Sunday Farmer’s Market
My favorite way to start out my Sundays are at the local farmers market. I love being able to see the beautiful spreads of produce, flowers, local meats and seafood, and artisan creations and talk to the people that farm and create these delectable goodies in our lives. I feel connected to my economy in a positive way when I am directly supporting small and local businesses. It is SO inspiring and motivating to me.
My local farmers market is located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.
I could spend all day and all of my money here, no problem! I always like to a do a full round of looking at everything in the market before I start buying. That way I end up with the food that really jump out at me or if I’m looking for something specific, I can grab the best looking one. The best way of budgeting that I’ve found is to bring a specific amount of cash and I know once that’s gone, it’s time to go. I also like to get at least one thing I’ve never cooked or eaten before – it causes me to step outside of my comfort zone!
Visiting the farmer’s market is the best way to know what’s in season in your locale. More often than not, in season means tastes the best! Farmers will grow and sell what is growing best at the time (aka, what’s in season). Southern California is unique in our climate so we will have produce that isn’t typically in season for the rest of the country but still tastes pretty good. When we always shop at grocery stores, the idea of seasonal eating is almost completely diminished since it is in the grocer’s interest to have a solid and wide inventory for their customers. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but know that when you’re looking for something off-season, odds are it’s coming from far away and won’t taste as good as if you were to wait for it to be in season.
Unlike grocery stores, farmer’s markets are also NOT the place to knock produce just because it isn’t certified organic. Becoming a certified organic farm by the USDA is expensive for farmers. You cannot assume that just because they didn’t pay to become certified, that they don’t treat their produce with the utmost and natural respect. The only way to know for sure is to talk to them, which leads me to…
The thing I love MOST about farmers markets: you get to ask all of the questions to the people who know the answers – THE FARMERS! How far away is the farm? When were these [insert awesome produce or item here] picked? Are they organic? If not, do you spray pesticides? Are they GMO? How do you suggest storing these [insert awesome produce or item here]? What’s your favorite way to eat these [insert awesome produce or item here]? And on and on I could go with heart eyes abound for these glorious farmers and what they do for humanity.
Farmer’s markets take out the middle man. You get to buy your produce directly from the people that grow it. You get to buy your meat and seafood from the people that raise or fish it. You get to buy those artisan creations from the people who are out of their mind passionate about having you take home just a bit of their passions. You are directly contributing to the well being of not only your local economy but to yourself. Locally sourced food is fresher and therefore holds more nutritional value than those that have been sitting on airplanes and trucks for long distances. Talk about crazy, passionate, beautiful connection to your food!
Today’s haul was fantastic, all for $40:
- Underwood Family Farm: Spaghetti Squash and Purple Cauliflower (my new produce!)
- Ace Farms: Organic Avocados and Organic Lemons
- Eagles Flowers: Roses and other pretty little white flowers
- California Crisps: Dehydrated Grapefruit Slices
- Bluewater Seafood Co: Organic Salmon
- Gaytan Family Farms: Strawberries and Blueberries
- NOTE: I didn’t buy them this time but snapped a picture in the gallery above. Farmer’s Market eggs are the ONLY way to go. Similar if not cheaper price than Whole Foods, last longer, and taste MILES better!!