Farmers Market

PinSave

This post may contain affiliate links.

On Sunday I went to my local farmers market.

farmers market

When I say local, I mean local.  I am fortunate to live within walking distance to one of the largest farmers markets in all of California, the land of grow-almost-anything.  I am blessed to have such amazing produce within walking distance.

Here’s one small section of the market.

farmers market

And here’s another section.

farmers marketI didn’t even capture the fresh food vendors from tacos to locally roasted coffee beans to raw vegan food to green smoothie vendors.  It just goes on and on.  Next week.

There’s both fresh produce and fresh flowers for sale so it was extra fun making pictures.

I had a field day with my camera and here are some images I captured.

fresh flowers for sale

fresh flowers for sale

fresh fruit for sale

What cute little mango.   And super sweet.

fresh fruit for sale

Locally bottled avocado oil

Locally bottled avocado oil

An orchid to beat all!

Pink orchid

Dozens and dozens of varieties of tomato plants.

Dozens and dozens of varieties of tomato plants.

Get your fermentation on.

pickles

I have an easy recipe and method for fermented veggies on the countertop which I call Sweet and Sour Refrigerator Pickles

 
fermented veggies

One of my favorite shots of the day

Tomatoes in baskets

Another favorite set of images

Various produce

 

Have you ever had squash blossoms?  Many people fry them and they are almost a delicacy!  Or here are 5 recipes using them.

 

Squash blossoms

 

 

Strawberries and Blueberries

 

These flowers were so beautiful in person.  I could have taken pictures of them all day!

Various sunflowers

Close up of sunflowers

From my last post on the Barre3 DVD I reviewed, it was fun to hear what workouts you’ve been doing lately.  And what workouts you’d like to try next.

And now I’m off to make some Cheater’s Guacamole with the locally grown avocados I have.

Avocado sliced in half

Cheater's Guacamole on chips

And I will wash it down with a Peach Banana Colada Smoothie that I’m going to add some fresh pineapple to!

Diced up pineapple

Peach Banana Colada Smoothie

Questions:

1. Do you have or go to a local farmers market in your area?

Yes, this one!  I’ve posted about it in the past here, too.

And in San Diego, if I wanted to drive 20 minutes from me, there is a different market going on in different parts of town, almost every day of the week.

2. What are your favorite things to buy at the farmers market?

I love berries, tomatoes, greens, mangos, and pineapple from the market.

Well, there’s really not anything that I don’t like buying from the market.  I have to watch myself so that my eyes aren’t bigger than what we can consume before it spoils because it all looks so good!

3. Do you think it saves you money to buy from the farmers market or not?

I will be honest, I don’t think it’s necessarily cheaper to shop at farmers markets.  On some things, yes, it is clearly cheaper, i.e. a huge stalk of broccoli for $1 dollar.

But on other things, say Fuji apples, it’s more expensive for me to buy them at the farmers market than it is to buy organic Fuji apples in the regular grocery store, or at Whole Foods.

And it’s much more expensive to buy farmers market Fuji apples compared to conventional/non-organic regular-grocery-store Fuji apples.

I can also buy a bag of TJ’s organic salad mix for $1.99 which is about half the price of a comparable salad mix from the farmers market.

Also, blueberries are far cheaper at TJ’s.  No, they’re not organic or local, but they’re cheaper.

However, there is more to life than money and this is true with food choices, too:

I realize that farming is expensive and supporting local farmers so they can continue to farm is wonderful.

Locally grown food usually tastes far better.

There are positive environmental and ecological impacts of eating locally and seasonally.

There is benefit to one’s body and health to eat locally and seasonally.

The variety and types of food I can eat in San Diego from the market blow grocery store selection away!

I remember those things when I notice things cost more at the farmers market.  There’s a reason why.

Talk to me about your markets!

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

Get the latest recipes via email!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Comments

  1. The farmer’s market in your city is so amazing compared to our tiny little one in my city!

    I usually just buy some tomatoes, and one or two other random things.

  2. Your farmer’s market is amazing. Talk about variety!
    We a few local farmer’s markets, but I haven’t been since we opened the paintball field. Maybe when I get a free Saturday that will change.

  3. I BOUGHT those orange and purple sunflowers at the Hillcrest farmers market on Sunday! Those may very well be the ACTUAL sunflowers I have in my kitchen right now, how cool is that?!

    1. That is such an ironic twist….WOW!!! Thank you for telling me!!!!!!! I was there at about 1:30p and took the picture then, so if that gives you any timeline if they are the actual flowers you have or not, there ya go. What a small, crazy world, huh :)

  4. “I have to watch myself so that my eyes aren’t bigger than what we can consume before it spoils because it all looks so good!” <- I TOTALLY feel ya there!

