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Farm fresh vegetables are for sale at the new farmers market at Somersville Towne Center parking lot in Antioch, Calif., on Sunday, June 6, 2010. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Staff)

ANTIOCH -- Residents here will have to travel a bit farther to purchase fresh fruits and veggies on weekends this year.

The weekly farmers markets held on Sunday at Somersville Towne Center have closed, according to the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association. The program, which was located in the mall parking lot off Somersville Road near Macy's and Starbucks Coffee, started in 2010.

Jessica Millender, regional manager for the association, said that local growers were not selling enough to make the endeavor financially viable.

"Our main mission is to (provide) support for our agricultural producers, but they were struggling to make it," she said. This year includes more of a focus on quality at nearby locations in downtown Pittsburg, Clayton and Brentwood. The Pittsburg market starts on May 3, with the Clayton one a week later.

"We're trying to put our time, effort and money into making those successful this year rather than expanding," Millender said.

There is always a possibility the market could return to Antioch at the mall or another location "if we see that farmers (are) able to get the support that we need," she said.

Somersville Towne Center officials could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

The city has had farmers markets come and go in the past, including a five-year effort in the 1990s by the Antioch Rivertown Business Association, which held markets both downtown and at the mall, all of which closed because of lack of interest.

Antioch will still have a weekly farmers market at Kaiser Permanente, starting May 1. That market is held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays in the medical center's parking lot.


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Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.