The World Wide Guide to Farmers' Markets, Street Markets, Flea Markets, Street Vendors, and the Informal Sector

farmers markets

Good day folks,

I'll be interviewed on Wisconsin public radio Monday, July 14. You can access the interview on the web.

Also have a look at the farmers market coalition webpage for new work on farmers markets., a new USDA grant with them will help market managers conduct and report research on marketplaces.

best to all!

Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Sun, 07/13/2014 - 9:07am.

Santiago, Chile

In early October, prior to ending my time in South America and catching a flight to Central America for the remainder of my travels and work, I spent a few days in the tremendously historic capital of Chile, Santiago. Amongst one of the most affluent countries in Latin America, Santiago and Chile as a whole from my perception was more European influenced, in line with other cities I visited like Buenos Aires. With a modern cosmopolitan vibe surrounded by hundreds of years of iconic architecture and cultural institutions seemingly dropped in from Spain and other European countries at the expense of indigenous communities as exemplified during colonial expansion, it seemed like an historic version of Portland, Oregon, but with deep rooted history and tradition, local, yet corporate tastes, and of course youthful artistic expressionism and hipsterdom running wild through university and bohemian areas like the Bellavista neighborhood amongst others.

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Submitted by Matthew Armbrust on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 12:31am.

A GREAT loss...

A great loss, the death of a terrific, immigrant businessman who started as a street vendor...from the Chicago Tribune...

Luis A. Alcala, 1921–2014
Mexican immigrant founded famous Western wear store

By Joan Giangrasse Kates, Special to the Tribune
January 28, 2014

Luis A. Alcala got his start selling clothes and other items from a fold-up table on Maxwell Street, eventually scraping together enough money to open a store on Chicago's Southeast Side that catered to factory workers at a nearby steel plant.

He later moved to the West Town neighborhood, and the store, taken over by his sons, turned its focus to Western wear, a specialty made clear to passers-by by the life-size fiberglass horse outside Alcala's on Chicago Avenue.

Mr. Alcala, 92, died Tuesday, Jan. 21, in his home at Norwood Crossing, a senior living facility in Chicago, of complications related to a stroke he suffered 18 months ago, his family said.

Born in Durango, Mexico, Mr. Alcala immigrated to the United States and worked picking cotton in the South before making his way to Chicago, where he and his wife, Carmen, raised a large family on the Northwest Side. She died in 2009.

Mr. Alcala made his living as a janitor and factory worker before setting up a table on Maxwell Street and hawking everything from men's belts to brooms.

Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 10:04am.

photos back on the web...

Some great pictures of historic Maxwell Street are again available!

Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 12:00pm.

Dia De Los Muertos - San Salvador, El Salvador

Last Saturday on my way back from a beautiful botanical garden in San Salvador, El Salvador, I came upon a street lined with a variety of vendors leading up to a cemetery where hundreds of people paid their respects to deceased loved ones on Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The ceremonial days, which originated in Mexico dating back to the Aztecs, have spread throughout Latin America with many variations and customs of the celebration depending on the country. Surviving loved ones visit the graves of their departed friends and family to bring gifts and offerings such as flowers, food, and favorite objects amongst others. Various vendors sold flowers, both real and synthetic, jewelry, clothing, art, various foods including pupusas, a cheese and bean filled tortilla-like snack topped with cabbage and hot sauce, grilled corn, and others like fried plantain chips and grilled chicken plates with beans and rice.

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Submitted by Matthew Armbrust on Fri, 11/08/2013 - 9:59pm.
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