We're off to the Farmers' Market this morning. In the Los Angeles area we have them year 'round, and they're hugely popular. There are three Certified Farmers' Markets in the Pasadena area alone: Saturday at Pasadena High School, Tuesday at Villa Park, and Thursday evenings in South Pasadena.
There are other farmers' markets, not certified. I wondered what the difference was, so I did a little research and found out that a certified farmers' market is part of a statewide program approved by the County Agricultural Commissioner and the Health Department. Farmers selling there must have a Certified Producers Certificate from their local Agricultural Commissioner verifying they grow the items they sell. This means when I buy a basket of strawberries from a booth at the market, the person I pay probably picked them. Or her brother did. Or her dad.
I have my favorites, people I buy from regularly: the middle-aged gent with the elderly hands who sells potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots; the handsomely weathered Frenchman who makes the most delicious organic cookies, granola and scones you ever tasted; the always-smiling, dark-haired lady who sells the freshest fish ever, wielding a knife like the pro that she is. And there's always something new to try, someone new to meet.
Yes, fish and granola at a farmers market. Cheese, too, and bread, and amazing guacamole, and...Oh yeah, vegetables and fruit! It's peach season! I gotta go!