    Wow Averie, you have an incredible farmer's market! We have one in my town, it's a bit on the small size but just last weekend, they had the biggest turn out with vendors and shoppers both! I have a "greens guy" (I really need to ask him his name…right now, he's the guy in the reflective sunglasses! Haha!) that I get turnip greens, mustard greens, or last week, he brought some kale especially for me! Yay! There is also a vendor that home-brews a great selection of teas that are unsweetened or sweetened with natural fruits like mangoes. They are delicious! I get a cup every week!

    Like you, I don't necessarily purchase things from the farmer's market because of the deal. Sometimes it's a great deal (like a huge thing of kale for 2 bucks!) but other times, it just feels good to support my local farmers…and the taste can't be beat!

  5. You’ve got a beautiful market! It makes me want to go to California so badly.

    I went to my market yesterday and it made me so, so happy. Fresh food! People EXCITED about fresh food. Happy me.

  6. Beautiful photos Averie!!
    I wish we had farmers markeds in Norway, but for some silly reason we dont :( It looks so great to walk around and pick up fresh and local produce!

  7. MMM mangoes!!! Holey moley I have been eating those so often lately. i wouldn’t be surprised if i gained a pound or two off of those because i’ve been eating so many haha!

  8. Oh that avocado looked delish–perfect and creamy!

    I love going to the farmer’s market, but often, I think I spend about the same amount of money (or maybe MORE) than if I just went to the grocery store. But then it wouldn’t have been local (probably) or organic. So….always advantages and disadvantages, but I do love the market and all the energy there!

  9. My favorite FM :) I haven’t been there since I worked there but I really need to go back! Everything looks so fresh and yummy.

  10. I absolutely love the farmer’s market near us in Wayne, PA. Many vendors come from Lancaster County, meaning they must have to wake up super early. We don’t go there as often as we used to, but they make donuts that are to die for! I recently returned from Seattle where we visited Pike Place market (similar to Philly’s Reading Terminal but also outside) and I swear we counted 12 amazing produce stands within a four-block radius :) They had every type of fruit and vegetable imaginable!

  11. great shots, Averie! I love the olive oil shot with the leafy behind it… :) and those tomatoes!

    we have SO many farmers markets in Portland this time of year, really awesome ones like this. I need to bring my camera next time!

  12. Your pictures are stunning!!!!!!!!!!! I bet Cali has the best farmer’s markets around!

  13. I would be SO excited to go to a Farmer Market like that!
    The pickles and the avocado oil – amazing!!

  14. SUCH pretty pictures! I want one of those roses! We have a few local farmers market. My favorite is one right in our town center that just opened up. They have meats, eggs, fruits, veggies, flowers, local food vendors and even a great harvest bread stand! I usually buy fruit and meat for J. I don’t think it saves me money most of the time, but I feel good buying local and organic items!

  15. I’ve only been to my local market once or twice. I was bummed that things cost more. However, if my market were as exciting and diverse as yours, I might make trips a wee bit more regularly.

  16. great pictures! farmer’s markets make for great subjects :)
    We have some small, pathetic markets around me, but nothing like yours!
    I honestly usually don’t buy the produce from them because it’s insanely more expensive. I do buy fresh baked breads and things like that though b/c I can’t find bread with simple ingredient lists that in the grocery store. It’s hard to balance $ vs. local support sometimes.

  17. My town has a very small farmer’s market. It has a few things, but it’s mostly people with their homemade crafts. A couple of places to get fruits/veggies and then random things like donuts, pretzels and popcorn. I’m totally jealous of yours!!

    I love getting veggies there, they do tend to taste so much better. Although, I think I end up spending more money at farmer’s markets than at the store because everything looks so good!

  18. we don’t have good farmer’s markets up here where i live….but good, i mean as expansive as yours….however, i do like to get delivers from local farms….expensive but it supports small farmers…the extra expense to me i look as donating to a good cause….
    when we spend time in the santa cruz, ca area which is north of the salinas, monterey bay area, the produce is amazing….the produce that gets up here near the sacramento, davis area, great as well…i feel fortunate to live in CA….we pay the price, literally to live here, but so many perks of living here

  19. Anytime I have the chance, I swing by the Durham Farmers Market on Saturday mornings! Most times, I just show up without a plan and pick what seems cheap/delicious/particularly juicy.

