I was excited to experience my first all-vegetarian farmer’s market in Imperial Beach, which I had heard about through fellow San Diegan and vegetable lover George Vutetakis. In the spirit of fresh summer produce and all the inspiration for cooking that can go along with that, I am reprinting his article and photos about San Diego’s farmer’s markets. Make sure to see his wonderful videos (link at bottom of article).
By George Vutetakis, The Vegetarian Guy
The celebrated markets of the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County often overshadow the incredible, yet unsung, farmers markets of San Diego. There are fifty markets in San Diego supported by more certified organic farmers than any other county in America, over 320.
At least one market is open every day of the week, supporting most of the communities in the area. This type of shopping enables us to follow in the footsteps of the great food cultures where purchasing the freshest ingredients is a daily ritual. The choices are remarkable–a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in micro-climates ranging from sub-tropical to temperate.
Most weeks, I visit three or four markets, buying enough for a couple of days and keeping me connected with the farmers and vendors. Some of my favorites are Archi’s Acres, JR Organics, Sage Mountain Farm, Suzies Farm, JR Organics, Tom King Farms, Conscious Cookery and Koral’s Tropical Fruit Farm. Each market reflects the feel of its community, becoming de facto social centers.
A few years ago, shortly after I created www.thevegetarianguy.com, I began filming my culinary finds, the farmers and community members. Over time, my blog has expanded into sharing new discoveries, tastes and recipes while applauding the efforts of local food heroes wherever I go.
My short videos provide introductions to the farmers, products and the unique atmosphere of the markets. This portal into the San Diego markets gives a taste of what is possible and shows the path to connecting the dots between food, farms and life.