Want another serving? I thought so… Here are some more interesting facts about California Agriculture and our Farmers’ Markets. Did you know that California grows about eighty percent of all fruits and vegetables in the United States? We have the best access to the best! For California residents, we have what experts call a National season. Our access to foods is wider and more abundant because we grow so much and in many cases, it’s cultivated all year round. So we are able to provide lots and lots of variety. Los Angeles boasts some ninety-eight or more of the most abundant Certified Farmers Markets (CFM), not including gazillions of others, which are not certified? Certified simply means that they are approved by the government, are regulated and they carry the “guarantee” to sell quality products, right from the farm to your table. Wow, imagine the first bite of the season lasting all year round! For example, if I wanted to make Thanksgiving dinner with the freshest products in April, I could! No matter where you live, being aware of what’s in season all of the time, can help you enjoy the benefits of food coming from the farm directly to your table! Here’s some funky news. If you are an “Angelino”, I can’t talk about how fabulous the Farmers’ Markets are without mentioning they need our help. I recently read in the Los Angeles Times, that the city of Los Angeles has proposed an ordinance that would have growers paying enormous annual fees to sell their products at the Farmer’s Markets. The costs for blocking off streets, security, traffic; law enforcement personnel and other fees are in weighing in on the budget. Los Angeles City councilman Jose Huizar is trying to help with this. There are helpful measures awaiting a vote, so stay tuned. There’s a lot more happening in the Farmers’ Market than just produce. We want these markets to be around for a very long time. Our families and community needs them. Another cool thing about shopping farmer’s markets is that we are supporting our community, when we buy from local growers. We boost our own local economy by keeping the money within it and we employ our community! Gotta love that! The idea that local agriculture keeps the concrete out and preserves more green spaces for us to share means more trees for our children! It may sound simple but that little butternut squash I just purchased today made a difference somewhere. What if everyone shopped locally? Then we would be a people fondly called, “Locavores”. Wishing I had coined it first, I can’t help but love the first part of this whimsical word, “loca”, which as you may know, describes “crazy” in Spanish! I like to think I am loca about food! The first part of the word “locavore” however, comes from the word; “local” and the latter part of the word “vore” actually came from the Latin word, “Vorare”, which means to eat or devour. The vibe behind this word just means sold out on buying what is locally produced. Are you a “locavore”? Let’s go hit the Hollywood Farmers’ Market today, doing it like the “Locavores” do! If you are “loca” for quality fresh food, less carbon footprints on our earth and supporting our community, raise your hands Locavore!
Go to the local Farmers’ Market website for your area. There you will find information on locations, products, vendors, as well as events. For Los Angeles residents, a great source is: www.farmernet.com