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Best Farmer's Market in San Diego?

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I'm from Santa Barbara originally where we have lovely, bountiful farmer's markets. I moved here in June and have been so disappointed with the Del Mar and La Jolla farmer's markets in San Diego. There aren't that many produce vendors, everything is really expensive and they mostly sell clothes and trinkets these days!

Any farmer's markets in the area worth checking out?

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  1. Hillcrest Farmer's Market is every Sunday from 9-1 and it's widely regarded as one of, if not the, best markets in town.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mimosa

      I'll second that...the one in Hillcrest is probably the best local farmer's market. But San Diego needs to increase the number and variety of vendors in its farmer's markets. Having recently moved back to S.D. from Oakland it's clear that the S.F. bay area farmer's markets are superior to those of S.D. with a greater variety of high quality products...produce, cheeses, breads, sausages, and much more.

      The Berkeley and Oakland weekly farmer's markets are as good or better than the one in Hillcrest, and the one at the San Francisco Ferry Building far outshines any local farmer's market. Still, I keep hoping for improvements in our local farmer's markets.

      1. re: mimosa

        I agree that Hillcrest has the best Farmer's Market. There isn't much in Hillcrest that isn't the best. I love that community for what it has to offer. Check it out.

      2. I agree wtih Mimosa on Hillcrest, it's probably the largest and most diverse of the farmer's markets. I also like teh Wednesday market in OB but parking can be a real pain on market day, especially in the summer. I just got home from the Little Italy market where I picked up some fresh lettuce, broccoli, multiple varieites of potoates, a couple of tomatos, meyer lemons, blood oranges and a specialty bread. Eggs, onions, cruciferous vegetables, honey, jam, cheese, pastured meat and fish was also available along with multiple vendors selling hummus, olive oil and the usual trinkets.

        In general, I find the prices at the farmer's markets in San Diego are on the high end. I rarely find really good deals, but I do find really good produce.

        5 Replies
        1. re: DiningDiva

          Ha.

          I just got back from the little italy farmers market too.

          I love it.

          Fresh eggs, meats, cheeses, and produce.

          1. re: stevewag23

            I got strawberries there last weekend, and, at $11 for three baskets, they were a bit pricey. However, I was very surprised at the quality for the size of the berries. Past experience, for me, was the smaller the berries, the more sweet. But these were large, sweet, and juicy. They advertised as being grown in Oceanside. If you see them, check 'em out. Worth the price, IMO.

            1. re: phee

              I saw those, but did not pick any up.

              Will next time for sure.

              I did get some tomatoes from them (oceanside).

              1. re: phee

                Phee, I saw those too and didn't buy because I thought they were too big. Also at $4 a basket they were more than I wanted to spend.

                For a little over $4 I got 5 baskets of Blackberries at Windmill Farms on my way home ;-)

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Good buy on the blackberries. I picked up some blackberries at Zion Market today. I'm not used to seeing blackberries that big, but, again, these were juicy and sweet. I'm just lucking out on the big berries as of late!

          2. though technically not a farmers market, chino farms has great produce. I can't compare it to Hillcrest's FM 'cause I haven't been...

            1 Reply
            1. re: upstarter

              where is chino farms located exactly?

              * found it
              6123 Calzada del bosque
              Rancho Santa Fe

            2. I'll second Hillcrest as a good one. You can also sign up with a local CSA, which gets you a box weekly or bi-weekly full of good, organic produce. People's Co-Op in Ocean Beach has great produce all the time, among other good things to eat. If you're in North County, Jimbo's in Del Mar has some nice produce, too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Josh

                Jimbo's is like the one shining star in that culiary wasteland of Carmel Valley.

              2. For San Diego, I think that the Hillcrest Farmers Market is one of the best..
                I have been to the mid-week one in Escondido and that has quite a bit of local produce from North County and reasonable too..some great Mexican vendors with their tamales, salsas and carne...lots of flowers.
                Plus, its a great reason to go and have a pint at O'Sullivans and have the killer fish n' chips!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Thanks! I went to Hillcrest today and was quite pleased. Got an amazing crepe and some Turkish coffee and was on my merry way :)

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Yes, the Tuesday Escondido market does have a nice variety of produce for very reasonable prices! (Plus, you can duck around the corner to Panaderia Ortiz when you're done!)

                  2. I've heard that Vista's is pretty decent.

                    Here is a comprehensive list from the Farm Bureau:

                    http://sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/Farm...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: RB Hound

                      Few pics from Chino Farms this morning

                      *don't know why the pics didn't come out going resize and try again

                      1. re: SDGourmand

                        hopefully this works

                         
                         
                    2. Have to agree on the FM's being expensive, which discourages me from participating. Not like the ones I've been to in SF. I mean take for example strawberries, they're all coming from CA, Watsonville and vacinity, you can get 4 lbs, that 4 pints, at Costco for under $10, there the same product. I will support 'real' local farmers, Alpine Farm for example but, for vendors getting produce from the same wholesalers as every other mega-mart and then charging 30-40% more, I'll pass thanks.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cstr

                        I can't speak for the other farmers markets, but the strawberries we've been getting recently from the PB market have been from Carlsbad and Oceanside. They've been fantastic, too.

