There was a time when everyone grew their own food. Everyone had an orchard, a flock of chickens, dairy cows and goats, and maybe a few pigs. You only eat what you have grown yourself or had grown.
Then there was the grocery store. People are used to walking to the store to get what they need for dinner that night. Soon many of us lost the art of gardening and farming.
But there are those who keep the tradition of growing their own food. They grow for themselves, and they grow for you, the consumer.
Throughout North County and the Central Coast, we have the privilege of eating fresh, local food every day. Locally grown means the product was grown and harvested within 100 miles of your town. Local farmers supply a variety of produce, fruit, olive oil, meat, honey and just about anything else you can think of.
Bobby Connor, owner of Natural Alternative Nutrition Center in Paso Robles and a certified clinical nutritionist and master trauma specialist, always offers local honey for those fighting allergies.
Connor also recommends eating local because you know where it comes from and you know it’s fresh because it hasn’t been shipped from all over the world.
One of the best places to buy from local farmers is the farmers market. North County hosts four farmers’ markets each week.
Since 1985. The North County Farmers Market Association (NCFMA) brings four local markets to the community each week throughout the year, including during the pandemic.
I think one of the best places to support people is the small farmers’ market in every small town, says Robin Gable, executive director of the North County Farmers’ Market Association. You can get fresh produce, it lasts longer and is fresher. People often pick them fresh in the morning to sell them.
Most importantly, eating local means supporting local families and local economies.
They will also support many families. They are not just farming families, but sometimes they hire people to sell for them. So, in this market today, you could support 13 or more families. You just need to buy eggs and bring bread and fresh produce, Gable said.
By shopping at farmers markets, make sure you’re eating seasonally. Seasonal produce is harvested when it is ripest, resulting in produce that is rich in nutrients.
Buying at farmers’ markets allows consumers to build a relationship with the farmer. Meet them in person and ask them about their practices, their history and why they like to grow their plants.
During the pandemic and before, we still have dedicated farmers and buyers – we follow the state guidelines set by the San Luis County health officer, Gable said. We will adapt and shape whatever happens to keep the markets going.
Many restaurants take advantage of this and use local ingredients to include special dishes on their menus. Most food vendors at farmers markets also use produce from the market.
Alicia Denchasi, owner of A-Town Humble Pies, said, 90% of our production is what we can get at the farmers market.
When asked why Denchasi chooses a local source for its ingredients, the answer was simple: That’s fine. I mean, that’s what they’re there for. It’s been great for us, just because we want to support each other. It’s our community – we have to know all these people and know what they have, how we can use that in our product, and then we teach our other consumers about the different fruits and vegetables that are out there.
Eating locally in North County is very easy and is doubly beneficial, helping both your health and the community.
Visit northcountyfarmersmarkets.com for more information about farmers markets in the north county. See below for locations and market times.
Northern county farmers markets
- Paso Robles. Tuesday and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
- Templeton | Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Atascadero. Wednesday from 3pm to 5pm.
- Baywood Monday 14 – 16:30
Local farms :
- Rocky Canyon Farms
- Farmer Frank’s Mushrooms
- fossa farm
- Magnolia products and flowers
- Olive Ranch Manor
- Templeton Valley Farms
- Outlaw Valley Ranch
- Templeton Hills Beef
Paso Robles (and surroundings)
- Matthew Honey.
- Family Farm Hernandez Larsen
- Olive Organic Farm.
- Fair Hills Apple Farm
- Groves at 41
- Loo Loo Farms
- J&R meat
- Twisselman Ranch Beef
- Bear Creek
- Los Osos Organic Farm
- De La Cruz farm
- Mauro Perez
- Bee Association of California
- Farmer’s wife flowers
- Iron Farms
- Dragon feather farm
Farmers sell food to retailers and restaurants that use local ingredients:
- Ben’s Custom Meat Cutter
- The Negranti Butter Factory
- Jeffrey’s Wine Country Grill
- The garden of alchemists
- Thomas Hill Organics
- McPhee dining room.
- Red Scooter Deli Restaurant
- Café Odyssey of the World
- Firestone Walker
- Pier 46 Seafood market
- Type of chartered oak meat
- JC Kitchen
- Jax Bar & Grill.
- Cake to the humility of the city
- Tamales Garcia.
- Colony and delicatessen market
- Cowboy Navy
- Nogi sushi restaurant
- Side Ale Street House
- Grid of the guesthouse
Southern District and others:
- Production plant of mature cheese
- Bread to break bread in the bakery
- Organic ebb and flow bistro
- Old fishing port
- Creamy bowl
- Soup inspired by the farmers’ market
Just to name a few.
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We’ll get through this together, Atascadero…
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