When he moved to Encanto in 1985, Rob Giambruno started using his backyard to grow avocados, squash, citrus, beans, plums and, most prolifically, berries.
Though it was more than he could ever eat, he’d never thought to sell the surplus until a few months ago, when he stumbled upon the Southeast Farmers Market, which springs up every Friday afternoon on a normally desolate vacant lot near the corner of Euclid Avenue and Market Street, not far from his house.
The market’s organizers needed people like him. Since it opened to much fanfare in early December, the farmers market had been struggling to attract a key constituency — farmers. Giambruno was not a farmer, per se, but he did grow food in the neighborhood. If he got certified by the county’s agriculture department, he could sell that produce at the market and help fill the void.