                        1. re: menuinprogress

                          Just was in Carlsbad last week, they were excellent.

                      2. Up in north county, I like the Vista market on Sat. and the Leucadia market on Sun. The Vista one is larger, but I hit the Leucadia market almost every Sunday because it is so close. I know the prices are kind of on the expensive side, but I know the stuff is fresh, it tastes better than the stuff in the stores and I feel that I am supporting the growers. The Carlsbad strawberries that I picked up were 7 or 8 for 3 baskets. We did a blind taste test with Henry's strawberries, and the Carlsbad won hands down.

                        1. Little Italy isn't the biggest, but it's our favorite. We're big fans of Stainer(sp?) produce near the top of the hill and also buy their blue/cream/gold/beige eggs when we can afford them. Also a huge fan of Ray Knight and his handmade sausages. There's a stand where we always buy greens (great arugula). I hope Little Italy market will grow. The layout is great. The view amazing. Parking's not bad. Yes, it's expensive but it makes me feel I'm doing my part to support local growers.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: pickypicky

                            I'm assuming that Ray Knight is of Knight Salumi Company? I was really happy about having a local source for salumi, but unfortunately it was not too my liking. I purchased the Finocchio, a Cacciatore and Coppa Molina all were kind of let down compared to recent experiences at P. Mozza and from the local guys at Whisk 'n' Ladel. Two of the three purchased were really unpleasantly sticky on the outside. Are the sausages you are referring to of the fresh, uncooked type? I would love some more info.

                            1. re: stevuchan

                              Yes, it is Ray Knight. I will admit I prefer Paul Bertolli's salumi-- BUT I love what Ray is attempting, and he is local. I liked the Finocchio alot but sorry I can't remember the others I had. (My chef husband is a big fan of Ray's.) We were told he's opened a factory in Clairemont, and he welcomed us to come visit at any time. I didn't like Whisknladle's homecured meats at all-- so it may be a matter of taste. However, Ray wants and welcomes feedback. Especially if you're a salumi fan-- so talk to him when he's there.

                              1. re: pickypicky

                                if you haven't already, try it again - they've upgraded their facility, and I think the products have improved quite a bit. I also love the sausage sandwiches he's selling at the Hillcrest Market. He's also now selling variosu cuts of the organic pork they use for their sausages (Becker Lane) for. $10. a pound.

                            2. re: pickypicky

                              Do you mean Schaner farms? I'm also a big fan of their produce. They had fabulously fragrant basil in the summer/early fall, perfect when paired with their heirloom tomatoes. I also love their bouquets of herbs.

                              Another favorite stand in the Little Italy market is Polito Family Farms. In the summer, they had delicious figs, and right now, their valencia oranges are super juicy and sweet.

                              There's also a good olive vendor at the bottom of the hill, near India St., where I like to get my kalamatas.

                              Even though there's more variety at the Hillcrest FM, I prefer the Little Italy market because it's less of a zoo, and I can walk to Mona Lisa and Assenti's afterwards for deli meats and fresh pasta.

                              I do wish there were more stands that sold greens. In recent weeks, I've gotten to the market around noon, and all the greens at that one stand were already sold out!

                              1. re: Lillian Hsu

                                Yes, thank you. It is Schaner-- and I'm so glad you corrected me. They are wonderful people, and their produce and eggs are exceptional. I don't know the man's name we buy greens from, but he has beautiful produce and is very friendly. Yes, Mona Lisa's is a big plus, too!

                              2. re: pickypicky

                                Re: pickypicky

                                Hi, I'm a freelance reporter and I am writing a story about the popularity of the local farmers markets and how it seems to be growing. Can you tell me what primarily draws you to shop at farmers markets? You can respond here (on chowhound) or you can email me, if you want to give me your real name, etc for the article (no1newslady@aol.com). I look forward to your response. Writing this article is making me more interested in the prospect of including a trip to a farmers market in my grocery buying routine.

                              3. The entire point of shopping at farmer's markets is to support your local farmer, and get good quality produce. That to me means organic. Costco might have less expensive strawberries, but they're not organic, so I won't buy them.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: barbian7

                                  We love farmer's markets. My chef husband and I patronize at least one weekly, most weeks. Our favorites are Hillcrest, Little Italy (convenient), and Oceanside (for honey and farm vendors who don't come into the city.) They are not as good as we'd like (SF or Santa Monica), but we support what's here in hopes that it will grow.

