In our corner of the world here in central San Mateo County, we are fortunate to have some wonderful Farmer’s Markets. Most of them are seasonal, but two go year-round. California has a Federation of Certified Farmers’ Markets that provide loads of benefits for small local farmers. One of the benefits for us, the consumer, is being able to buy tree and vine ripened fruit and vegetables in the summer. And, we all know what a difference in flavor tree ripened or vine ripened fruits and vegetables are. Prices are almost always as competitive as those found at Safeway or Albertson but you have the added benefit of supporting California farmers and buying locally produced foods.
Almost every community we serve here in San Mateo County has its own market. San Mateo boasts three markets with two of them running year round.
- Beginning with Millbrae, they offer a Certified Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning in the downtown area on the 200 block of Broadway. It runs all year-round and is held between 8 AM and 1 PM.
- Burlingame’s Certified Fresh Market runs between May and November. It’s held every Sunday between 9 AM and 1:30PM on Park Road and Burlingame Avenue in downtown Burlingame.
- San Mateo boasts three markets. The 25th Avenue Merchants Association hosts a Certified Farmers’ Market every Tuesday between May and October from 4 PM to 8 PM. It’s held on 25th Avenue. If you miss that one, go on up to the College of San Mateo either on Wednesday morning or Saturday morning all year long for the largest Certified Farmers’ Market in our area. The Wednesday morning market is held on the back parking lot of CSM at the very end of Hillsdale Blvd., between 9 AM and 1 PM. Saturday’s market is held in the large parking lot in front of the College. It, too, is between 9 AM and 1 PM. Just follow the signs and you’ll be sure and find it.
- Belmont hosts a seasonal Certified Farmers’ Market between May and November in the CalTrain parking lot on El Camino Real across from O’Neill Avenue every Sunday morning between 9 AM and 1 PM.
- The last Certified Farmers’ Market in our area is held in San Carlos. This seasonal market runs between May and September every Thursday evening between 4 PM and 8 PM. It’s on several blocks of Laurel Avenue in downtown San Carlos.
These markets are fun to shop in. Not only do they attract local farmers but you can find wonderful bakers, fresh fish and meats, honey, orchids and other plants, fresh flowers grown on our beautiful coastline while you listen to music that will entertain you while shopping. Many of our markets provide shoppers recipes for the fruits and vegetables that are in season and in the market that week. You can also find some great recipes online, too. We are lucky to have a 12 month growing cycle in our area of California so something is always coming to market. This map provided by the Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market Association tells you which produce is in season year-round.
There is a strong movement to only purchase foods from sources you know about. Sources that are local. We are very fortunate to have so many different Farmers’ Markets to shop. No excuses now, get out there and buy your produce locally and support our farmers. Your health may depend on it.