strawbsThird year Bio-psychology Major, Taylor Templeton recently stumbled on a local fruit seller in Goleta. Located on the corner of Glenn Annie and Cathedral Oaks, a popular site for similar vendors in years past, Manuel sustains the tradition of roadside produce stalls in the area. Despite the seemingly cursed history of fruit and vegetable peddlers on this particular corner, with at least two shut downs between 2007 and 2010, Manuel continues to operate his business each week. In the past, similar vendors have received mixed opinions. Some locals vigilantly criticize those like Manuel who work extraneously from the Farmers Market circuit, describing them as “renegade fruit stands.”  Others praise them for the freshness and quality of their produce and support an alternate and integral facet of Santa Barbara County’s agricultural landscape. Whatever your stance on the validity of such micro-vendors, they certainly offer the utmost local products.  –OTM Editors

I was driving back from the grocery store frustrated by the mediocre quality of overpriced fruit and vegetables when I saw a fruit stand near my house. I pulled over by an old van functioning as a fruit stand on the corner of Glenn Annie and Cathedral Oaks. Maybe I shouldn’t have approached a white van on the side of the road, but damn, I was hungry. I met Manuel, a farmer who grows and picks most of his fruits in Oxnard. That day he had cartons of freshly picked strawberries for $13, large avocados, three for $2, $4 watermelons and other options like peaches and bananas. I’m glad I bought the strawberries; they were better than any store around! If you want to support local farmers, save your money and get high quality fruit, then stop by Manuel’s fruit stand on the corner of Glenn Annie and Cathedral Oaks (about a mile from the Kmart). Manuel accepts cash only.