                                  1. re: pickypicky

                                    I think Little Italy's will grow.

                                    I bet this summer will be great.

                                    1. re: stevewag23

                                      Very much agree. LIFM is already very good, and I'm expecting that it'll really hit it's stride in the summer.

                                      Though not our largest FM it's certainly one of the bigger ones. For me it seems ideally sized and I love it for it's "concentrated variety" and quality of goods, especially for it's selection of locally produced protein items and live seafood. It's also an ideal setup for extending a trip to the LIFM with visits to LI's many local businesses.

                                      1. re: cgfan

                                        when is the Little Italy farmers market?

                                        1. re: jammer1977

                                          It's every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. Make sure you take advantage of the 2 hours free parking if you do go. There are two lots open on opposite ends of the school on the East side of Little Italy. The south lot's entrance is situated at the far east end of the Mercato.

                                          1. re: cgfan

                                            I just saw a sign on Sunday that its open now until 3:30.

                                            1. re: jmtreg

                                              Wow, that's great news! Sometimes I barely make it down there in time and have to rush the market in a half hour before it closes...

                                              1. re: jmtreg

                                                I just checked in with the market manager for Little Italy and in reply to the question on whether the hours were being extended until 3:30pm, she sent the following:
                                                "We are till open until 1:30. Street closure is until 3:30, to allow for vendor closedown and packing out. The street closure signs occasionally lead people to make this (wrong) assumption."

                                    2. re: barbian7

                                      Unless you pull it from the vine,I wouldn't consider it organic,unless you believe everything you are told.If they are Organic,it means they didn't use pesticides,or clones or crossbreeding.For eg.The tomatoes on the vine you get at Costco are by far the finest tomato you can acquire in San Diego,they have campanella farms and one other farm they are(exquisite)the best tomato west of New Jersey.BY FAR!!!Wash your fruits and vegetables well,if they are organic,there will be bugs in them or they have been on them.if they aren't organic,they have pesticides on them. I wouldn't get stuck on organic,I know it's trendy and all but you miss out on some of the tastiest fruits and vegetables on earth.See my previous best of San diego list.

                                    3. I live in Carmel Valley and sometimes make it down to Little Italy or Hillcrest (which are both excellent), but have been truly enjoying staying local and going to Solana Beach's farmer's market. It's 10 minutes away and parking has never been a problem (where it often is down in Hillcrest).

                                      1. There are a variety of ways to get fresh fruit and vegetables in San Diego.I'm going to tell you where to go for each.First of all there is a phenomenal and very cheap farmers market at the Escondido Swap Meet,everything from bags of turning to orange and red serrano peppers for $1.00 to various cacti,some things you won't recognize at all.I always find out the name and take 1 home.But enormous squash,cucumbers,nectarines,whatever you want,but,and this is a big but,there are places to go for certain items.for eg.You can not get better tomatoes in San diego than at Costco,they used to be campanella brand on the vine,but they have a different grower and they are just as good,they also have the best deal on mushrooms,giant,easily cleaned and stuffable,the best deal on Romaine Lettuce 6 heads for $2.49.For Cilantro-5 for $1,green onions 4 for $1,radishes 3 for $1,and Olives,large hollow green stuffable 3.99-4.99 lb,and cheap Carne Asada,North Park Produce,they also have a phenomenal selection.Actually San Diego has alot of indoor farmers markets(Windmill Farms in Del Cerro,the Farmers Outlet on Rainier Drive in Allied Gardens,Henry's still has good deals) I prefer Windmill farms for peppers,nectarines,awesome pumpkin seeds,and other various fruits and vegetables.For Habaneros,a very expensive ,probably too hot for most of you treat.99 cent city often has plastic packages full for .99,their other vegetables eg.Chinese pea pods,yellow squash,plastic encased (I forget what they are called but they look like giant persian cucumbers) cucumbers for 2 for .99 Look for your sales for Blackberries,blueberries,Raspberries,you'll seldom get more than 6 oz. for .99 at Vons,Albertsons,Ralphs,I am from the east coast originally ,in Philly 24 years,in San Diego 23 years and vegetables and fruits are so juicy but certain fruits are out of season most of the year. It took awhile but I've compiled the best of the best.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: archer472

                                          Costco may have the best "on the vine" tomatoes in San Diego, but they are not the best of all. That distinction belongs to Valdeivia Farms Heirloom Tomatoes. When their Purple Cherokees peak in fall, they are among the best tomatoes in the country.

                                          1. re: archer472

                                            "You can not get better tomatoes in San Diego than at Costco"

                                            This is hands down the most absurd statement I have ever read on Chowhound.

                                            I buy these in the winter when I have a tomato jones and they are all right, but seriously you have to be joking.

