The Coast News Group
Small Talk

This is what gets my summer started

My goddaughter is in Turkey for six months. The very first thing she missed is the vast selection of fresh, locally grown food that surrounds us here in California. I remember my shock upon moving to New York, after growing up with Fuerte avocado trees right outside my door. I truly missed my guacamole.I try my best to be a locavore and take advantage of our amazing grow-almost-anything-year-round location but I only recently have managed to visit the area Farmer’s Markets. I’m afraid my very first experience almost put me off.

First, I had to drive through weekend traffic for 15 minutes to get there. Upon arrival, it was like somebody had kicked an anthill. I do not do well with small roads, lots of cars and no parking.

After hunting for a parking place amid cars and pedestrians, I almost came to blows with a cranky parking lot attendant. Then I had to hike 100 yards up the road to get the to market. It was bustling and filled with lovely things, but then I had to hike 100 yards back with full bags to my car.

I absolutely jumped for joy at hearing that a new farmer’s market was opening just around the corner at my children’s former high school. It was so wonderfully close by, but I prepared myself for parking challenges, not knowing the set up. There were none. It was glorious.

The La Costa Canyon Farmer’s Market is set at the edge of the enormous school parking lot and it seems custom-made for this purpose.

Getting in and out was so painless and the market, while fledgling, had all the gorgeous, fresh things I wanted.

I went in with no shopping list, but came out with hummus, pita chips, zucchini, nectarines, plumcots, some tamales and some very fresh fish. It led to a delicious week.

There is a little part of me that wants to just keep this market quiet and all to myself, but I know the more customers, the more selection, in the age-old tradition of markets.

If you live in the redheaded stepchild zone of Southern Carlsbad, this market is a perfect addition.

This summer, it is kicking it up a notch with free yoga classes to start your Saturday, plus book signings and chefs cooking up special samples.

In addition, half of the market’s proceeds benefit the school’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, making a positive impact on the community — eat fresh and tasty items, support your local farmer, meet your neighbor, participate in the free mini-events and help the school … everybody wins.

Meanwhile, I am celebrating life in paradise by heading up there every Saturday morning to snag my favorite goodies.

I love that there are samples of everything, so I wasn’t guessing what might be good. I am a nectarine maniac and am waiting patiently for the corn and tomatoes to hit the peak of their season.

More than any barbecue, beach trip or sunny day, that is what starts my summer.