Going Green: Farmers Markets Fresh

We’ve been working on Going Green over here through our remodeling, household purchases and especially in the way we cook and eat. One of the best ways to do that is through our local Farmers Market! Gotta love wholesome, locally grown, farm-to-table food (especially now that Liv joins us at the dinner table! More on that soon).

While we are registered with a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group and pick up a box chock full of delicious goodies once every other week, sometimes we like to supplement with the local Farmers Market, and since San Diego supports over 50 local Farmers Markets - there’s a plethora to choose from.

But… can buying local be as cost-efficient as buying from the grocery store? I headed out to our Sunday morning Hillcrest Farmers Market to check it out.

My mission: Spend $25 for a weeks worth of organic fruits and veggies.

My finds: 1 canteloupe, 1 acorn squash, 3 large bell peppers, 2 bunches baby carrots, 1 head of garlic, 1 bag each (about 8 total) of tomatoes, peaches & apricots, and for good measure – two $2.50 bouquets of flowers, 1 container fresh mozzarella cheese and one loaf of locally baked bread.

The results: My locavore basket beat out the local supermarket by about 50% (I’m sure with coupons and specials you could get awfully close though) and when I added up the finds it was roughly Farmers Market: $25, Supermarket: $38. Score one for the home team.

Best tips: I prefer to hit up the Farmers Market about an hour before closing. The selection is usually just as great but the vendors are eager to part with their wares (to not truck anything home) and offer great sales. Bartering is always to be expected around this time, too! Pick out a range of ‘ripeness’, such as melons a week or so out, peaches that are still hard and squash that will last for a while in your fridge. You don’t want to be stuck with an entire basket that’s bound to ripen up (or is already ripe) too soon.

So delicious! I usually roast my squash and carrots to draw out the natural sugars (450 deg tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper) – also great for any root veggie, BBQ stone fruits (such as my peaches and nectarines – add a bit of honey and yogurt) and saute the bell peppers with fingerling potatoes. If we do have veggies and fruit that we won’t eat quickly enough, into the juicer they go.

By eating locally, we’re supporting our ranchers and farmers, keep our hard earned dollars in the local economy, eating fresher produce (no shipping and shelf life here), reducing energy consumption (transportation and storage) while protecting our environment, and getting the opportunity to cook in season with ingredients that might not often be found in the store (yay for the funny looking vegetable you’ve never tried before! or, chocolate mint, anyone?). Plus, most of the locally produced food grown by family farmers is organic and chemical free.

Yum.

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Comments

  1. says

    We missed out on the CSA this year…and keep waking up too late for the Farmer’s Markets…but you’ve now reinvigorated the desire to get out to one! This produce looks gorgeous! (on a side note, one of the old places I used to work had a weekly farmer’s market and it was fabulous…I miss that so much!)

  2. Melissa says

    Which San Diego farmer’s amrket do you recommend? I am new to the area. Thanks!!

    • Morgan says

      Hi Melissa,

      The Hillcrest Farmers Market is definitely the largest, it takes place on Sundays from 9-2 I believe. I’ve also been to our local Adams Avenue and Ocean Beach – love those as well!

      Welcome to San Diego!
      ~Morgan

  3. says

    Great post! My family is a huge fan of farmers market and visit weekly.

    I put myself through law school working part- time at a farmers’ market so they have a special place in my heart. I have a good friend (who also put herself through law school working at markets) who takes a photo of herself at various markets on her travels – I love that idea.

    On our front window, we proudly display a sticker which reads “farmers feed cities”.

    • Morgan says

      KJ, I love that! How neat is that – and I totally agree. Some 60% of farmers farm under 9 acres – read that somewhere, but the source is long gone!

      Anna, we are so fortunate to have a Farmers Market within 20 miles on nearly every day of the week, craft markets are great too!

      ~Morgan

  4. says

    These look gorgeous! My town doesn’t have a farmer’s market but a lot of farmers bring vegies into the Sunday craft markets. Unfortunately, I work on Sundays so I always miss out!

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