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Farmers’ Market Report:

Be sustainable this season and do your holiday shopping at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets. While doing your weekly produce shopping, you can find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. There are all kinds of edible goodies at the Farmers’ Markets, and who doesn’t love to indulge over the holidays?

Paso Almonds at the Wednesday Market grow dry-farmed, non-pasteurized almonds and also make irresistible almond brittle. Avila Farm at the Saturday Pico and Sunday Main Street Markets has gift packs of assorted nuts and dried fruit. Rancho La Vina at the Wednesday Market grows walnuts in the Santa Rita Hills, and the picnic scene from the movie Sideways was filmed in their orchard. Walnut oil makes a wonderful hostess or holiday gift, and they also have toasted, smoked, and spiced (with raw sugar, cumin, and cayenne) walnuts. Santa Barbara Pistachios, at the Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Markets, has a seven-flavor pistachio sampler as well as a special holiday tin filled with their lightly salted pistachios. They also have wonderful pistachio oil and flour. For a special holiday snack, pop your own popcorn using a blend of walnut and pistachio oils. You can even put it in holiday bags and give it to friends and co-workers as a thoughtful and tasty gift.

Guanni Chocolates from San Diego County lost everything in the recent fires, but are back at the Sunday Main Street Market, and their chocolates are as delectable as ever. They make absolutely delicious hand-crafted Peruvian chocolates and have several new flavors for the holidays. True chocoholics need to look no further than the dark chocolate Bukare flavor, my personal favorite.

For those on your list seeking rest and relaxation this time of year, Cheryl Gaines of It Began in the Garden at the Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Markets makes a variety of unique and handmade gift baskets featuring her herbs, teas, baths, soaps, and jellies. Mike Moessner at the Wednesday Market has jams and jellies in a wide variety of flavors. He has special holiday editions with fabric toppers and ribbons, too. Adams Olive Ranch at all four Markets has artisan olive oils and olives. For the composter in your life, check out the Worm Wrangler at the Sunday Main Street Market for live worms to invigorate your compost bin. Check your local honey vendor for beeswax candles and other treats. Kids love honey sticks, and they make the perfect stocking stuffers for the youngsters on your list.

Happy holidays from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets!

NOTE: The Wednesday Market will be closed December 26, the only market closure over the holiday season.

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