National Farmers’ Market Week (August 7-13) is a great opportunity to show the nation how much value markets bring to their communities. Farmers’ Markets preserve farmland, stimulate local economies, increase access to nutritious food, support healthy communities, and promote sustainability.
The State Street Farmers’ Market has been a staple in downtown Carlsbad since October of 1994. Originally located in a parking lot on Roosevelt Street, tucked between a bank, apartments and office buildings, it opened with 20 eager vendors to much fanfare. The month prior, the Carlsbad Village Association incorporated and the Farmers’ Market was its first, big step in the revitalization of Carlsbad Village that has been going strong for 28 years.
In its early days, the focus of the Farmers’ Market was fresh, local produce and flowers. With considerable farmland in Carlsbad, local tomatoes, squash, citrus, and avocados were plentiful. And with flower fields dotting the landscape, it wasn’t hard to find a flower grower who wanted to be at the market. Locally grown sunflowers, part of the market’s retro chalkboard inspired logo were abundant and are still available at the market today.
Farmers’ Markets have evolved tremendously since their early days. A push towards certified organic, meaning that farmers and businesses have met strict standards for the growing, processing and handling of their products, and are certified by the USDA, is an achievement not every market shares. The State Street Farmers’ Market is a certified organic market meaning that it has certified vendors each week with products for sale.
Not all vendors are certified organic; however, all at our market qualify as being “local.” Locally grown produce at Farmers’ Markets is usually picked ripe and sold within a day. That translates into fresher, more nutritious food because the vitamins and other nutrients haven’t had time to break down. It is commonly also pesticide-free. And unlike grocery store produce, not only is the transport usually within 50 miles, but it is also never frozen. Fresh means fresh.
As the desire for healthier food options has grown, including gluten free and vegan, and minimally processed foods as well, the appeal of Farmers’ Markets has increased. The State Street Farmers’ Market is proud to feature not only line-caught, hand cut fresh fish, but also pasture raised chicken and eggs, and grass fed and finished beef, both from local, sustainable, family farms. Knowing that sustainable practices, including regenerative grazing are being used and fostered every day, is what makes farmers’ markets so worthy.
Natural, raw, preservative-free food is plentiful at the market. Compare the ingredient label from a single product found at the Farmers’ Market to a similar product from the grocery store and you will instantly notice the difference. The market offers minimally processed food, that retains more nutrients and flavor, and uses less or none of the “bad stuff” that is required to sustain shelf life of a grocery store product.
But don’t be afraid to shop the Farmers’ Market fearing that it is all too healthy to be true. A wonderful aspect of the market is that it also features delightful options for everyone. That being said rest assured that even the freshly made bread, pastries, and decadent options found at the market are all made with a focus on the highest quality and experience possible. In other words, everything is a level up from a grocery store.
Raw honey, nuts, Ghee, handmade fudge, granola, salsa, cheese, Kombucha, green drink, hummus, bone broth, and the list goes on. Our market even features a wide variety of prepared food options including Kenyan, Thai, Indian, dumplings, poke, vegan, and more, for dinner-on-the-go or a fabulous family dinner without the fuss. With over 60 vendors at the State Street Farmers’ Market, you are certain to find plenty to make you and your family happy.
Join us every Wednesday starting at 2:30pm in the heart of Carlsbad Village on State Street between Grand Avenue and Carlsbad Village Drive. There are public parking lots on Roosevelt Street as well as the south end of State Street and by the Coaster Station too.
On August 10th, to celebrate National Farmers’ Week, the Carlsbad Village Association staff will be giving away some incredible market bounty bags to lucky winners. Follow us on Instagram @carlsbadfarmersmarket and @carlsbadvillage to stay tuned for the big day. Come eat, shop, enjoy, and possibly even win!