Road construction spoils Farmer’s Market opener |

Road construction spoils Farmer’s Market opener

Road construction smack dab in front of the American Legion Hall took a bite out of foot traffic at the El Dorado County Certified Farmer’s Market on Tuesday, the first day of the season for the weekly market.

“Luckily, we were warned,” said Peter Vogt, owner of the Tahoe House Restaurant & Bckerei.

Market manager Jim Coalwell passed the official road construction warning on to all the vendors who trucked up the mountain with smaller loads of produce, breads and crafts products.

Those vendors who don’t open today at another farmer’s market, hope the leftovers can be given to a charity.

“We don’t sell it after we bring it here,” said Javier Toscano, who spent all day Monday harvesting produce from his family’s farm in Lodi in order to bring it to the Tahoe market. “What we don’t sell, it’s either Salvation Army or compost.”

Vogt estimated about half the number of shoppers as usual showed up for the first day of the market, which sets up shop each Tuesday through the summer.

“The first market is never that busy. We ease into it,” Vogt added.

“At least they’re doing (the construction) now instead of July.”

Although the road repaving blocked the drop-in traffic, local devotees of fresh produce managed to wind along back roads to reach the market.

“I have to come and get my fresh fruit every week or I’ll go nutty,” said Meyers resident Terri Martin as she picked out apricots.

Another shopper, less familiar with the neighborhood roads, missed a turn and took an hour to get to the lot, Coalwell said.

“A lot of people are really determined,” he said. “They’ve been waiting for this to open.”

Many market customers come weekly during the season and become friends with the vendors.

They’re not the only ones glad to see the market open again. Despite the drive and, this year, the construction and slow business, Coalwell said the vendors are glad to be back.

South Lake Tahoe has “the only customers who regularly say thank you for coming.”

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