On January 23rd, Luquillo will kick off the first-of-its-kind Farmers Market (Feria Agrícola de Luquillo) at the Arts and Culture Center. The inaugural event will take place from 8:00AM to 1:00PM and additional markets will be held every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month during the same hours.
The goal of the Feria Agrícola de Luquillo is to increase community access to fresh and locally produced food and wares, as well as support and promote the entrepreneurial efforts of local, independent growers, micro-farmers and artists from eastern Puerto Rico.
Although farming in Puerto Rico has been on a steady decline and today accounts for only 0.8% of the island’s GDP, micro-farming and micro-growing have seen an upswing over the past few years.
The Luquillo Farmers Market is uniquely positioned to help local growers sell their products and promote healthy lifestyle and eating habits in the community.
Here are some common questions and answers from the Market Steering Committee:
How did you come up with the idea for the market?
It was actually just a couple of friends talking over coffee and cake about how to make it easy to find natural, local fruits and vegetables in the Luquillo area. The concept and the group grew from there and turned into a volunteer organization called Amigos de Luquillo.
What makes this farmers market unique?
The idea is that everything sold at the market is local and naturally grown. There are currently no farmers markets, such as this, on the eastern side of the island and many residents have to drive to San Juan to get organic or natural produce. We want to provide a community place for everyone to come to get healthy, fresh, wholesome food. Over time, we hope to weave educational and social activities into Feria Agrícola de Luquillo to make it a vital civic institution of Luquillo.
What about the fruit trucks along PR-3?
It is true that there are some fruit/veggie stands that can be found along route PR-3 but the verity of produce they offer is limited and mostly seasonal. We plan on having local, specialty growers, eggs, fish, breads, etc., in addition to the seasonal produce. We also welcome local artisans to display and sell their wares.
Why the Arts and Culture Center for the location?
We feel very lucky and grateful to the Mayor and the City for allowing us to use this location. We wanted to have a spot where we can reach the surrounding communities. Being right on PR-3, we hope to draw interest from surrounding municipalities, like Fajardo and Rio Grande. In addition, unlike many other venues in the city, there is ample parking and easy access from the highway.
If you had to give a motto for this bimonthly event, what would it be?
It would be: Leave no trace, eat fresh, and support the local economy!
Join us at La Feria Agrícola de Luquillo, every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 8:00AM-1:00PM at the Luquillo Art and Culture Center and enjoy naturally grown, local fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, eggs, and more. Local artists and craftspeople will, also, be selling locally made wares for everyone to enjoy.
More information for both the general public and interested vendors can be found at the Feria Agrícola de Luquillo Website.
Leave No Trace. Eat Fresh. Support Local Economy.