enjoy the facilities in an air-conditioned building and have shopping late at night.
What special attractions will be offered at the market?
Stella: I’m very excited to share this. DJ Alf Alpha is going to partner with us in the summer hours. He will be there with his Super Sonido DJ Bus. He's outfitted a vintage VW bus with his DJ booth. He's going to make guest appearances throughout the summer.
There will be nearly 50 vendors. What can the public expect to see?
Stella: There will be a nice mix. The vendors are mostly California-based businesses and farmers. There are local bakeries; there is a vendor that makes fresh pasta. Many of the vendors from the Indian Wells Farmer’s Market will be there at Rancho Mirage, too. There is a vendor who has Middle Eastern salads, there is an empanada vendor, there is a Somali vendor, and there is a fromagerie, just to name a few. So it's going to be a really good mix, and then there's always the opportunity for special guest vendors.
Complimenting to that I have a focus with Rancho Relaxo on supporting local artisans. And so I will invite my artisans to those evening events just as a meet and greet, so that the local community can meet the people who are creating these beautiful art products that I sell in my place.
Christiana: The prepared food is made by chefs who either have a cottage food license and operate from a home kitchen or they prepare in a commercial kitchen. All the food is pre-packaged and served to go. People are supposed to take it home and don’t eat at the market. Even this time there will be a pizza guy who is going to make hot pizzas, personal freshly-made to order pizzas.
The Rancho Mirage Certified Farmers Market takes place every Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the summer, the hours move to the evening from 5-9 p.m.