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Castaic shops fresh

Local Farmers Market open every Saturday morning

Posted: June 6, 2009 7:58 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Lisa Welch, left, of Castaic picks out some fresh spinach from Bianca Arredondo, of Fillmore Produce, at the Castaic Farmers Market.

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Chandon and Sian Moon only tasted a small sample of tomato flavored hummus but it was enough of to satisfy the 3- and 6-year-olds' taste buds.

The Moon children made one purchasing decision easy for their parents who had 11 other flavors of the fresh dip to choose from on Saturday morning at the Castaic Farmers Market.

The hummus came from Kettlestones, a Canoga Park-based family business that has created 50 different vegetarian-friendly hummus flavors such as feta basil and Tzatziki with yogurt and cucumber.

Kettlestones was joined by about 15 other vendors from places such as San Diego, Fillmore and Bakersfield who traveled to the Castaic Sports Complex to sell fresh produce, flowers, nuts, bread, tamales and more at the new Castaic Farmers Market, which began serving residents a month and a half ago.

"We have a very small town feel and to be able to just come down the street and get fresh produce is wonderful," said Amanda Moon, of Castaic. The quaint, outdoor market is also a place to mingle with friends and neighbors, she said.

After several weekends in Castaic, fresh tamales in seven flavors have brought repeat customers to the booth of The Gourmet Tamale Factory, based in San Fernando.

Daniel Cardero, of The Tamale Factory, said people are drawn to the Mexican dish of meat, cheese or veggies packed in cornmeal dough because they contain no lard and zero trans-fat.

Castaic residents Sheila Boggess and Glenn Greenfield scanned over more than 100 types of packaged nuts and dried fruit from bright orange pineapple-mango slices to spicy red-chili lemon peanuts.

Boggess and Greenfield shop at farmers markets to get fresh produce, support local farmers and because, "We like buying our produce without stickers on it," Greenfield said.

Bianca Arredondo stood behind a table of basil, cilantro, mint, spinach, radishes, beats, garlic and other herbs from her family's crops in Fillmore.

A strong smell of garlic and basil lingered around the freshly cut collection.

"My dad wakes up at 3 or 4 in the morning and cuts (all of) it," said Arredondo, who grew up following her parents to different farmers markets for the family business. "This is what a farmers market is all about - to offer the best quality of your product but at a reasonable price."

Arredondo said whatever does not make its way into customer tote bags is distributed to charities around Lake Piru and Fillmore on the same day.

Gabby Rodriguez, Castaic Farmers Market manager, said the vendors have thus far received welcoming feedback from local residents.

"They're hoping we stay for a long time," she said.

The Castaic Sports Complex hosts a Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday.


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