                                            1. re: stevuchan

                                              I totally agree with you, if you are going to buy tomatoes, go to the farmers markets they are so fresh and you can get varities that you cannot find other places, i.e. Costco, the market my s.o. goes to has tomatoes thru the winter. As an aside Tomatomania at the San Diego Botanical Garden (nee Quail Gardens) is coming up in a couple of weeks. The best tomatoes are the ones from your own garden and they are so easy to grow, even if you have a small patio.

                                              1. re: littlestevie

                                                Best tomatoes if you don't grow them in SD is Chino Farms. Hands down. The only tomatoes that actually have flavor to them!

                                                1. re: littlestevie

                                                  I know that the heirlooms at seaside are local from the farm in carlsbad off el camino real. I forget the name of the farm though.

                                              2. re: archer472

                                                With all due respect for your experience in years, I must point out that "enormous squash, cucumbers, nectarines, whatever you want" aren't necessarily the best tasting. In fact, often the best tasting fruits and vegetables are rather small, are not from heavily irrigated farms, and are allowed to grow slowly, so as to concentrate the flavor compounds. Biggest isn't always best, especially where produce is concerned.

                                                I grew up watching my grandparents garden an acre, and my mother a smaller patch in our backyard. I learned from them that using fertilizer is at best a judicious process, and that often no fertilizer, but healthy soil and TLC is the best application. Of course, this is only my experience and opinion, but I believe it's valid. It's special that Californians can seek out the best at reasonable prices from time to time, because so much variety and abundance is for the having.

                                              3. I really like the North Park Farmers market on Thursday evenings on the corner of 32nd & University (CVS parking lot)

                                                I find many of the same vendors as Hillcrest but a little more shopable & less packed with people.

                                                1. Vista on Saturday mornings. It's worth the drive.
                                                  Hillcrest on Sundays - but not as many varieties of veg and fruit in season.

                                                  1. I've been splitting my time between LI and the Poway FM lately. The Poway market just keeps getting better, no where near LI but improving. It would be nice to have a meat vendor at the Poway FM, but Knight is filling the protein void. Has anyone seen Curtis Womack and his delicious chickens? Seems like a long time since I spotted him at the LI market, or any where.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: stevuchan

                                                      LOL

                                                      Last year, during the summer, People's had romas that were really good. They were the same variety grown in the San Marzano region of Italy. I hope to see them again this year.

                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                        Think I might have been baited. I really need to go to People's, not sure why I always forget. IIRC you do not have to be a co-op member to shop there correct?

                                                        1. re: stevuchan

                                                          No, but it costs more if your not. If you say it is your first time they will give you the member discount, but obviously you can only work that angle for so long.

                                                          1. re: stevuchan

                                                            Just to finesse Jack's comment a little, all the prices there are listed as member prices. If you're not a member, they apply a surcharge (except for first-time visitors).

                                                            The price to join is $15 annually, which is really a good deal if you shop there with any degree of frequency. Also, since it's a co-op, when you cancel your membership you get back your member fees - and I believe that's done cumulatively for every year you've paid, though I'm not certain about that.

                                                        2. re: stevuchan

                                                          I concur on Curtis's chickens! I haven't seen him at the Hillcrest market in a few months. Does anyone have the scoop on that?

                                                          1. re: Auriana

                                                            He's been there the last couple of weeks.

                                                        3. For produce, my fave is Hillcrest. For protein, my fave is Little Italy.

                                                          1. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the La Jolla farmer's market here. Sunday's from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. it's smaller than the Hillcrest market but it's more food-centric and there is less duplication. More information at the web site: http://www.lajollamarket.com/ One thing to feel good about, the site rent all goes to fund the local public elementary school.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: SoCal3

                                                              I've only been once, but it felt more like an arts and crafts market, with a couple of produce stands. Though the guy selling sparkling pinot noir grape juice had a nice product...

                                                              1. re: SoCal3

                                                                I agree with Indirect Heat about the La Jolla Farmers Market. It's really more of a flea market/food court/mommie and me social hour with a few produce and flower vendors thrown in than a real farmers market. I live a few blocks away, but would rather drive down to Little Italy to patronize farmers, growers and suppliers at the Mercato. They have begun valet service at the LJFM, and that is a good thing, why?

                                                              2. Anyone been to the resurrected Farmer's Market at Liberty Station - on Sundays, I think?

                                                                1. Living downtown there are a few Farmer's Markets. There is a small on on 3rd and Island on Sundays (limited selection, but can fill in the gaps), one at Horton Plaza midweek (haven't been yet) and Little Italy (descent overall).

                                                                  OB is the best I've been too. La Jolla is pretty good and I look forward to N. Park and Hillcrest because I have heard great things. Rumors of high prices at Farmer's Markets are unfortunately true, but nonetheless the less the food travels and the fresher it is, the more nutritious it is.

