Load up on produce at the best farmers markets in California

Load up on produce at the best farmers markets in California
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With so many amazing farmers markets in California, the days of shopping at grocery stores for fresh produce are a thing of the past. Local farms in California continue to push out top-notch, seasonally grown produce, and many people prefer to support local farmers and small producers. While some grocery stores do supply sustainably sourced and organic products, visiting a farmers market is unique in itself. Depending on the season and where you may be regionally, vendors may differ in supply. But with all farmers markets, the experience is part of the attraction.

Picture this: you walk up to a vendor with eight different kinds of nectarine in front of you. You don’t know which one to choose, but luckily there are samples available. You may chit-chat with the farmer that grew the fruit, and you may end up supporting a local supplier that’s truly in need of your business. This in itself is an experience that you can’t get at your average grocery store. So if you’re on the hunt for the best farmers markets in California, be sure to check out these suggestions for some of the freshest produce you can hope to find.

Laguna Niguel Farmers Market

The Laguna Niguel Farmers Market has been a local Sunday tradition for years now. With their market remaining open, rain or shine, this is one of the most visited farmers markets in California on the south side of Orange County. Located in the Plaza de La Paz shopping center parking lot, the lot becomes a treasury of diverse products each Sunday.

You’ll find everything from organic fruits and vegetables to free-range eggs and meats here. There are also vendors selling a handful of different hummus dips and a range of homemade Kombucha and juices. Come prepared with a hefty shopping bag to make the best of one of the most varietal farmers markets here in OC.

Hours: Sundays 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Irvine Great Park Farmers Market

Following the health and safety guidelines made by state and local officials, the Irvine Great Park Farmers Market is a certified market that features locally grown fruits and vegetables from the Great Park Farm and other local farms.

Not only does the Irvine Farmers Market provide produce for the community, but it also has a Farm + Food Lab where you can get gardening tips from gardeners from the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Operations are run by Ann Senske, and you can expect the market to follow guidelines that ensure the safety of the community while you shop.

Hours: Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Huntington Surf City Nights Street Fair Farmers Market

This Tuesday night community street fair is a popular coastal farmers market on the main streets of Huntington Beach. Because the first three blocks of Main Street are closed for traffic, the whole street is filled with vendors. Local artisans, lots of produce, games and live music make the market a lively experience for anyone passing through.

This certified farmers market provides typical fare like fresh cut flowers cut, fruits and vegetables as well as dried fruit and nuts. The merchant tents feature local artwork, clothing and couture as well as handcrafted wood collectibles. Surf along a wave of fresh produce and have a dip into the ocean after.

Hours: Tuesdays 5-9 p.m.

Hollywood Farmers Market

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Farmers Market is an outdoor street market with a mixture of goods from local farmers, ranchers and vendors. Expect to be met with random street musicians as well as community organizers providing cooking demos, kid workshops and family-oriented festivals.

This market is one solid row of everything you can think of: California-grown fruits and veggies, free-range poultry and eggs, cheeses, sauces, jellies and jams. You can easily reach the market if you take the Metro Red Line Train Or Metro Local bus to Hollywood & Vine station.

Hours: Sundays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Flower District Farmers Market

The Flower District Farmers Market is located between 7th and 8th street in downtown LA and has been providing the community with a diverse array of flowers for decades now. With reasonably priced, high quality perishables, the market helps benefit and support California small and mid-sized farms across the state.

The options for flowers here are endless. Come here to find wholesale value for your gardens back home or even decorated bouquets to take on the go. If you’re looking for flowers and plants that are affordable, plentiful and well-sourced, look here.

Hours: Saturdays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

East Hollywood Certified Farmers Market

Created by Thai CDC, the East Hollywood Certified Farmers Market is improving access to fresh affordable fruits and vegetables for the communities of East Hollywood. They actively engage in the multifaceted needs of disadvantaged immigrants across Los Angeles. Not only does the team promote healthier lifestyles but also provides a venue for the “Prepared Meal Access Program.

Their mission at Thai CDC is to “advance the social and economic well-being of low and moderate income Thais and other ethnic communities in greater Los Angeles through a broad range of community development …” This farmers market brings awareness of fresh accessible food and support for the community unlike any other in Los Angeles.

Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 3:30-7:30 p.m.

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