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!

Avocadoes

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8 Comments for "Valencia California Farmer’s Market update"

  1. Diane Vigil

    That’s terrific. I’ve never tasted strawberries like these — not tart, but very sweet. Same with the oranges. But I was surprised to see the photo of the mounds of avocadoes. Next time. <grin>

  2. Lynn Cameron

    Diane, you describe your Farm Market almost well enough to make me want to relocate to California. I live very isolated in the middle of the North woods, and this is the first year of our local Farmer’s Market. It’s just 2.5 miles away by car (after a couple miles by boat first) in the quad of a small college, and I am gratified to see the vendors grow in number each Friday afternoon. Farmers are scarce as hen’s teeth these days (2% of the population), and the market’s organizers were not concerned about having enough customers but having enough produce to sell to them. The average age of a USA farmer is 65 so I’m not surprised that some don’t have the time or energy to tote their precious produce to market. It’s worth pondering just what our descendents will eat. Now, that’s a topic for a disaster movie if I ever saw one.

    Lynn

  3. George Vigil

    I’ve been going every week since I found out about the Valencia Farmer’s Market and have been picking up organic stawberries, blackberries, oranges, cucumbers, grapefruit and tomatoes. Anything I like as long as I know there are no man-made “treatments” on them. They all taste like how I remember from when I grew a garden as a child: rich, zesty, sweet — the flavors are all vividly there. If I’m thristy, I peel an orange. I munch on blackberries — they don’t last long. We make great tossed salads with all sorts of veggies in them.

  4. Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market

    […] see our Valencia California Farmer’s Market update Send to a […]

  5. Zvi Bieringer

    Can anybody give me the location and dates of the farmers market in Valencia?

  6. Diane Vigil

    In the post above, there’s a link to our article, “There’s a Farmer’s Market in Valencia, California!” … and that page has the farmersnet.com link:

    http://farmernet.com/events/one-cfm?venue_id=620
    where you can get some date and time information.

    It also has a link to http://www.vccfarmersmarkets.com/ — the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Markets.

    Enjoy!

  7. Lynn Cameron

    Well, it’s three years later and the Farm Market I spoke of above is history now. The nearest small town of Saranac Lake, NY, is where I now must drive 30 mins. on Saturdays to buy farm-fresh produce. The farmers there almost always sell out and the prices on everything offered there are high enough to have gotten me searching for more direct farm-to-consumer contact. I was successful this Fall, and have saved, literally, 75% on the purchase of Winter storage items like carrots, squash, potatoes, onions by driving a couple hours.

    This is my first month as coordinator for a local buying club for over 5000 regional NYState products – a new idea on the old food co-op plan in that it is all online ordering, automatic split-up of cases and billing of individual members. I like that the monthly minimum is reasonable; it’s delivered and organized for pick-up by the local coordinators who charge (or not) for the service.
    The online programming for this really convenient system that saves 30-40% on high quality to gourmet foods originate in California and have been expanding into other regions of the country. Wholeshare.com might have a supplier that works with their system set up in your own local area – I’ve found them to be really quick in answering inquiries.

    Lynn

  8. Diane Vigil

    That’s fantastic, Lynn. I guess I’ve been spoiled, as various fruits and vegetables have been available year round in our locale, but things change. I’d really like to hear more about what you’re doing. :)

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