                                                                  Trader Joes has some great deals on produce but its often overpackaged and sometimes doesn't seem very fresh. North Park produce has some great prices, however they are lacking on the organic. Henry's has good produce, but I don't think they focus as much on the "local" as they advertise. Whole Foods is great as well, but pricey.

                                                                  I believe the answer is the CSA. Here is a list of them http://www.ecovian.com/s/sandiego/csa... . I will be signing up asap, just doing a bit more research. Anyone have feedback on them? From what I can tell the food is fresher and less expensive then any other method of purchase including stores or markets. It also keeps you in tune with the seasons and exposes you to new produce.
                                                                  Enjoy!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: robsvt

                                                                    Also check out Specialty Produce's Farmer's Market Bag program. I was turned on to it by some Chowhound posts nearly a year ago and it's been great for us.

                                                                    Specialty Produce supplies a lot of the restaurants locally with produce from So Cal farms. They're located near Old Town. The Farmer's Market Bag is $20 each week and contains a selection of organic produce from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market (seasonal vegetables, fruit, herbs). Plus you can add in some nice extras from local suppliers if you want (Sadie Rose bread, Chuao chocolate, Catalina Offshore seafood, Venissimo cheese, Brandt beef, etc.).

                                                                    It's obviously slightly less direct than a CSA and probably not quite as good a deal in terms of sheer quantity of produce. But what's nice is that you can order one week and then not the next (e.g., if you're out of town), the ordering is convenient (online webpage), and the quality is generally very good and the amount is not overwhelming for two people (some CSA boxes would overspill our fridge with leafy greens). And you show up, grab your bag, and go.

                                                                    You have to order by Sunday (but can order up to 4 weeks in advance), get advance notice of what's coming Tuesday (email) and online video (Wednesday), and then pick up the bag on Thursday or Friday at Specialty Produce on Hancock St.

                                                                    For farmer's market veterans who really know their produce it might not be as valuable (although still convenient, I would think), but for my wife and I it has really expanded our eating horizons (since you don't pick what you get, you end up looking up recipes for things you never would have bought) and made us eat better.

                                                                    Thanks to DiningDiva for turning us on to it a year ago (and some other reviews):
                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/694418

                                                                    The FMB program webpage:
                                                                    http://www.specialtyproduce.com/fmb/

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Specialty Produce
                                                                    1929 Hancock St, San Diego, CA

                                                                    1. re: CTDub

                                                                      This is an old thread, but thank you for the recommendation!! I am amazed by the quantity and quality of produce in the FMB. I think it would be about $60 worth if I were shopping at Whole Foods. It's beautiful, colorful stuff, too.

                                                                  2. Solana Beach in Cedros Design District!

                                                                    1. We bounce around to a # of them.. best for produce selection for us is Vista. Variety beyond produce Little Italy or Hillcrest. Not a farmers market per se, but the Oceanside's Sunset Market on Thursday nights is great for prepared food!

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: sdguy13

                                                                        I wasn't aware of Oceanside's Sunset Market. Looks cool from the website:

                                                                        http://www.sunsetmarket.msoceanside.com/

                                                                        I'll have to check it out.

                                                                        1. re: Encinitan

                                                                          Oceanside Sunside Market isn't really a "farmers market", yet. Very few "farmer" vendors. But if you want to eat it has a great selection of food booths. Also live entertainment and a beautiful view of the ocean. It makes for a nice evening out and I hope it grows.

                                                                      2. I'm from Murrieta, and in my experience, the Old Town Temecula Farmers Market is excellent! They have tons of fresh fruits and veggies, meats, nuts, a extremely friendly and perfect flower guy, and many other crafts jewelry and prepared foods. In the summer, the prices or cheaper, but you can get an array of great produce all year round! So if your'e willing to make the hour drive up from the beautiful San Diego beaches for beautiful produce, come up and visit us wine-ies!
                                                                        Cheers!

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Murrieta's
                                                                        5170 Bonita Rd, Bonita, CA 91902

                                                                        1. Clearly we know that Catt White's markets are outstanding for quality and diversity. Little Italy, Northpark and Adams Avenue. Well, she is trying to bring one to La Jolla!!! Bird Rock that is!
                                                                          Can you believe (well you probably can, unfortunately) that there is a vocal minority that does not want a beautiful fresh food market in their community. Mostly folks that do not understand the S.O.L.E.(Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) of local markets. Let me know if you would to help make this market a reality for our area.

                                                                          25 Replies
                                                                          1. re: birdrockmom

                                                                            What day is she thinking for this market?

                                                                            1. re: SDGourmand

                                                                              Friday afternoons from 2-630pm in front of the La Jolla United Methodist Church on La Jolla Blvd.

