Valentine’s Day at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

Feb 17, 2009 by Lisa Newton

I’m pretty sure not everyone spent their Valentine’s Day at the local farmer’s market, but for me, it was perfect since I’ve wanted to go to this market for a long, long time, and Saturday was the day.

By closing two city blocks on Arizona between 2nd and 4th, vendors from all over Southern California are able to provide the best of their organic fruits and vegetables, range-free bison, fish, honey, fresh flowers, and so much more.

All of the Santa Monica Farmer’s Markets are Certified Farmer’s Markets (CFM), established in 1978, when then-governor Jerry Brown signed legislation known as the Direct Marketing Act, enabling California farmers to sell their own produce directly to consumers at locations designated by the Department of Agriculture.

Currently there are three criteria for CFM’s:

1. They must consist of farmers who possess a current Certified Producer’s Certificate issued to them by their county’s agricultural commissioner.

2. They must be non-profit entities, sponsored by the farmers themselves, a non-profit organization or a municipality

3. All produce and products sold at a California Farmer’s market must be grown or made in California.

These simple guidelines help to ensure that CFMs continue to exist for the benefit of the communities they serve.

Currently, there are over 300 Certified Farmer’s Markets in California.

Looking over the array of food available, I saw varieties of food I’d never seen from purple potatoes to free range eggs to the freshest tasting oranges I’ve eaten.

Today, I was one of the estimated 900,000 visitors the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market receives every year. One of the inherent benefits of living in Southern California is that produce is grown all year round.

The beauty of a farmer’s market is that the food is local, thereby keeping the money spent local, which also lessens its carbon footprint. Currently food travels an average of 1500 miles before it reaches your table. Try this carbon footprint calculator to see how much you and your family contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions. Mine is just average, but I do try to limit my driving, and I buy local whenever I can.

Because I’m going out of town in a few days, I didn’t purchase too much; just a few oranges, apples, and honey. I love fresh honey in my tea. Next time I go, I’ll have a total menu planned so I’ll then be able to share the recipes and dishes with you. I love cooking, especially veggies.

Speaking of veggies, I took some great pictures of the fruits and veggies at the market, but there are too many for this post, so tomorrow, I’ll put up more pictures from my Valentine’s Day at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, including the myriad of fresh fruits.

How did you spend your Valentine’s Day? With the many sights, sounds, and unique places to spend with your friends, family, and loved ones, it’s fun and easier on the wallet to find the hidden treasures in your hometown.

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18 Responses to “Valentine’s Day at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market”

  1. Jannie Funster says:

    We are so lucky here to have wonderful Farmer’s markets too. And since I am already out in my car to take my child to Kung Fs on Saturday mornings, I can justify the gas it takes to get there. Both markets are only a few miles from Kung Fu. (we live in the burbs.)

    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..Like a bord on a wire, 4

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  2. cynthia says:

    You know, I’ve never made it down to the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica but this post has made me put it on the calendar for this weekend!! I always to go the one in Hollywood and I LOVE the idea of buying locally – something I practice consistently!

    cynthia’s last blog post..There’s Energy In Them Speed Bumps!

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  3. LisaNewton says:

    @Jannie It’s great that you have a farmer’s market so close and even better that it’s on a regular route.

    @cynthia Now you’ve piqued my interest. I’ll have to check out the Hollywood market. Is is also on Saturday?

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  4. Frank Levangie says:

    Lisa, you are a marvelous fount of information and your “blogs” get better and better……. Who needs the L.A.Times these days…….

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  5. Matthew says:

    I love going to the farmer’s market! We only found one at home, but now that we’re studying abroad, we’ve been able to visit a number of them. Each is more interesting than the last, both in variety of products and the people you find there (I’m very much a people watcher.)

    For some reason, though, it never occurred to me that I should carry my camera with me on a regular basis. I’ve snapped a couple of photos at different ones, but… never really looked at all of the photo opps that I was passing up!

    Matthew’s last blog post..The Importance of Packing Light

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  6. Lisa's Chaos says:

    Oh yummy! And they would fit in with my diet. :)

    Vday we were just happy at home. :)

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  7. Lisa's Chaos says:

    How sweet! I love the shiver and quiver!

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  8. Lisa's Chaos says:

    Oh, dang, I was trying to comment on the seashell poem, but clicked in the wrong place.

    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..Let the Lighthouse Guide You

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  9. Mark says:

    Love the farmers market….thanks for sharing! fabulous!

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  10. Henie says:

    Darn, I hate when I close before sending my comment:~)

    I love the Sta Monica Farmer’s Market but I haven’t been in awhile. I do get down to the Venice Beach one quite often and I usually come away with some yummy fresh “everything!”

    I am looking forward to seeing more of your photos! BTW, do people mind when you take photos? If it wasn’t for my zoom lens, I would feel too invasive:~)

    Henie’s last blog post..A Day Without

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  11. LisaNewton says:

    @Frank Well, I’m not the LA Times, but I’d love to be part of their travel section…………:)

    @Matthew I actually have 2 cameras; a Nikon I use for planned photos and a point and shot I carry in my purse all the time for unplanned shots. You never know when a great photo will come along.

    @Lisa Yupp, lots of goodie here. I’ll be putting another post of tomorrow with a few up close and personal food items. Hey, putting the wrong comment on a blog post has happened to me a few times, too……………..:)

    @ Mark. Thanks. I’d love to see a few shots of your farmer’s market.

    @Henie For these photos I was clearly photography the sights and sounds, so the people didn’t seem to mind. My camera was very obvious. If I’m shooting a specific person, I usually ask permission. Some people are fine with it and others say no. Either way, I leave the choice up to them.

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  12. Giovanna Garcia says:

    Hi lisa

    A friend of mine use to live in Santa Monica and she took me to the Farmer’s Market once.
    I remember it being wonderful day, and we had a great time. Thanks for the memory.
    You just reminded me to reconnect with her :-)
    Thank You,
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..Face your fear! You will to be rewarded.

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  13. Nicole says:

    You are lucky to live in a country where you can get most fresh stuff all year long (at least I think so).
    :)
    We have a local farmer’s market on Thursdays and Saturdays which is quite alright.
    I still buy too many things at the supermarket though.
    At least we barely drive (we make up with miles whenever hubby has to do job hopping, I guess ;)

    As for Valentine’s day – we didn’t really do anything. We love each other every day ;)

    Nicole’s last blog post..Took the chance and walked

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  14. Nicole says:

    Too bad, the carbon footprint thing is only for the US.
    Sigh.

    Nicole’s last blog post..Took the chance and walked

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  15. LisaNewton says:

    @Giovanna Memories come from the strangest things, and I’m so glad this blog post was able to spark a few for you……………..:)

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  16. LisaNewton says:

    @Nicole Everyone does what they can to reduce their carbon footprint, and not driving too often is a great way. Loving each other is the most important thing……………:)

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  17. Matthew says:

    @Nicole
    I am currently living in Ireland (though I’m only here for a semester, as I’m a study abroad student from the US). I’ve used the carbon footprint thing before, but wanted to check it again and was disappointed to find out that it isn’t set up for outside the US.

    If you fill it out anyway, it will give you suggestions that you can improve upon to reduce your footprint. Might be interesting to check out!

    Matthew’s last blog post..The Importance of Packing Light

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  18. Bike to Work Day – Pit Stops in Santa Monica | Travelin' Local says:

    [...] the plus side, the Bike Valet Service at Pier Saturday Night Concert Series and Sunday Farmers’ Market and other city events parked over 16,000 bikes in 2007, getting cars off the road and improving [...]

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