The Del Mar Farmers Market (DMFM) has awarded three scholarships for 2017. The recipients must be either vendors or family members that work half to full-time at the market and are enrolled in college classes. The nonprofit market began the scholarship program in memory of an early market manager, Mary Maciel, and has given over 100 educational grants over the years.
This year, one of the scholarships went to Qing Wang, known as Clarissa at the market, who, with her husband, Ray, started a farming business in 2004. They have grown about 2,000 different fruit trees since then. They also raise turkeys and chickens for eggs, and offer a variety of greens at Ray’s Subtropical at the market. With so many exotic produce items, Clarissa and Ray can always report on the nutritional value of each item and suggest ways to prepare them. When Ray had a medical emergency recently, Clarissa was so inspired by the care the nurses and physicians provided, that she decided to apply to nursing school at Mt. San Jacinto College. “I have been pretty busy working at our farm and taking care of our son, Dillon. In two years he will go to college. I will have extra time, so studying on the weekdays while working with my husband at the Del Mar Farmers Market on Saturday is a perfect match.”
Nursing is the goal for another recipient, May Nou Nhiayi. May Nou helps her father, Neng, at the French Bakery Le Rendez-Vous, selling breads, pastries and desserts. Her interest in nursing is rooted in a sense of caring for her family. “It’ll be a new experience for me. I chose nursing because I could learn how to make people feel better and about which treatments they need.” May Nou is attending Mira costa College.
A repeat recipient of a DMFM educational scholarship, Fabian Huertas, is the market manager. He is studying business marketing at Cal State San Marcos. A dean’s list student, graduating in spring 2018, Fabian’s goals for the market are to make an appealing destination for all, and “to create a beautiful atmosphere” at the current location at the Shores and soon at the new Del Mar City Hall.
The second oldest market in the county, DMFM donates 100 percent of net profits to support not only the educational goals of the vendors, but also other Del Mar nonprofit groups. When people shop at the DMFM, they get not only fresh, local produce and beautiful flowers, but the satisfaction of helping the market give back to the community. Saturdays 1-4 p.m., at 225 9th Street, Del Mar. Visit delmarfarmersmarket.org