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CAMARILLO : Hospice Seeks OK for Farmers’ Market

The Camarillo Hospice is proposing to open a farmers’ market on Ventura Boulevard in downtown Camarillo beginning next fall to raise money to help the terminally ill.

The market, proposed for one of two outdoor locations, would provide fresh produce for residents, a market for growers and a boost for area retail merchants, said Jane Rozanski, executive director of the Camarillo Hospice. The hospice is a nonprofit organization dedicated to easing the pain of the terminally ill.

Rozanski and other organizers will ask the Camarillo City Council at its meeting today to endorse the proposal and direct the city staff to draft an amendment to the city zoning ordinance to allow an open-air market in downtown Camarillo.

Organizers have proposed the market for one of two parking lots along Ventura Boulevard. One of the lots is used during the week by the Public Social Services Agency; the other is used by the Los Primeros School.

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Organizers have not decided on the best day of the week for the market.

Saturday morning may be unavailable because the Ventura Farmers’ Market runs from 8 a.m. to noon that day, she said. Organizers hope to pattern the Camarillo market after the successful one in Ventura that draws about 1,500 people a week who spend $12,000 on produce.

The hospice, which plans the market as a fund-raiser in conjunction with the Pleasant Valley Hospital Auxiliary, hopes to net about $500 a month for each organization.

The cost to growers to sell at the market will be anywhere from 3% to 6% of their gross sales, said Colleen Scott, a hospice volunteer. Organizers plan to run the market with volunteers, drawing on the 300 volunteers who work for the two groups.

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