Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ocean Beach Farmers' Market

Persimmons were everywhere!
I am VERY behind on blog posts.... 

I haven't yet had a chance to share with all of you about my California trip at the end of October. I simply have to tell you how much I LOVE California. Do you want to know why? Because I can eat just about ANYWHERE without a ton of pre-planning and bringing my own food along everywhere I go.

I wonder if the people who live in California realize how unusual that is? As someone who does not live in a place with a plethora of health food choices, it simply blows my mind that everywhere we went, there were restaurants, markets, and grocers who carry whole foods, gluten-free, allergy-friendly, health foods, vegan foods... whatever your specific dietary need or preference may be... you can (easily!) find a place to accommodate it in California. Amazing.

At least that has been my experience in the Bay area in Northern California, and most recently, in the San Diego surrounding area.

During this trip to San Diego, I started taking photos of all of the places that offered "gluten free", "raw" or "vegan" choices- and then finally just stopped taking photos of all of those places- because it was, quite literally, just about everywhere. Heaven.

Here are some photos from the Ocean Beach Farmers' Market- which, by the way, is one of the coolest Farmers' Markets I've ever been to. First of all, Ocean Beach is a cool little surf town, right on the ocean, and a great opportunity for people-watching. The Farmers' Market is Wednesday evenings after work. They shut down the main street, and patrons stroll through the street and sidewalks to shop, eat, and listen to live music. They had a live band at each end of the street. There was art, music, jewelry, tons of prepared foods, and, of course, farm fresh meats, eggs, and produce.

All of the amazing food still made me wish I could eat just anything and everything- but there was enough for me to choose from that I certainly did not go hungry. I brought more back to the condo from this Farmers Market than I can typically find at Whole Foods at home. It was awesome.
View from one end of Farmers' Market. It was a cloudy overcast day, but still busy at the Farmers Market
Fresh fruit juices 
Fresh fruit salads just like you get from the street vendors in Mexico.
You could even get sea salt or chili on top, like they serve it in Mexico. Nice!
Trying on a fish hat :)
The rock-n-roller in me appreciated the guitar pick earrings :)
Gut-healthy, immune-building artisan fermented foods
I purchased a jar of organic caraway apple sauerkraut from this vendor and ate it all week. It was yummy. And for eco-points, she even offers $1 credit next time if you return your jar.
Peaches- in late October!
Local, cage-free, hormone and antibiotic-free eggs
I don't think there was anything you couldn't get at this market.

I didn't see dairy. But then, I wasn't looking for it. It is quite possible there may have been local cheeses there. There were also local, pasture fed, hormone and antibiotic free meats- both prepared (i.e. artisan salami) and just regular meats (ribs, bacon, etc) to take home and make yourself.
Many of the booths had "No Sprays" signs like this indicating they do not use chemical pesticides or herbicides- but they are not Certified Organic (many small farms find organic certification too costly and the paperwork too time consuming). Of course, there really is no way to know for sure, you simply have to trust your vendor. But they are all very nice, and knowledgable, and do not seem to mind if you ask questions. When you live local and shop the Farmers' Markets you do get to know your vendors. I noticed several of these farms had farm tours where you could go see where your food is grown. So, my feeling is that the "no spray" is likely true. While I try to buy organic, no sprays is good enough for me. I don't want toxic chemicals on my food!
Squash blossoms- I snagged a BUNCH of these! 
Here is one example of accommodating dietary preferences- even the tamale booth offered vegan and gluten free choices!
A local raw vegan restaurant had a booth at the market
One of the raw vegan options (they had several)
Don't worry... not everything in California is health food ; ) 
Time to make the donuts... 
A local gluten-free bakery
Green Smoothies!
I wonder if I could make green smoothies at our local farmers market...? 
Have you noticed that by now it is really getting dark outside? So you'll have to pardon the photos, it was the best I could do : )
More gluten-free goodies (seriously, they were everywhere)
Best. Date. Ever.
No, not THAT kind of date. Although it was a really fun evening at the Farmers' Market- that would be a good date :) But seriously- these date (fruits) were AMAZING! I've never had anything like them. They have completely ruined me for all other dates. They were locally grown, and this guy, the latest generation of this particular date plantation (which has one of the original species of dates brought over from Morocco), even had photos of the date farm and the palms, and how they harvest the fruit. It was really neat. This was absolutely my favorite booth. I wish I would have bought 5lbs of dates and brought them back with me.
More raw, vegan, and gluten free items
More super-healthy juices. You can click on any of these photos to see a larger photo, if you'd like to read the signs :)
Street musicians. Always tip musicians. It's a good thing :)

No comments:

Post a Comment