    I remember my favorite market day, one of the farmers had a few extra peaches at the end of the day and, rather than take them back, he just handed a GIGANTIC one to my friends and I. We split the fruit, passing it around, enjoying the sun and the peach juice getting all over everything, and it was the kind of stuff farmers market dreams are made of!

  20. Beautiful farmers market! I love that one especially :) I try and go to one every week. SOme produce have such great prices, and some are SUPER expensive. If anything avocados, and lemons and even spinach or chard usually have really great prices.

  21. You’re so lucky to live near a large farmer’s market! The colors in your pics are so bright, they look almost unreal. Beautiful! There are farmer’s markets somewhat near me, but it’s still a drive and way more expensive than the store. But when I’m in my college town, the farmer’s market is way cheaper than even Walmart. I guess that’s what happens when you go to college in the middle of a cornfield! ;) Have a good day, Averie!

  22. I live in Vermont, and we have amazing farms and local foods to choose from. Every week in the summer there is a great farmers market downtown filled with bursting produce, meats, eggs, breakfast sandwiches, burgers, root beer floats…. ahhh its all so amazing. I notice that the protein is far more expensive for even the same brand you can buy in our local grocery store. A dozen eggs for $5 is hard to rationalize when the same eggs are 3.50 in store, or another brand is $2.50. I try to support when I can, mostly with fresh produce.

  23. You lucky duck! I live in New York and the growing season here has been just awful – so cold and rainy…too rainy. Fields are flooded and it’s impossible to grow anything. The farmer’s markets around here have been very sparce. Hopefully the weather will turn around.
    Lovely photos of your market, though! The colors are so vibrant! :)

  24. Love Hillcrest Farmer’s Market. Since I live in Little Italy, I go to the one on Saturday that’s a block from my place.
    Have you been to that Mexican vendor at the the Hillcrest market that sells Squash Blossom Tacos? OMG you need to try them if you haven’t!
    I get most of my groceries from my co-opt (People’s in OB) and then whatever else at either the farmer’s markets or Whole Foods. Have you been to People’s? It’s vegetarian, local, organic, $15 a year membership, green (solar panels & wind mills), and they have have a sinful hot bar/bakery.

  25. Ohhhh I loved going to the farmer market with you via your pics. They were all awesome and I wish I was near one like that. So friggin’ cool!!!!

    XO!

  26. You’re tempting me to move by you! Wow, that market is glorious. We have nothing comparable, our closest one us 20 miles away, but supposedly another one is cropping up down the road, less than a mile. I won’t hold my breath. :)

    Our grow season is so short. The last farmers market we stopped at last fall had Cali stickers on their produce!! Not kidding, pitiful! Not sure I’d be disciplined at a market like yours. Too tempting to buy everything!

    And yes, I have had zucchini flowers. My grandma on other side of fam used to fry them. I haven’t had them in years– zucchini flowers or that family. Heh :/

    1. yes, move!

      the last sentence…haven’t had (either) of them in years…I bet there are some stories there!

  27. NYC has AWESOME Greenmarkets! And coincidentally, one of my best friends owns Stokes Farm, so I used to work at some of the farmer’s markets in the city selling their produce!

    We’re just now transitioning into vegetable/fruit season here in the northeast, and Heirloom Tomatoes are my absolute favorites!

    I usually think of shopping at the Farmer’s Market as a splurge- I love doing it and I feel good doing it, but it is usually more expensive, and sometimes the food budget is tight. Having a friend who owns a farm and loves to give you free produce helps, though! :)

  28. I LOVE the farmers’ market, but didn’t have time to make it to mine on Saturday (the only day we have it here :(). I’m not gonna lie, but when I lived out in BC last year, the market there was bigger and much better (especially since I lived in orchard country!), but I make do with what’s available at the one now that we’re living back in Ontario.

    It has a decent selection, but I’m one for visiting MANY vendors, not just a few! I agree that it’s not necessarily cheaper, but hey, it’s fresher (or at least I like to think that). Plus, it gets you out in the community :)

  29. You’re so lucky to have an amazing farmers market! The ones we have around here tend to be kind of lacking in variety. I wish I had access to all that! So yummy, all that fresh goodness :D

  30. Wow, what I would give to have such an incredible farmers market within walking distance of my house! We have some great markets here in Atlanta, but they’re all at least a 30 minute drive away (that’s Atlanta sprawl for ya!).

    I just love how delicious and fresh all the produce is at the farmers markets. It is much more expensive than going to the store, but it’s such a great thing to support local farmers and businesses and have great tasting food at the same time.

