Picture yourself strolling down a street lined with lush, juicy produce on either side of you. Look north, and you’ll catch a glimpse of Mt. Baldy. Listen closely and you’ll hear the local musicians playing their instruments and singing. Look directly in front of each stand, and you’ll find samples of peaches, plums, avocados, grapefruit, and more. Take in a deep breath and you will smell the bouquets of roses and lilies that were just cut, and the lavender and basil potted plants. Welcome to the Claremont Farmers Market. This is my weekly indulgence, where I purchase my vegetables and fruits each Sunday.
The California Certified Farmers Markets are TRUE Farmers Markets, which means you’re purchasing the actual crops from the farmers. The strict guidelines means they’ve been certified by the government, and the produce they are selling meets all of the state’s agricultural standards.
From a buyer’s perspective, you’ll be saving money. Why? Because when you purchase from a farmer, there’s no need for packing, shipping, and wholesale costs. Food-wise, you’ll notice a huge difference too. Organic is so much more flavorful!
I’ve gotten to know some of the families that sell here pretty well.
One sweet girl named Debbie knows I love my celery with the tops intact (it makes the best salad!) She also just brought in tomatillos last week, after I told her about my Avocado and Tomatillo Sauce. Her tables also boast softball-sized beets and onions that would probably each feed a family of four. Seriously!
Another family has an incredibly friendly young man who sells the best artichokes! He knows I love his tender asparagus too, and his lettuce selection is really nice. This last week I brought home a basket of his beautiful red and green jalapenos, and I was delighted!
Then of course, there’s the Weisers who know I can’t even go a week without their amazingly delicious potatoes. They’re what I use for my Healthy Potato Salad. Just a couple booths down from them is a family of a dad, mom, and young daughter. I always seem to refer to the dad as “The Avocado Man” because I don’t know his name… but he has the most luscious buttery avocados ever. I like to get at least 5 each week, so besides putting them in salads and sauces, I can also make my favorite Avocado Toast. This weekend he had Lamb Haas and Reeds. If you haven’t seen a Reed avocado, you’re in for a treat. They are huge. He’s also got perfectly sweet and sour kumquats. Oh! And his peaches… oh MY they’re so juicy, you have to wash up past your elbows.
I adore the flowers at this market. My favorite vendor is in the middle of the action, on the north side of the street. His prices are fantastic, and whenever I purchase his bouquets, they always last more than a week.
Visiting this amazing outdoor market is something that I would suggest to everyone…especially families! How better to teach your children about where food comes from, than speaking directly to the source? Let your kids taste the offerings and choose their favorites to take home.
You will also find other vendors at the Claremont Farmers Market. An absolute favorite is the gracious woman who sells local raw honey under the name “Aunt Willie’s Apiary”. Note to the buyer: get the big jar. Really.
There’s also a few new additions to the market. One is a delightfully cheery gal who sells Drake’s Goat Cheese (beware… the samples are addictive), and another is a very charming gentleman who has beautifully baked fresh breads. If you’re looking for something to drink, look no further! An absolute must-try is the freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s like someone grabbed the sunshine and put it in a bottle. At this stand you’ll also get delicious freshly pressed apple juice. Yum!
Another to seek out is the gentleman who sells fresh meats. He is the neighbor of the farmer, and he is such a nice guy to chat with! His grass-fed meats are of a very high quality – and the taste is exceptional.
I can’t talk about the Claremont Farmers Market without mentioning one of the nicest guys there. He and his family have the stand on the Northwest corner of the event. Right now he’s got various stone fruits, bell peppers, and nice crisp little cucumbers. I always enjoy visiting his stand, because his produce is yummy, and his kindness is contagious.
I hope you will take some time to visit this year-round, rain-or-shine weekly event.
They’re open each Sunday, from 8am to 1pm.
Location: Indian Hill and 2nd Street, Claremont, CA
Click here for a map
Another Farmers Market you ought to visit is in Riverside, located at the historical Mission Inn.
Click here to read my blog about it.