South County Beat

Community group hopes to bring farmers market to Oceano

clambert@thetribunenews.comJanuary 22, 2013 

A sign welcomes drivers to Oceano.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Plans are moving ahead for a farmers market in Oceano, which some local residents hope will build a sense of community and attract more visitors to the town.

A group of residents are hoping to have the Oceano Community Farmer’s Market up and running in April as a “welcoming location where farmers, vendors and entertainers can showcase their products while providing everyone with a taste of the heritage and culture of Oceano,” according to the group’s mission on its Facebook page.

“I think that it would bring a very much-needed sense of community activity,” said Mary Lewis, the group’s chairperson. “I always felt that Oceano has a really great group of residents, but it’s difficult for them to have a coherent voice because they don’t have a way of connecting with each other.”

The idea for a local farmers market was first raised last year during local meetings aimed at creating a revitalization plan for the unincorporated South County community.

Dozens of people took part in those meetings, which focused on outlining a concise vision with specific improvements for certain parts of Oceano, including the downtown area along Highway 1.

One of the suggestions raised was to celebrate the community’s agricultural history with an open-air farmers market.

Shortly after, Felma Hurdle, who sits on the Oceano Community Services District board of directors, decided to keep the momentum going.

She helped bring together a group of residents committed to starting a farmers market. The group is now a standing committee of the services district.

The group is still working on numerous details — finding a location, reaching out to potential vendors, and finalizing a day and time. Lewis said the group has contacted Lucia Mar school district officials to see if the market could be held on either the Oceano Elementary School or Oceano Community Center properties.

She said they hope to hold the market on Sunday afternoons.

“Sunday would be a great day, it’s a day of leisure in the community, a cultural day,” Hurdle said. She hopes a market would “bring others into the area so they can see the wonder of Oceano and to dissuade some of the stigma that is attached to our community — that it is a really laid-back place for people to come, and we do have something to offer.”

Lewis will update the Oceano services district board Wednesday at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. at 1655 Front St. Anyone interesting in getting involved can contact Lewis through the group’s Facebook page.

Cynthia Lambert and Gayle Cuddy write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.

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