Buying groceries can be challenging under the best of circumstances. But add to that all the press about how our food is grown, raised, altered, salted, enhanced, and fattened, and it’s enough to drive a shopper mad. One way I’ve found to alleviate some of the trauma of finding food that will better fit my attempt at a healthier lifestyle is to shop at farmers’ markets that sell organic and artisan products.
The Palm Springs Valley is home to four Certified Farmers’ Markets spread throughout the week. They’re located in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, and Coachella. Alas, none in my hometown of Rancho Mirage, but thankfully it’s only a short drive for me to get to any of this quartet.
As is the case with most farmers’ markets, the best produce can be found when they open at 8:00 a.m. I’m usually there early, accompanied by a convivial crowd of fellow foodies. By the 12:30 p.m. closing, most of the vendors have been shopped clean. Seasonal fruits and veggies are de rigueur, with a super selection that will have you salivating for your impending supper. Terrific tomatoes. Magnificent meats. Sumptuous strawberries. Delightful dates. Choice cheeses. You’ll also find beautiful breads, amazing oils (check out the avocado oil stand, which, in addition to selling a tasty cooking oil offers an amazing assortment of avocado body lotions that I swear by), and a bounty of cut-flower bouquets, potted plants and orchids, and even a palm tree salesman!
Shopping the Certified Farmers’ Markets is one of my favorite things to do, offering fabulous food, sweet entertainment, and a gang of great fellow shoppers and vendors.