    1. I saw your grilled sammie on Tastespotting yesterday when I was there checking on my own submissions :) congrats!

      Also got the F & L questionnaire…so excited!

      1. Thanks! I get so excited when Tastespotting and/or FoodGawker like my photos :)

        I’m so excited about the F & L workshop too! Filling out the questionnaire has gotten me even more excited – haha!

  31. Happy Belated Birthday! Sorry, I totally missed out on that one. I zonked out super early last night and have been light on my technology until now.

    Your pictures look great. :-) I LOVE farmers markets. They’re my Happy Place. I snagged 2 pints of strawberries for a total of $4 this past weekend. Awesome! It was at the end of the day. So yes, sometimes deals can be found, sometimes not. You have to know when and how to shop. For example, if I’m looking for a particular veggie, say, baby eggplants, I know to go early.

  32. I love reading your blog! I found it on my friend’s blog and have been lurking in the background for some time now, so I hope you will forgive me. I admire how much you care about being healthy. Being healthy and making it a priority to eat healthy is a great lifestyle choice, and I do believe it is a choice we all must decide and I admire how much you care about eating clean. I was wondering if you might entertain me and post some pictures of you when you were pregnant with Skylar for fun. I’m sure you had such a great pregnant bod! I am about 11 weeks with my first, and would love your advice on how to stay healthy while pregnant, and what you did to get your body back and of course anything else you want to add! Take care and keep up with the great posts!

    Kristen

    1. I wasnt blogging 5.5 years ago when I was pregnant so no online photos of me pregnant.

      Just listen to your gut, dont compare, use common sense, use a moderate attitude are the best pieces of advice i can give.

  33. Soo excited…so this farmers market is in hillcrest? i am gonna be heading home to sd this week and want to hit it up for fresh food for our vacay in sd. we will be renting a house in pb the two weeks we are home. so i want fresh foods. thanks for posting. i am excited to hit it up.

  34. I love your pictures Averie — you have such a good eye!

    I don’t go to the Farmers Markets too much –there are large ones in St. Paul and Minneapolis — but I go there maybe once per month. I can get decent produce at small stands around our area (so I guess they are mini farmers markets!) and to be honest Costco has some good, cheap produce (most of it is organic too!)

    I think buying some produce at the markets is cheaper — kale for sure is way cheaper there than in the stores, but some fruits and such are more expensive. I guess it all evens out though!

    1. My parents’ biggest complaint about the markets in msp area is the short growing season and lack of diversity…northern climate issues for sure.

      See kale here is 99 cents a for a huge bunch in the groc store. Everyone talks about how expensive or hard to come by kale is in diff parts of the country but here, it’s plentiful and cheap in the groc store.

  35. I looooove my farmers market. I live in a small town but it is amazing the variety at our market. I just posted on Saturday my most recent loot and yes it saved us a bit of money(plus there are things we can’t buy in the grocery store here anyways) so yes I think it’s cheaper if you know how to shop. A lot of things cost a heck of a lot more than they should, greens, berries, etc. For lack of a better way to describe it, I think when a farmers market is more directed at tourists the prices are higher, I know certain weekends the prices are higher at our farmers market. Plus, certain vendors just sell things for a lot more than others on a regular basis. Plus, I find going early early helps because the best produce goes first and you’re more likely to get a better deal(although some people say to go at the end of the market because some vendors are giving away their produce just to get rid of it for the day). To me some prices are worth getting produce that was just picked that morning. Or on produce that is organic even though the farmer doesn’t legally have the label. It’s so much tastier :D

  36. I was at that Farmer’s Market on Sunday as well!!! I usually go to the one in Little Italy on Saturdays, but was unable to make it. The Hillcrest one was a fun change! Your pictures look beautiful, and you have inspired so many of my baking projects :) Love your blog!

  37. The main reason I go to the farmer’s market is to get grass-fed beef. Pretty much all of the produce in the supermarkets around here is locally grown, and I can’t afford to spend twice as much to get it at the farmer’s market.

    Love that pic with the tomatoes in baskets on the left, onions on the right.

    1. “and I can’t afford to spend twice as much to get it at the farmer’s market.”— yes!

      tomatoes in baskets on the left, onions on the right picture = one of my faves, too! thanks :)

  38. I love farmers markets, but I am more of a go to look than buy kind of consumer. I definitely would love to shop there only, but I just can’t stomach those prices! I know, its good to support the local farmer, but a girl’s gotta eat too!

    The pictures, as usual, are beautiful!

    1. “The pictures, as usual, are beautiful!”— thank you :)

      “its good to support the local farmer, but a girl’s gotta eat too!”– indeed!

