New Del Mar Farmers’ Market Manager, Fabian Huerts.
Photo Jeff Barnouw. Click to enlarge.
“It’s like dancing with Mother Nature,” Fabian Huertas said, when I asked him how he and the Farmers’ Market were coping with the wind and rain. In his first weeks as the new Manager the weather had been difficult. Still he was visibly enjoying his new job. He feels “honored and blessed.” For him the Market is as much about the people as the produce. And the feeling of congeniality was palpable as vendors and their customers went about their business despite drizzle or downpour and bluster.
It was a job that found him. His connection with farmers markets started not that long ago when one Saturday he answered the call to help out the mother of his best friend (“She’s like a mother to me.”) with her Blue Heron Organic Farm at the Vista market. He was giving up part of his precious weekend. But the experience hooked him. It “blossomed into four years.” The last three included coming to Del Mar, which became the favorite of the five markets he worked at.
But then his “Mom,” Andrea Peterson, who had been having a bout with cancer (why he was asked to help out), decided to retire. She’s doing well now, but in June 2016 Blue Heron closed down. In the meantime, he had been going to college and Del Mar Farmers Market was helping him with its scholarship program. Since that started he has been on the Dean’s List consistently for two years, first at Palomar College and now at CSU San Marcos where he’s majoring in…marketing. On his phone he showed me a letter he had received from the Dean inviting him to a congratulatory lunch.
He had made such an impression at DMFM that when Ana Nieto decided to step down, the Board thought of him. His studies connect well with his work. He has plans to increase the market from its current 30 or so vendors and attract more customers. More folks to enjoy the fruits and vegetables, fish and fowl, and the friendly social experience. If Mother Nature would only cooperate.