These days, it seems like anyone can throw up a couple of tables to sell artisanal cheeses from goats that have voluntarily milked themselves, or craft beers from a microbrewery that only uses hops that have been read Shakespeare as they blossom and call themselves a farmers’ market. We’re not saying it’d be a hipster, but it’d probably be a hipster.
We want the real deal.
Lucky for us (and you), the City of Irvine and this nifty non-profit called the Orange County Farm Bureau do this thing where they “certify” farmers’ markets, so you know you’re getting goods directly from legitimate farmers. And here they are, by days of the week:
Sunday: The Great Park Certified Farmers’ Market. This is the only farmers’ market certified by the City of Irvine. As you have probably guessed, this takes place at the Orange County Great Park. Some of the food is actually grown right there in the park at the Great Park Farm + Food Lab. The Food Lab is a neat interactive outdoor classroom where you can learn all sorts of fun stuff, including how to pickle. And everyone should know how to pickle.
Tuesday: Irvine Regional Park. Rain or shine, from 9am-1pm. Plus, you can be sure to explore the rest of what the park has to offer. For example, the Irvine Park Railroad. A train, people. An old-timey train that takes you through the park, while you eat your artisanal goat cheese. And then, of course, the OC Zoo, which supplies fresh eggs to the farmers’ market (okay, not really, but that would be pretty cool).
Wednesday: Tustin. Again, rain or shine, 9am-1pm. This time, in what is known as the “City of Trees,” Tustin, at El Camino Real and Third Street. Right by the very cute Peppertree Park and around the corner from the ever-so-popular-can’t-miss Cream Pan bakery.
And the after photo! Strawberries, onions, English peas, and eggs from #tustinfarmersmarket. Chocolate, butter, garlic, apples, burrata, and mushrooms from @sprouts. Prosciutto from #celestinosmeats. The prosciutto find makes me the happiest today. Recently I made a dish with prosciutto from the grocery store but I cringed as there was a layer of plastic between EACH slice of prosciutto not to mention the plastic package it came in. However @celestinosmeats was more than happy to slice it for me and put it in my reusable bag! Hooray! I know where I am going now for my deli meat in the future! Still no idea where to get butter or burrata package free though. #farmersmarket #zerowaste #tustin #sproutsfarmersmarket
Thursday: Costa Mesa. This is going to sound familiar: rain or shine, 9am-1pm. The Costa Mesa market is at the OC Fair grounds. And as a fun and fantastic FYI, the OC Fair is actually going on now until August 12. Our favorite part? The live pig cam.
So pull on your overalls, slap on a straw hat, and jam a piece of wheat between your teeth. Not that the farmers’ markets have a dress code… but we don’t want you to look out of place.
Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.