We like to keep things fresh at Yellow 108, especially when it comes to the food we eat. Shy of foraging through the urban jungle for backyard fruit, our best source for fresh local food is at one of the many awesome neighborhood farmer's markets. Lucky for us in the LA area there is one almost every day of the week, year round. Farmer’s markets aren’t just for produce, they often have baked goods, deli items, and a plethora of hot food dishes. Most farmer’s markets check up on the farms they let participate to make sure they are the real thing, selling only the produce they grow. In california, there is a government certification program that over sees such farm inspections.
There are many positive advantages associated with farmer’s markets. Little to no packaging is needed since it doesn’t need to go through so many hands and be stacked in a super market. There are economic advantages to shopping at farmer’s markets as well; since the produce comes straight from the grower to you and there is no middleman, you get a better deal and the farmer gets a higher price, its a win win.
A new growing trend are “produce exchanges”. The basic idea is to bring what ever you’ve grown in your backyard garden, be it extra tomatoes that you’ve overdosed on or that basil thats getting out of hand, then exchange it with others for what you want. No cash welcome here, simply barter system only. We love our great local produce exchange here in Long Beach, its held on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays @ Bluff park. Try to start one in your neighborhood, if one doesn’t already exist.
*Tip: Get to a farmer’s markets early for the best selection, get there at the end for the best deals.
To find your closest farmer’s market check out this link, http://www.localharvest.org/
Here is list of LA area farmer’s markets, http://www.farmernet.com/events/cfms
This has more info on CA certified FMs, http://www.cafarmersmarkets.com/
This is an online community produce exchange, http://hyperlocavore.ning.com/
Info on the LB produce exchange, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Produce-Exchange-Long-Beach/152112431519497?sk=info