This last Sunday I got to visit Renee Gunter, founder of Daily Organics, at her pop up market on 29th Street and Cimarron in South LA.
I was connected to her through Cornerstone Theater, whose play SEED: A Weird Act of Faith was the second in a series called The Hunger Cycle. Renee was selected as a community actor to perform in collaboration with professional actors, a model that Cornerstone uses with all its performances. You can see an amazing video of her talking about that experience here.
On the street, doling out organic fruits and vegetables to neighbors in her community, she was just as powerful as she was onstage. With Roscoe, her 1962 Corvair rampside pickup by her side, she waved to every car driving by and neighbor who came to taste her lemons, cherries, zucchini, avocados, wax beans, butternut squash, red yams and tomatoes. She had long sold out of peaches and cukes. Next week, she knew she would bring some sweet watermelons to the stand because she had already gotten two requests — one woman driving by even asked, “how much do they cost?” and wanted to give her the money right then and there in anticipation of next Sunday’s bounty!
Renee, known as Miss Renee in the neighborhood, knew she needed to DO! something when she learned about food deserts, the lack of access to healthy food. So she started Daily Organics, a pop up market that goes where it’s needed, selling delicious, vibrant, local, organic fruits and vegetables. One location is at Lindy & Grundy, a popular, queer-owned organic butcher on Fairfax, and one is at La Maison du Pain French bakery on Pico. But the location dearest to her heart is the one on this very street corner at 29th and Cimarron, just a block away from her house. It was here that I got the chance to interview her and spend some time getting to know her friends and neighbors as they stocked up on healing foods for the week.
The story will be airing on Feminist Magazine KPFK 90.7FM on July 2, 2013. Stay tuned and check out a market near you!
Daily Organics market days & times are available here.