Farmers Market Update: Santa Monica (Sorta)

by | Dec 1, 2008


This past weekend I left my beloved San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to visit my family in Southern California. I was really excited to feel the sun again and finally see the famous Santa Monica Farmers Market near the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade.

Their website said they were closed November 24, but since it was November 29 I thought I was good to go.

No such luck.

I guess they forgot to update their website from last year when November 24 was on a Saturday, because apparently the market is always closed the Saturday after Thanksgiving (something I learned from the visitors information booth once I got there).

But despite this brief let down, I was able to find another farmers market in Santa Monica at Virginia Park.

To my delight, the Virginia Park Farmers Market had a fantastic selection and was a pleasure to shop at. All the expected autumn delicacies were there–the parsnips and sunchokes were even sitting right next to each other at Weiser Family Farms. We also found vendors selling fresh eggs, cheese, chicken, duck and grass-fed beef.

Many of these items are not common to your typical grocery store, so Santa Monica residents should feel very lucky to have these offerings available to them.

One notable difference between the San Francisco market and the Santa Monica market is that tomatoes, summer squash and berries (summer produce) are still available down south. If you have been following this blog you know that these items have been missing from San Francisco for many weeks.

There were also some exotic ingredients at the Santa Monica market, like lemongrass and assorted guava fruit.

Here is what we purchased from the Virginia Park market:

  • Persimmons
  • Fresh walnuts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kohlrabe
  • Sunchokes
  • Various potatoes
  • blue and gold potatoes

  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Savory
  • Lily’s eggs
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Leeks
  • Candy-stripe and golden beets
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13 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Santa Monica (Sorta)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Inquiring minds want to know what a Lilly Egg is.- Dank

  2. Mike says:

    And whats with that reddish/brown looking jeruselum artichoke? I thought you told us it was a light brown color……

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had no idea carrots could be that color! Is that picture photoshoped……? Do the funny-colored sunchokes or carrots taste any different?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow! I had no idea that there are still heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market! I’ve seen some at trader joe’s, but they just don’t have the same flavor as the farmers market tomatoes. I gotta go check this out now.

  5. Healthyliving says:

    Yeah, it looks like you bought a bunch of weird new stuff on this outing. Savory, Kohlrabe, lilly eggs…what is all that stuff? And I’d love to take a bite outta the heart inside that artichoke!

  6. Darya Pino says:

    Dank:A few points on Lily’s eggs. First, we seemed to miss place our box so I wasn’t exactly sure how to spell the brand name (Dad, you may want to check your outside fridge for 1/2 dozen Lily’s eggs). Second, the SM market website has Lily spelled with 2 “L”s, which is how I had it spelled in my original post, and it is wrong. Finally, I have made my the spelling correction and added a link about Lily’s egg farm in my list of purchased items.Sorry for the confusion.—–Mike:It is not clear to me why the Weiser Farm sunchokes are a different color than the ones I purchased here in SF. There are several possibilities. I have heard that they come in brown, white and purple varieties, so this could just be a different kind. But it could also be just a difference in soil, I imagine. I am not sure if the taste is different.As for the carrots, the darker colored ones sometimes taste a bit stronger, but not always. I recommend buying some and doing a taste test! Don’t expect them to add too much extra color to your plate though. Once you peel them they are back to orange.—–anon3:Yes, these tomatoes actually looked fantastic (I didn’t get to try them myself). I should have been more clear in my post in that there have been some tomatoes here and there in SF (including TJ’s), but they have been so dull and pale in color I wouldn’t recommend buying them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Once again, great post, great pics.

  8. Karin says:

    I’m excited to see your continued support of organic eggs, even after the Prop 2 battle. Keep on fightin’!!

  9. Anne says:

    Love the FM updates =)

  10. Anonymous says:

    So I’m totally excited to go to the farmers market this weekend because of you- I hope its good!

  11. NB says:

    Sorry it took so long to update:I ate the Lily eggs, and they were the most hearty and sumptuous eggs I’ve ever had. I bought the most expensive ones (like $3.75 for 1/2 dozen), which were from chickens that supposedly dieted primarily on sunflower seeds and soybeans and layed the day before. These eggs were worth every penny and I would buy them exclusively if I could (they’re actually cheaper than an egg you would buy at a cheap diner, which would probably be burnt anyways).I also ate the tomatoes that were bought(a GIANT, meaty Yellow Brandywine and two smaller Yellow Zebras)- still sweetly aromatic, and to my suprise, uniquely flavorful- they were still fantastic!

  12. Darya Pino says:

    So much great conversation!!anon4 and Anne:Thanks!! Farmers market pics are my favorite. I love visiting new ones too.—–Karin:I do care about animal rights, but for me the most important factors are taste and human health. It is for my own sake I seek out the best eggs. Read the testimonial from NB to see why!—–anon5:Good for you!! I’m excited for you too!—–NB:Wow! Great to hear!! I have wonderful eggs up here in the city, but your description of that tomato is killing me! You know how I love a sweet summer tomato….

  13. NB says:

    Btw I just roasted the potatoes bought at this farmers market according to some of your roasting principles, and they were delicious!

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