Thanksgiving is right around the corner, with the rest of the holiday season to come.
These celebrations of food, family and friends also provide a great opportunity to get back to the roots of the holiday by shopping locally this year.
1. Think Outside The Turkey
If you’re not able to get your hands on a local, Farmers Market turkey this year don’t despair – get creative and sustainable! How about trying a chicken from Lily’s Eggs (all four Santa Monica Farmers Markets) or Healthy Family Farms (both Saturday Markets), beef or pork from Rocky Canyon Farms (Wednesday, Saturday Downtown and Sunday Markets) or J&J Ranch(Saturday Pico Market), bison from Lindner Bison (Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Markets), shellfish from Carlsbad Aquafarm (Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Markets), salmon from Janae’s Fillets(Wednesday and Sunday Markets) or lamb, goat, pork, or rabbit from Jimenez Farm (Wednesday and Saturday Pico Markets).
2. Local Produce
We all know side dishes make the meal. This year, find out where your produce comes from. For your green bean casserole, yams, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, apples, and pumpkins for pie, vegetarian main course, and any other vegetable or fruit needs you can dream up, get all of your produce from the Santa Monica Farmers Markets. Don’t forget juice and cider, too. Your fruits and veggies will be tastier, fresher and better for you and the environment.
3. Sweet Dreams
For a sweet ending to your feast get a delicious dessert made with Farmers Market produce. Place an order with Valerie Confections (Saturday Downtown Market) for one of her delicious pies, gallettes or other decadent treats or grab a pint of homemade ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery (Sunday Market) featuring flavors that celebrate the season. Stock up on scrumptious breads and baked goods from The Secret Goldfish Baking Co. (Sunday Market), Rockenwagner Bakery (Wednesday Market), Le Pain du Jour (Saturday Pico), and Ca’d’Oro (Sunday Market).
4. Set The Scene
Save yourself a trip and get your food and decorations in the same place – the Santa Monica Farmers Markets. Keep your table simple and elegant. Beautiful gourds, winter squashes and pumpkins are bountiful at farmers’ stands this time of year, and pomegranates add burst of seasonal flavor and color. The Markets are blooming with local flowers at all four Markets and succulent plants and wreaths from Sugar Bush Proteas (Wednesday and Saturday Downtown) are unique and gorgeous. Orchids add an elegant touch to any table and you can find them at Cosgrove Cymbidium (Wednesday Market), Sherry Lin (Pico Market) or Aroma Orchids (Saturday Downtown and Sunday Market).
5. Thank Your Host
If it’s your turn to be a guest and not a host it’s always nice to bring a small gift. Beeswax candles and honey based bath and body products from the honey vendors, scrumptious jams and jellies from your favorite farmers, many kinds of nuts and dried fruits at all four Markets, artisan olives and olive oils from Adams Olive Ranch (Wednesday and both Saturday Markets), walnut oil from Rancho La Vina (Wednesday and Saturday Downtown), lavender oil from Arria Brasseur (Sunday Market), cheese from Spring Hill Cheese (both Saturday Markets and Sunday Market) or Redwood Hill (Wednesday Market), nut butters from Fat Uncle Farms (Sunday Market) and Avila Farms (Saturday Pico and Sunday Markets), beautiful tins of dried herbs and spices, bouquet garni, teas, potpourri, soaps, and jellies, as well as lovely Gardens to Go from It Began in the Garden (Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Markets), houseplants from Casa Blanca (Wednesday Market), or even a seedling from Logan’s Gardens (Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Markets), all make perfect thank yous.
Wednesday Downtown — Arizona Avenue (between 4th & Ocean)
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Saturday Downtown — Arizona Avenue (between 4th & 2nd Streets)
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(Please note: the Saturday Downtown market will be closed on November 26th)
Saturday Pico — Virginia Avenue (Pico Blvd. @ Cloverfield Blvd.)
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sunday Main Street — 2640 Main Street (in Heritage Square)
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information on Santa Monica Farmers Markets, including a list of farm vendors and a guide to what’s in season: http://www.smgov.net/portals/farmersmarket/.
For more information on Buy Local Santa Monica: www.buylocalsantamonica.com.