Every Saturday morning, small-scale farmers congregate bright and early to prepare their produce and various other goods for consumers.
Consumers are able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, including many varieties that are not available in the United States, such as water-apples, banana-apples, and arracache. Additionally, some vendors offer freshly roasted coffee, baked goods, ice cream, and other tantalizing treats. Breakfast is offered by either a group of elder and disadvantaged people from the area or Boy and Girl Scouts. There are also often cultural activities, such as music, dances, environmental education stations, artwork, and recipes exchanges.
Shopping at the local farmers market is not only an excellent way to get a taste for the fresh and healthy produce here, but it is also a great way to support local small-scale farms. Many of the farmers choose to grow their produce organically, or with natural fertilizer. All profits go directly to the farmers, allowing the market for sustainably grown foods to thrive. Small-scale farmers often grow and sell native plants, use very few chemicals, and engage in environmentally friendly harvesting practices. Furthermore, the local farmers’ market enhances community awareness of these practices and allows them to spread to other areas across Costa Rica and the world.
The farmers’ market, known to residents as La Feria, is open Saturdays from 6:30 to noon. It is located at the Santa Elena Gymnasium, just north of Santa Elena center before the high school.