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Some shoppers turning from grocery stores to farm stands to avoid inflated prices

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jun 22, 2022

Blosser Urban Garden says its weekly farm stand reopened just over a month ago but given increased grocery prices and concerns over food safety, they have already seen an increase in locals coming out for fresh produce.

Along a busy industrial road in Santa Maria, a small garden is nestled among the nearby businesses.

"I have to buy potatoes, and they bring bread from the local bakery that we love to support too," said customer Larry Crawford.

Crawford is just one of the many locals who stop by on Wednesdays to buy produce from Blosser Urban Garden's farm stand.

"By selling directly to the customer, we are able to mark our prices down a little bit lower since there is no middleman," said General Manager Gerald Mahoney. "It is coming straight from the garden to the stand."

Mahoney says most of their produce comes from farms in Tanglewood and San Luis Obispo, with all produce harvested, washed and transported by their small staff.

"At first, I was a customer and I loved it so much. I believed in the cause of being able to get organic local produce," Farm Stand Manager Crystal Carrillo told KSBY. "I live right across the street, so it was great to come over here and buy things. I asked if there was any way I could volunteer, and volunteering turned into working here."

Carrillo says she has been an employee for three months now and during that time, she has seen more of her community shift away from bigger commercial farms and turn to local, organic options.

"I personally know people that have worked in the fields and I myself did at one point as well. Seeing how they were treated and seeing what is put into the food that we are eating really turned me away from supporting that," Carrillo continued.

The farm stand is open on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. They also offer a CSA program that provides weekly or biweekly produce deliveries to your home.

Blosser Urban Garden also tells KSBY they have started to grow specific Latin American produce to offer more variety to the community.