  39. I’ve never shopped at a farmers market before, but I know of one that’s literally right down the street from my house. I just don’t want to go alone and none of my friends want to go with me bright and early to get the good produce lol. I hope to stop by one day non-alone and no longer be afraid and make it a routine lol! I mean $5 for that many blueberries?! I’m jealous.

    1. The commenter below you feels it’s not a deal but very pricey.

      Perspectives…so different, huh!

      And go alone. I went alone to mine. And usually do. Sometimes it’s nice to just be alone…with the plants and food and center yourself. Food as yoga so to speak :)

      1. haha yeah but it’s fresh and organic. Everything in Texas doesn’t taste as fresh because it’s shipped to us, you know? I bet Cali produce is so much better.
        I’m just afraid to go places like that alone for the first time. It scares me haha! I’m afraid something bad is going to happen to me because I’m so tiny. I will go one day though and tell you how it is!

  40. $5 a cup for blueberries!? Ouch! Our farmer’s market is definitely not less expensive than the supermarket but it is better– more fresh plus I like to support local growers. We use the farmer’s market near us for fresh eggs, goat cheese, jams, and some produce. Yours looks heavenly and much larger than the one by my house. Your photos are awesome.

    1. I know, I think it’s very pricey, too.

      The commenter below you feels it’s a deal.

      Perspectives…so different, huh!

  41. Wow, lucky! I’d go to that farmer’s market every day! It’s been awhile on squash blossoms, they look good.

    1. Yes, but ours are only a few times a week and not near by.
    2. Watermelons and huge zucchinis for spiralizing.
    3. Not really, but the veggies are fresher and better tasting I think not being chilled or stored.

  42. i’m so sad my life is too bonkers right now to do a proper farmers market trip. not enough meals at home!!!

  43. I loveloveLOVE Farmers Markets! I’m jealous of yours – we have a few around here, one that I go to most often, but they’re small. I used to live just a block or so away from one, but now I drive about 15 mins to get there. Of course I usually get produce (got fresh spinach from the last one – never had that before!), especially strawberries if I can find them – why are they so much better than they are at the store anyway? ;) But I also love the different breads and jams…and Alex picked up some black bean/jalapeno hummus that he loves! I keep wanting to pick up the maple syrup, but it’s so expensive. As far as saving money – no, it’s slightly more expensive. But if it tastes better and supports the little local guys around here, I’m okay with the extra few cents.
    Great pix by the way! I love how colorful and lively everything seems!

  44. I love the colors in a farmer’s market! So beautiful. I need to get to one. It’s been too long! I hope you’re having a great week Averie!

  45. Totally jealous of that HUGE farmer’s market! :) It is awesome.

    I have a lot of squash blossoms going on in my garden right now!

  46. oh – and as for cost? wayyyy more expensive for me to buy at the market :[ It seems some people always mention getting great deals but I’ve yet to see anything like it at ours!

    1. I think the ppl who say they’re getting great deals are used to WF’s produce pricing…not TJ’s pricing…lol.

      Which is why they think the market is a dealfest.
      It’s fun…but it’s not full of “deals” :)

  47. wow; you really are blessed to have such a wonderful market within walking distance! our “good” market is almost an hour away and i usually don’t bother going unless i need to go into town anyway, or haven’t been in a while. i’d love to go more often but it being so far out makes it almost an all-morning occasion on a weekend when I need to get other stuff done, too! But I’ll quite whining, because your gorgeous pictures make me feel as if I’m there :) I seriously adore the shots of the carrots and beets…and the irony in the strawberries with the blueberry sign :P

  48. wonderful photos!
    waterloo region is known for our farmers markets. one of my favourite dad + me outings is to go the market on a thursday morning. it’s a perfect resource for local produce + fruit – my usual purchases. and i DO save money – have done a comparison. and it’s great to buy direct from the grower.
    envious of that sunshine!

  49. So jealous of California produce! Beautiful! :D

    I generally think the farmers markets in VA and DC that I go to are MORE expensive than the regular grocery store. Asparagus is usually a dollar or two more, greens are more expensive, eggs cost more, etc. That whole saving money by shopping local thing may apply for some things, but I really don’t see it much!

  50. I LOVE the farmers market!!! I am a vendor myself, so now I appreciate it so much more! Good for you for supporting local businesses! :)

    Whitney

  51. There is simply nothing better than visiting the farmers market at peak season. It’s like a candy store! :) My favorite thing to buy is local fresh picked strawberries. I just got some this weekend that were still warm! Love that!