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Santa Clarita CA
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Today in
S.C.V. History
December 3
1887 - Prohibitionist Henry Needham purchases land in Newhall, attempts to establish "dry" colony [story]
H.C. Needham

Luis Jimenez (pictured) plucked a fresh carrot bunch from the produce vendor’s bin and flashed an incandescent smile.

“I feel like I’m working on a farm,” Jimenez said as he surveyed the farmers market on the wooded grounds of Tierra del Sol’s rustic Sunland campus, the heart of an organization that serves nearly 700 adults with
developmental disabilities.

On Saturday mornings Jimenez, 23, of Pacoima, and four adult colleagues, all with special needs, mix with farmers and other vendors from throughout Southern California to create a haven where shoppers can buy fresh produce and specialty foods like French pastries, Mediterranean pizzas and organic veggie tacos and handmade crafts by artisans who prove art knows no disabilities.

Tierra’s farmers market, open since last June, transcends the nomadic outdoor markets hosted at shopping
malls and other venues.

“Here we can be part of the community,” said Martin Barrera, 29, of North Hills, a Tierra client who serves coffee to shoppers. “We get to know each other, and the shoppers can see we can help just like anyone else.”

And Barrera and Jimenez and their Tierra co-workers, which also include Neil Natividad, 22, of La Crescenta, Rocio Gutierrez, 41, of Pacoima and Jessica Guevara, 27, of Sun Valley, get paid for helping.

“It’s awesome to get a paycheck,” Barrera said. “I feel like my world is coming together again.”

Stationed by the children’s bounce house, Natividad echoed that sentiment. “I’m enjoying it. Here we learn to be independent, we’re given responsibility, and we can show that people with disabilities can make a difference. And, to be honest, the food also is really good, especially the chips and salsa.”

A cornucopia of tantalizing foods from pastries to fresh fish, sausages, pita and hummus, “soulfully sweet” organic juices and salads and Italian ices satisfy the appetites of shoppers browsing for farm fresh vegetables and eggs, flowers, honey, candles, Baltic amber jewelry, Bamboo eyewear, and more.

Handmade woolen goods and ceramics crafted by Tierra’s clients make ideal holiday gifts and include ceramic snowmen and ornaments.

The farmers trek to Sunland from as far away as San Luis Obispo though there also are local vendors from
Shadows Hills like Sparky Thorton of Soulfully Sweet, who revels in blending coconut, pomegranates, greens, herbs and spices to feed body and soul. A portion of all vendor sales benefits Tierra del Sol, which has been serving the community for almost 50 years.

Sometimes there is music, face painting and a bounce house for children, and Tierra will open up The Animal Experience where young and old can mingle with goats, chickens and rabbits and greet Toyman, a beloved miniature horse.

It all adds to the festive milieu, which takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“This is about as good a setting as it can get,” said Kemp Fritts of Shadow Hills, who loves shopping at
farmers markets.

“There’s a good selection,” said Lisa Stultz of Northridge. “And I like being supportive.”

On a recent fall Saturday, French Bakery executive chef Laurent Soulier stood behind a mound of fresh baked baguettes and pastries and gazed wistfully at the tranquil grounds, smiling at Luis cleaning tables nearby.

“Of all the farmers markets, this is my favorite,” he said. “It’s the most wonderful.”

The farmers market is located at 9919 Sunland Boulevard, Sunland 91040. There’s free parking on the site or at nearby Shadow Hills Presbyterian Church, 10158 Johanna Avenue.

For more information, including vendor opportunities, contact Luke
Crowley at 818-257-6600 or lcrowley@tierradelsol.org or visit www.sunlandfarmersmarket.com.
To learn more about Tierra Del Sol, visit https://www.tierradelsol.org/.

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Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021
For years, the Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation has provided support to community’s schools, teachers and students through literacy programs, events, scholarships, grants and more.
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Circle of Hope is joining the national day of generosity, #GivingTuesday, on Dec. 1.
Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Community Education Department is again offering the Prevent T2 National Diabetes Prevention Program, a lifestyle change program that helps those who are at risk of developing diabetes reduce their blood sugar, lose weight, and reverse prediabetes. 
Monday, Nov 22, 2021
Special Needs Athletes and Peers (SNAP) Sports skate has announced its Thanksgiving week ice schedule.

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