                                                                            2. re: birdrockmom

                                                                              I have been twittering about it, had a letter to the editor published in the most recent La Jolla Light. My husband, have written letters to all of the local organization presidents, and I intend to attend the T & T meeting on Thursday. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.I really want this to happen for the community, the schools it benefits, the farmers and just to have the convenience of the market itself. The traffic concerns seem minimal to me, especially given Catt's expertise in running these neighborhood operations. The vocal minority seems to be a study in the classic NIMBY profile ("It's bad enough that we have to put up with traffic on Sundays" - from the church services, "I'm afraid the customers will park on our streets and we won't have access to our own homes").

                                                                              With Catt as the market manager for this proposed farmers market, the local community can look forward to a great variety of local, organic and sustainable produce. She has a great relationship with the local farming community and that is reflected in the sellers she chooses to invite to particapate in her markets. This will not be another "food court", "flea market" type of market.

                                                                              Thanks for your involvement birdrockmom!

                                                                              1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                Good luck. Catt is truly a force of nature where markets are concerned. Have any of the vocal minority even been to one of her markets. It would sure seem like the ones complaining would be exact target market for that market.

                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                  "force of nature" - she truly is. If anyone can pull this off and alleviate the traffic concerns it is her, but she has mentioned that she has not ever really experienced this kind of rancor before. Of course this is coming from the community that has been fighting against one another for years over the seals at the Children's Pool - to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars and death threats.

                                                                                  If any of you live in or frequent the Bird Rock area and feel this would be a good addition to the area please write to the La Jolla Light, La Jolla Village News and community leaders (info below) to show your support for this community market.

                                                                                  http://www.sandi.net/birdrock/cwp/vie...

                                                                                2. re: foodiechick

                                                                                  The NIMBY folks seem to forget that these type of events are not causing 'all day' traffic issues. Ex; church services may have an hour or two of street parking and the farmers market the same but, I don't foresee anyone blocking driveways or prohibiting access to homes. If that were true the fire dept would not allow such events. Parking and traffic are generally worse on weekdays.

                                                                                  1. re: cstr

                                                                                    We are going to encourage biking and walking. There is a critical meeting this Thursday, March 24th, 4:00pm at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037. The Traffic and Transportation committee will vote yes or no to this market. The vocal minority is has been very LOUD at prior meetings. They do not want any change of any kind. Most of them are retired and have time to show up at 4pm. So, we really need people to show up at this meeting and LOUDLY proclaim that they want a high quality Farmers Market in this community. The profits earned will go to the local public schools and our community will have a fresh food market.
                                                                                    Please come and support the "change" of fresh local food in our community and all communities!!
                                                                                    Thank you:)

                                                                                    1. re: birdrockmom

                                                                                      I'll be at the meeting -- I really want this to happen. I avoid the farmer's market at LJ Elementary like the plague because it's only about 20% farmer's market, and 80% flea market/food court. I just want some good produce!

                                                                                      1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                        This market will be top notch, just like Catt's other markets. I'm looking forward to more fresh food and less of the trinkets and food court. Did you know that Catt's markets do not allow any fried food? She is also huge on the education of healthy food for kids.
                                                                                        Its going to be a fantastic market. Please try and get others to come out and support us on March 24th:)

                                                                                        1. re: birdrockmom

                                                                                          I'll try to make it as well.

                                                                                        2. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                          Yay for coming to the meeting! I avoid the Sunday market for the same reason. Also, thanks cstr!

                                                                                          1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                            Curious FC, which article was yours?

                                                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                                                              It was the very last letter to the editor in Thursday's Light. Highly edited and significantly cut by the editor.

                                                                                              1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                http://www.lajollalight.com/2011/03/1...

                                                                                          2. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                            La Jolla T & T meeting has been postponed. I will update when I hear what is next, possibly a special meeting solely regarding the market next week.

                                                                                            1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                              Thank you for advising about the postponement.

                                                                                    2. re: birdrockmom

                                                                                      Bye, bye Birdie...got a note from Catt last note, plug officially pulled today.

                                                                                      http://www.sdweeklymarkets.com/blog/b...

                                                                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                        Well, that sucks doesn't it

                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                          Yep, it got really ugly...but the upside is that she is focusing on a new project in PB.

                                                                                          1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                            Bummer. But PB works too.

                                                                                            1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                              PB Details:

                                                                                              http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/media...

                                                                                              1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                Glad to see that it's (a) coming relatively soon, and (b) a weekday market -- May 24th is a Tuesday. It would have taken FAR longer to fight off all the challenges to the Bird Rock location. I guess they're going to have to close Bayard to traffic between Garnet and Hornblend to make this work.

                                                                                                1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                                  How completely thrilling! In my new 'hood, within walking distance. Will give it a try but it will take a lot to nudge me away from my Little Italy favorite market day.

                                                                                                  1. re: pickypicky

                                                                                                    Probably won't be as extensive as Little Italy, and it is only seasonable at this point, but the plus side is that it IS run by the Little Italy Mercato Manager.

