The first farmers’ market in San Luis Obispo was started in July 1978 by the Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC) in the parking lot of what was Young's Giant Food (now Stanley Motors) on Broad Street near the airport. It started with about a dozen farmers and garden enthusiasts selling off the bed of their pick up trucks, out of the trunks of their cars, or off small tables. This was quite a sight, a huge parking lot with a small island of growers and curious first customers.
The EOC handed the market over to John and Charlotte Turner the following year. John was a retired elementary teacher, and Charlotte was a medical secretary. Enlisting the help of others, the Turners formed the San Luis Obispo County farmers’ Market Association. This is a mutual benefit not-for-profit corporation. In this capacity, the Association provides farmers with marketplaces, and provides the consumer fresh quality products directly from a family operated small farm.
The Association has grown from one market that sold $35 thousand of produce in 1980 to five markets with combined produce sales during 2007 of $2.2 million. This is significant growth!
Please note that there are approximately 15 farmers’ markets in San Luis Obispo County and are operated by several different organizations.
To read more please visit www.slocountyfarmers.org.
For a list of north county farmers' markets check out http://northcountyfarmersmarkets.com/.