While many traditional garden vegetables are in between growing seasons, local farmers markets are flush with tropical fruits and some of your more hardy vegetables. “It’s a good time for a lot of tropical fruits that are in season like pomegranates, persimmons and guavas,” said Nancy Stalnaker, a supervising agriculture/standards inspector for San Diego County Agriculture Weights and Measures. “And then your apples and pears are coming in season, too.” Stalnaker also noted it’s been a good season for locally-grown grapes.
“It’s in between seasons for a lot of vegetables, but there are still some late summer crops around and you can find a good variety of squashes, okra, pumpkins, chard and mustard greens right now,” she said. It’s also a great time to find colorful floral arrangements for upcoming holiday decorations. “The flower growers have some real nice flowers you could use for Thanksgiving tables,” Stalnaker said. “Nice oranges and yellows and beautiful chrysanthemums.”
The county has two new farmers markets each with a unique feature. The San Diego Seaside Certified Farmers Market at 2475 Grand Avenue (by Mission Bay High School) highlights local fish and seafood. “We’ve got local fishermen selling their catches at that market,” said Stalnaker. Another new market is at 20951 Highway 79 in Warner Springs. “That market is run by the Future Farmers of America,” said Stalnaker. “The students and 4-H kids are growing stuff at school and selling it at the market. “The community has really gotten out and supported them,” she said. “They don’t have to drive long distances to go to the store to get fresh produce.” Stalnaker also had a great insider tip about the Warner Springs Market: “They’ve set up a barbecue that sells delicious tri-tip sandwiches.”
To find a local certified farmers market near you, check the list.