                                                                                        2. re: foodiechick

                                                                                          : (

                                                                                      2. As a former La Jollan for many many years, the Friday afternoons from 2-630pm in front of the La Jolla United Methodist would be a perfect fit and wouldn't infringe on the upper and lower hermosa neighborhood...so much parking in the frontage area of that church and I bet a lot of LJ would bike/walk to the market.

                                                                                        IMHO, the LJ Farmers market, up on Girard is more of a retail market and find it to be a scene and be seen, kind of place...blehhh...I don't think you can gather 3 items to make a salad.

                                                                                        I wish Catt, birdrockmom and my fellow chicka all the best.

                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                          When there are more than 50 Farmers Markets a week, you can't expect the actual Farmers to be at every single market selling their items, much less having enough fruit and produce fresh picked daily. Wanting to add markets instead of improving the existing ones dilutes the inventory more.

                                                                                          1. re: Cathy

                                                                                            Have to agree with BC, the LJ market is more like a flee market with food consession stands, not much I'd buy there. Also, aren't farmers markets about farmers bringing their own produce to sell. Maybe we need fewer better quality farmers markets.

                                                                                            1. re: Cathy

                                                                                              I understand and agree conceptually. But the market manager proposing the BR Farmers Market is one of the most respected in the area and has a very special relationship with some of the best regional farmers. I believe that anything she can do (and based on the farmers that have already signed on) would be a vast improvement over the Sunday Open Air Market in our area.

                                                                                              1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                Right. My point is that some of those best farmers will now not be at other Friday markets.

                                                                                                I do realize SDCounty is 4200 square miles and understand the concept of local grown items.

                                                                                                I grew up in a major metropolitan area which had (and still has) one -Saturday only- Farmers Market. Not convenient for everyone, but has the best no matter what. It allows the farmers to work the rest of the week, not have to travel all over the counties/area to do sales daily. This concept makes more sense to me than to put great stuff only in some areas and some sellers out of business.

                                                                                                http://www.detroiteasternmarket.com/

                                                                                                1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                  First of all, this isn't D town, thank goodness, and second, San Diego is a HUGE area and to compare the one day only Farmers Market in Detroit to the plethora of great farmers and Farmers market in San Diego county is absurd.

                                                                                                  What other Farmers Market will be competing with the proposed Bird Rock times?
                                                                                                  There is room for everyone and who qualifies as the 'best farmers'?
                                                                                                  Great sourced locally grown food is what I consider the best...not a brand name.

                                                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                    http://www.sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/...

                                                                                                    There are 8 others on Friday in San Diego.

                                                                                                    There are 250+ merchants and vendors, from Michigan, Ohio and Ontario (about a 200 mile radius) inside the Detroit Market, surrounded by all the other permanent stores. Since 1891. 40K people show up on a Saturday. It is open all year, but the open air stalls have more fresh animals than produce in the winter.

                                                                                                    If you add up all the people who attend each little market weekly in this county, it does not add up to 40K, even though we have better weather. (that would be saying about 1K at each market, every week)

                                                                                                    1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                      As much as I love the Hillcrest Farmers Market, I can't even deal with those crowds and the parking mess. I can't imagine 40K.

                                                                                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                        There are 6 or 7 open air buildings, where vendors drive up and park. The whole area is about one mile square. The vendors are not all in one spot and the surrounding buildings(retail and wholesale places) get shoppers also.

                                                                                                        The open air / whole area is used for Tailgating when the Tigers and Lions are playing (the Ballpark (Comerica) and the Silverdome are about 2 miles away. There is a shuttle available.). It is very organized.

                                                                                                        I avoid the Hillcrest Market, unless I am there before/as it opens. I do not like crowds and it seems disorganized at times.

                                                                                                        My whole point in commenting was that having more markets is not the solution. It is diluting the pool of good sellers and other markets.

                                                                                            2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                              Thanks Beach Chick.
                                                                                              Its very sad as La Jolla could really use a true fresh food market. If anyone else wants to pick up the baton, I think that the community as a whole would be supportive.
                                                                                              With all those empty buildings in Bird Rock, maybe someone with a whole lotta cash, could open up a market. It would do well.

                                                                                              1. re: birdrockmom

                                                                                                A few miles south is the PB market on Saturday mornings. It is smaller than the LJ and OB markets, but that is mostly because it doesn't have any of the flea market stuff and prepared food stalls. Just farmers.

                                                                                                1. re: birdrockmom

                                                                                                  All the best to you birdrockmom!
                                                                                                  This former LJ chicka..always has your back!

                                                                                              2. Anyone spied any really good asparagus at any of the farmer's markets yet? There used to be a farmer from Imperial Valley who came to the old PB farmer's market MANY years ago. He and his son had the BEST asparagus in the area. I bought the best asparagus I could find at the LJ farmer's market last weekend and it was just okay.

