I love farmer’s markets. In any city, there’s a wonderful display of local food and businesses, and the people behind them. It’s also an interesting peek into the social dynamics of a neighborhood.
Let’s face it, Farmer’s Markets are not cheap. It costs more to raise organic produce, and the small farms don’t sell in volume, so the price is higher. I’m ok with that because its healthier and supporting the “little guy” versus the huge corporations, who certainly don’t need my help to survive.
What sucks at Farmer’s Markets everywhere, though, are the people who go to them. It’s a fascinating display of yuppies and trustafarians strolling around with hemp-seed, gluten-free baked goods as if they own the freakin’ world. “Look at me… I can afford Whole Foods, but here I am the Farmer’s Market… with all the hairy, smelly people.” (Actually, the trustafarians usually ARE the hairy, smelly people, but I digress.)
The Santa Monica Main Street Sunday market also has pony rides and a petting zoo, and its really cute to see the toddlers flip over touching baby goats and sitting atop a miniature horse walking in a circle. However, last time I was there, I had to walk away from the kids area because I can only take so much of the parents. The well-to-do don’t start having kids until they are over, like 50, and they’re so happy to get one, they spoil them rotten.
For example, there was this one woman calling after her little monster, I mean munchkin, “Guinevere, come here. Guinevere. Guinevere!” proudly repeating the ridiculous name over-and-over as the 5-year old in fancy clothes and more make up than a Tijuana hooker old bobbed and weaved in and around everyone’s legs. I had to walk away because my smirk turned into a giggle, which turned into a chortle and I’m sure I’d be laughing my head off any minute. Give “Guinevere” a spank and go home, ya nutcase.
And, don’t get me started on the “bike valet.” Are people in LA are so spoiled that they can’t park their own bikes anymore? More eye-rolling and chortles on my part. When did the celebration of simple farm life become so pretentious?
Anyway, the point of my weekly journey to the Farmer’s Market is not to laugh internally at the snooty customers, but rather to take supreme pleasure in the wonderful offerings from the earth and the nice people selling them. At any Farmer’s Market, I always have my favorites. These are my Top 5 from the Sunday Farmer’s Market on Main Street in SaMo:
1) Chai – Since the 1990’s, every very single time I go to this particular market, I get a chai from Groundwork Coffee to sip while I peruse the stalls. I like to mix the Tiger and Vanilla Chais for the perfect blend of spice and sweet. Its $3 per cup but worth a little indulgence.
2) Basiltops Pesto – I LOVE these products and the ladies who sell them are super sweet. Basiltops’ (mostly) vegan, dairy-free varieties of pesto are quickly becoming a staple in my kitchen. So far, I’ve tried the Chia seed, Hemp seed, Habanero, Sundried Tomato and traditional. I just added Lemon Lime to my collection. I slather this stuff on fish, veggies, bread – basically anything I can use as a vehicle to get it into my mouth. The 8-ounce squeeze pouches are $10 each, or 3 for $27.
3) Almond Butter – Delicious on bread or by the spoonful, these almond butters from Fat Uncle Farms are the best I’ve ever tried. Roasted, raw, sweetened are a few options. I have a dollop in the morning for a protein boost, or in the evening for a little treat instead of dessert. They run about $8 per jar.
4) Cruelty free cheese – Ok, my bad. I forgot to get a photo of this stand. But look for the guy with the cheese hat. I recently became aware of how dairy farms work – the cows are kept pregnant, and their babies are taken away so that we can have their milk. I don’t know why this never occurred to me before. Factory farms do it in a very cruel way (google it). But, this farm allows people to visit so they can see that the cows are treated kindly. I bought some with cumin in it. Delicious.
5) Lavender-Peppermint spray – Lavender is one of my favorite aromas in body and home products as well as cocktails and food. The Idyll Horse Farm stand sells bunches of lavender for $5 to perfume your abode, and one of my favorite indulgences is the Lavender and Mint infused water that can be used on the body, linens and in the air.
Let’s coordinate our pet nannies and personal valets and meet for simple pleasures next Sunday. Have your people call my people…