The Coronado Certified Farmers Market has been around since 1989. Its first location was on the west side of Orange Avenue and was coordinated with Coronado MainStreet. For a brief stint after, the Farmers Market operated out of an empty parking lot which is now home to the Coronado Police Station. Finally, the Coronado Farmers Market found its home at the Coronado Ferry Landing in July 1991. To celebrate the event, the Coronado Certified Farmers Market brought a cow across the bay on the ferry with the theme “until the cows come home.” Despite the decades that have passed, the Coronado Certified Farmers Market still has customers that were there when the cows came home.
Mary Hillebrecht manages the Coronado Certified Farmers Market and is also a vendor and farmer herself! She reflects on her time at Cal Poly Pomona when her dad would ask her to visit the neighboring town of Santa Monica and fill up from their farmers market. Mary laughs that he did not realize the distance between the two was roughly 40 miles and did not account for traffic! Mary shares that she has always had a passion for farmers being able to sell their product direct to consumer. “I want to make sure the products are right. That they aren’t stolen or sub quality,” Mary explains.
What it means to be a Certified Farmers Market
The philosophy of the Coronado Certified Farmers Market is explained by Mary, “I started running farmers markets because farms were so distressed at the time. There were so many wonderful farm families in the San Diego area that did a wonderful job and had wonderful products. I’ve managed to help dozens of farm families survive for a little while longer. Some of their children have become doctors and lawyers and all kinds of things but most of them aren’t going into farming. We can continue to support several and I probably won’t give up for a while yet.”
Coronado Certified Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Landing
Coronado has one of the longest running farmers markets in San Diego County. It is small, but a great stop for seasonal fresh berries and cheese for a picnic. The fresh produce, locally-grown, is right off the farmers’ trucks! Farmers Markets are certified by the County Agricultural Commissioner, ensuring that the produce is being sold by the grower, is grown in California, and meets all California quality standards. These criteria ensure that you receive the freshest produce for the right price.
The Ferry Landing has been a great location for decades. The ample parking and access to other facilities make it convenient and very accessible. Mary also points out that Tuesday afternoon is perfect. There is a lull in foot traffic from the other businesses. The time also allows people to make a multi-activity outing by checking out shops like La Camisa or dining at one of the Ferry Landing favorite restaurants before or after picking out fresh produce.
Mary explains the atmosphere of the Coronado Certified Farmers Market. “The other attribute of the market is that people gather there and see each other. We were open during Covid and people could visit with each other while keeping a distance outside. It was a difficult time but there are some wonderful people here in Coronado.”
Mark your calendars!
Be sure to follow Coronado Certified Farmers Market on Facebook where Mary regularly posts updates about weather, what’s in season, and what great items you can look forward to. She boasts about the marvelous citrus all year round! Due to the rain, Mary encourages everyone to come by and stock up on what is sure to be phenomenal berry season this spring.
Also upcoming, Coronado Certified Farmers Market is preparing for Valentine’s Day! A great gift to accompany a Valentine’s date night at Peohe’s (2022 article) is a bouquet of fresh flowers. Mary lets us in on a little secret – flowers are available at the farmers market throughout the year!Come say hi to Mary and your local farmers on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30pm until 6pm at the Coronado Ferry Landing at the Compass. Plan ahead by checking out the crop schedule.