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From Farmer to You in a Matter of Hours

Some of the freshest produce in the county is available at the five Certified Farmers’ Markets in North County.

“Things aren’t even a day old, they’re hours old--which is a marvelous difference, particularly when you’re talking about things like sweet corn,” said Mark Wall, manager of the Escondido Farmers’ Market and coordinator for the Southland Farmers’ Market Assn.

Most San Diegans don’t realize the tremendous selection of gourmet vegetables available at the markets, Wall says. So many are grown in the county that the farmers can’t sell all their harvest to the gourmet restaurants in Southern California, so they sell them at Farmers’ Markets.

“Things that they would beg to have at the average supermarket in Los Angeles we have here in San Diego,” he said. “People in San Diego don’t realize the remarkable bounty that they live in.”

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Farmers’ Market prices reflect the absence of middlemen, too, Wall says. Consumers pay 10%to 20% less than at grocery stores, and farmers make more.

The markets are also doubly guaranteed to bring in only certified farmers to sell what they themselves grow. Each market is certified by the county. And the markets allow only certified farmers to sell there.

An average of 25 farmers sell at each market, with as many as 35 at the Vista market and as few as four at the fledgling one in San Marcos, Wall says. About 60% of the farmers attend all of the markets.

For more information, contact the Farmers’ Market Assn. at 726-8183.

TUESDAYS

Escondido, 4-8 p.m., on Grand Avenue between Broadway and Maple Street.

WEDNESDAYS

Escondido, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 3660 Sunset Drive, across from North County Fair shopping center.

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SATURDAYS

Vista, 8-11 a.m., Escondido Avenue at Eucalyptus Avenue in Vista City Hall parking lot.

Del Mar, 1-4 p.m., Camino del Mar at 10th Street, next to the public library.

San Marcos, noon to 4 p.m., 1020 San Marcos Blvd., in Old California Restaurant Row complex.

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