Today I went back to the Valencia California Farmer’s Market, this time with cash in hand, and I walked around asking questions, such as, "Do you use pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or chemical fertilizers?" At every booth I visited, the farmers or their helpers were forthright in their answers, whether it was yes or no. This was quite refreshing.
At one booth, the Bunny Tree Farm, which was clearly marked Certified Organic, a customer made the farmer take back money. He had mistakenly given the customer more money than she gave him. This nice lady customer was honest! Very pleasant. I purchased beets (I’m a beet fan), cucumbers, kale and two kinds of chard. His cauliflower and broccoli were not ready yet — and he didn’t have a business card.
I visited Harry’s Berries from Iwamoto and Gean Farm in Oxnard, California, and asked if the strawberries he was selling were organic. He told me no. But he basically said that, while they were grown organic, he didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting the organic certification. He also told me that he thought farms should go through a certification if they used chemicals and pesticides and all that. That was good enough for me. I bought three small containers of his strawberries. And I’ve just now tried them and they are juicy GOOD, sweet and melt in your mouth! I’m using them on our organic ice cream.
The next farmer was Vickie Murray of Murray Family Farms. Vickie told me that they were not organic but they grew organic — that they were working on their Organic certification and had several more years to go. I bought from her blackberries. They were the first thing I ate when I got back home and I’m here to tell you that they were fantastic. Vickie handed me a brochure and a schedule of the various fruits and veggies they grow and when, during the year, they are offered.
I bought some organically-grown tomatoes and apples from Beylik Family Farms.I questioned the farmer about her other vegetables, and she told me that they were not organically grown, and if I wanted to know which ones were grown with pesticides, she would tell me. I found her honesty quite refreshing. I ate an apple and it was tasty and sweet. I’m saving the tomatoes for the salad.
From Timber Canyon Ranches, I purchased grapefruit and oranges, in quantity. I talked with the farmer, who told me that they grew their fruits and veggies organically, but couldn’t call it organic because they were three years from getting their Organic certification. When I got home I pealed and ate an orange. It was sweet and juicy. I’ll use the grapefruits for breakfast. I should have picked up some avocados.
Next week when I go back, I’m going to look into the other foods that are offered at the Valencia Farmer’s Market, such as the breads and cheeses.
Farmer’s Markets: they’re a good thing!
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