The Poway Farmers Market has an abundance of produce and food, and much more. (photos by John Gregory)

Poway Farmers Market thrives every Saturday

By Terry L. Wilson

You might think that after you’ve seen one farmers market, you’ve seen them all. With that said, Poway’s small-town charm adds a special ingredient to its weekly gathering of local farmers and their potpourri of fresh produce, homemade tasty treats and fresh squeezed everything, plus a little something for man’s best friend and other items.  

“This September will mark 26 years for our Farmers Market, and I’ve been there since day-one,” said Market Manager Suzanne Bendixen. “We are open on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. come rain or shine, with 75 vendors taking up a little more than two blocks. Our crowds are so large that each week we keep breaking records from the previous month.”  

During one recent visit to the market, a very long line formed around Desiree Hogervorst-Ortiz, known affectionately by her customers as the Egg Lady. She has been selling eggs for 25 years. 

“We have a farm in Ramona called the Happy Hen,” Hogervost-Ortiz said. “All of our eggs are fresh and tasty. They’re amazing because of what we feed the chickens. It’s all organic. We also have pasture raised organic chickens.”

Lynda Howard of Kawano Farms is another long-time participant at the Poway Farmers Market. With each passing year her regulars become more like family than customers. 

“We have many repeat customers that show up every week for our berries,” Howard said. “We get to know generations of families over the years. The Kawano family has been farming in the hills of Oceanside for over 60 years and we sell farm fresh products, and we’re famous for our berries. They sell out fast, so get here early.”

While many vendors have worked the Poway Farmers Market for decades, there are a few newcomers like Awafee Gluten Free, celebrating its first year at the Poway Farmers Market. 

“Everything here at Awafee is homemade, it’s all prepared in a gluten-free kitchen,” said Amy Shahrabani. “We have a variety of cakes, tiramisu and four different flavors of crème brulée. They’re all delicious, but our macaroons may be our most popular treat.” 

Awafee’s cakes and cookies may satisfy your sweet tooth, but if something spicy is your ticket to ride, visit Sandi Sabel at Terra Verde Foods.

“We have some marvelous hot sauces made with organic tomatoes, garlic and onions,” Sabel said. “Our jams are awesome too, all organic, vegan, low in sodium, high in flavor. Our blackberry jam is great, but our best seller is peach-blackberry. Everything is made with freshly picked fruit.”

For the lactose intolerant crowd, Mulk offers a product that is a perfect alternative to cow juice. 

“My company is spelled Mulk to match my South African accent,” said Melissa Finestone. “We have cold pressed non-pasteurized almond milk with a coconut sugar, which doesn’t impact your glycemic index.”

At Marley’s Pet Planet booth, CBD treats are guaranteed to be high on your dog’s snack list. 

“We have all-natural products ranging from soft dog treats to dry and hot spot towels infused with CBD,” said Alyssa Garcia. “We also have non-alcoholic dog beer made from bone marrow broth.”

You don’t need a passport to sample noshes from other parts of the world – enjoy a New Zealand meat pie or stuffed hash browns.

Nathan Mahelonk’s wife has mastered the art of making New Zealand pies – and they are yummy. This booth has been a crowd favorite for years.

“New Zealand meat pies is the Kiwi version of an American hamburger,” Mahelonk said. “We’ve been serving them here in Poway going on eight years now.”

The Brazilian Guys booth
offers up stuffed hash browns, an infusion of Brazil and American flavors. 

“They’re basically like having a hash brown sandwich,” said Ella Tena. “We have a variety of breakfast and lunch dinner options. We’ve only been her a couple of months and we love it.”

The Poway Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Midland Road between Adrian Street and Edgemoor Street.


Shoppers enjoy a sweet sample from Alan Mikolich at the Mikolich Family Honey booth, featuring raw, unfiltered honey at the Poway Farmers Market. (photo by John Gregory)