                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                                  Especially any German style white asparagus. Do any of the farms around here grow it?

                                                                                                  1. re: DougOLis

                                                                                                    While not trying to be funny, but is German style white asperagus any different than any other white asperagus? I have seen white endive and asperagus around, but really havn't been looking for it.

                                                                                                    1. re: littlestevie

                                                                                                      The white asparagus I've occasionally gotten here at Whole Foods is not really the same. The spears are a lot smaller and less sweet here than in Germany.

                                                                                                      1. re: littlestevie

                                                                                                        Yeah -- definitely a difference. I was in Schwetzingen Germany during sparglefest five or six years ago and it was the BEST asparagus I've ever eaten. WAY better than ANY white asparagus I've had stateside.

                                                                                                        Costco had a huge selection of white asparagus early this week, but I passed because I have been spoiled by the German variety.

                                                                                                        1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                                          Isn't that more a function of when it was picked and how long ago it was picked before sale, rather than any specific German variety? But then again I hear the donner kebab are way better than anything you would find in the states.

                                                                                                          1. re: littlestevie

                                                                                                            Don't know why it was so much better, just that is was.

                                                                                                            1. re: littlestevie

                                                                                                              I don't know if it's because it's a different varietal or because it's grown different, but there definitely is a difference. I'm just saying that I would be ecstatic if I could find something comparable here and was looking for any leads.

                                                                                                              1. re: DougOLis

                                                                                                                I'll post if I do -- I've never seen white asparagus at the local farmer's markets. Perhaps the extra work involved makes it cost-prohibitive for the local growers.

                                                                                                                1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                                                  You can turn any asparagus white by keeping it covered as it emerges from the ground, so 1.) it does take extra work and probably cost prohibitive and 2.) the varieties could be totally different here from Europe. I've never seen it at any farmer's markets here either. I'm still trying to figure out how they manage to grow asparagus year round, since it's about a seasonal as peaches. How do they do that?

                                                                                                                  1. re: krisinsd

                                                                                                                    Regarding the perpetual season, unfortunately, most asparagus sold in the local grocery stores comes from far, far away. Usually Mexico, though I've also seen from Peru and Chile.

                                                                                                    2. Golden Hill farmers market starts this Saturday

                                                                                                      http://www.facebook.com/GoldenHillFar...

                                                                                                      1. Sometimes it just takes something small to make me happy. today, craving fresh greens, I set out to visit the FM at Linda Vista. I ate a delicious pupusa served with cabbage salad. I bought greens, broccolini, strawbs at J+R Organics. A prettily-set up tent was selling beautiful bread from the French bakery in Oceanside that's been favorably mentioned on CH. Also, an egg vendor-- Ramona Duck Farm-- selling duck, chicken, quail eggs. Today, the best farmers' mkt in SD may well have been in Linda Vista. (Opens at 1:30pm. Across the street from Sab e Lee.)

                                                                                                        1. The New Pacific Beach Market on Tuesdays is fantastic. It is run by the same person who runs Little Italy. Quaint, lots of selection and not the craziness of La Jolla's crowds and trinkets. Just lots of fresh food!

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: birdrockmom

                                                                                                            I find the LJ FM to have poor quality veggies, lots of wilted old looking offerings, and too many side shows.

                                                                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                                                                              You should check out the PB market then, its lovely:)

                                                                                                            2. re: birdrockmom

                                                                                                              thanks for the reminder, brmom. (which is why I love seeing old threads revived.) PB is much closer and I've meant to check out the new mkt. My visit to Linda Vista yesterday was worth it alone for the chard and organic strawberries. No comparison to any store-bought produce in town.

                                                                                                            3. Just ventured out to Little Italy's Mercato a couple of weekends ago and though it does have that downtown markup (and downtown parking issues), I thought it was a really lovely weekend excursion - beautiful setting, good variety of vendors, and its location within Little Italy makes for a nice extended visit to some of the shops and restaurants in the area.

                                                                                                              And if you're a dog lover, it's a dog-friendly market. :)

                                                                                                              Here's an album of some pics I took while at the market:

                                                                                                              https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/10...

                                                                                                              And one of some of the stuff I bought there:

                                                                                                              https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/10...

                                                                                                              It's a little spendy for regular shopping, but totally worth a visit.

                                                                                                              P.S. Can anyone who *doesn't* have a G+ account LMK if the links work for you? TIA. :)

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                It worked

                                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                  Thanks, DD! :)

                                                                                                                2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                  I see you found Poppas fish. One of my favourites. I don't know where he gets his shrimp but they are worth it.
                                                                                                                  Gourmet tamales is up near the dog park and is excellent also.

                                                                                                                  Jim

                                                                                                                  1. re: knifesavers

                                                                                                                    Agreed! We bought a pound of shrimp as well, and it was sweet and delicious!