Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Our Survival Guide To Farmers’ Market Shopping

To help you make the healthiest, most eco-friendly food choices, Totally Local VC presents our Farmers’ Market survival guide and list. And you can download the list!

Weeding your way through green washing and local washing

In this world of mass produced food, green washing and local washing, shopping for our dinner can get a bit confusing. Well we have a solution: just head on over to your local farmers’ market! But before you start filling up your eco-friendly produce bags, beware – not all farmers’ market finds are local, organic or green-friendly! To help you make the healthiest, most eco-friendly choices, here’s our farmers’ market survival guide.

Know your food, know your farmer

farmers-market-guide-produceFarmers’ markets are a great place to pick up excellent herbs, fruits, vegetables and other artisan goods. There’s only one problem. Just because you’re at a farmers’ market does not necessarily mean that the food is all local, pesticide-free, organic or grown using sustainable practices. To find which items do meet these standards, you’re going to have to dig a little. This means asking questions and, if green standards are important to you, the inquiries are well worth it and you’ll get to know your local farmers in the process.

Farmers are givers – givers with lots of information

You’ll find that most farmers’ market produce isn’t labeled according to FDA standards. And if it is, then that is a dead giveaway the seller likely had nothing to do with raising it! So you will have to start talking and asking the questions on just how the food was grown or in some cases raised. No, it is not considered rude to ask and, trust me, most farmers actually expect and enjoy sharing their information. Farmers are a proud lot and they work hard to produce our food source.

So, what should you ask?

farmers-market-guideThere are a whole lot of questions you can ask. We suggest some of these:

  • Did you grow the food?
  • Where is your farm located? Check those food miles – most farmers’ market standards are 50 to 100 miles from where you live.
  • How was the food grown?
  • And, if it matters to you, is it organic and sustainably farmed?

If a farmer indicates that he bought his goods from a distributor or the farmer does not have answer on the above questions then we suggest closing that pocket book and moving on. If he bought from another farmer, inquire about that farmer’s business and growing practices. Look for answers like, “I bought it from a farm that I know well and that I visit.” If you like the answers, you found a match!

The hard sell

Just because you have a conversation about the product does not mean you are obligated to purchase. Each time you buy local, in-season, sustainable and organic, remember that you are voting with your dollars. The more votes in this direction can help create demand for what we want and, yes, we can create changes in the way our food source is grown.

Our extensive list of local Farmers’ Markets

Totally Local VC has compiled an extensive list of Ventura County farmers’ markets for you. It’s a great place to get you started. Have fun! Oh, and by the way, you can also download the list. See the link after the list below.

Camarillo/Pleasant Valley

When:Wednesdays, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Where:Camarillo Community Center
1605 E. Burnley St, Camarillo
Phone:(805) 529-6266
Website:http://bit.ly/1Js36C6
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market & Crafters’ Corner. Closed for winter Dec. 24 - May 12

Camarillo Hospice

When:Saturdays, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where:2220 Ventura Blvd, Camarillo
Phone:(805) 987-3347
Email:clayruff@verizon.net
Website:http://bit.ly/1P1FZoI
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Moorpark

When:Fridays, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where:742 Los Angeles Ave, Moorpark;
Village Shopping Center
Phone:(805) 479-9699
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Channel Islands Harbor

When:Sundays, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where:3350 Harbor Blvd, Oxnard;
Marine Emporium Landing
Phone:(818)-591-8161
Website:http://bit.ly/1Kjwjzg
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Newbury Park

When:Saturdays, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where:2331 Borchard Rd, Newbury Park;
Thousand Oaks Library – Newbury Park Branch
Phone:(323) 272-9171
Email:helenlee101@live.com
Website:http://bit.ly/1ESZqZ7
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Oak Park

When:Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where:706 Lindero Canyon Rd, Oak Park;
Oak Park Plaza Shopping Center
Phone:(805) 643-6458
Website:http://bit.ly/1e0wvUv
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Ojai

When:Sundays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where:300 E. Matilija St, Ojai;
Behind the Arcade
Phone:(805) 698-5555
Email:ojaifarmersmarket@cox.net
Website:http://bit.ly/18p56vh
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Downtown Oxnard

When:Thursdays, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Where:500 S C St, Oxnard; Plaza Park
Phone:(805) 247-0197
Email:info@OxnardDowntowners.org
Website:http://bit.ly/2awoT5T
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Simi Valley

When:Fridays, 11:00 am – 3:30 pm
Where:2757 Tapo Canyon Rd, Simi Valley;
Simi Valley Civic Center Plaza
Phone:(805) 643-6458
Email:pacific209@hotmail.com
Website:http://bit.ly/1h3zPmf
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

farmers-market-guide

Thousand Oaks

When:Thursdays, 1:30 pm – 6:00pm
Where:The Oaks Shopping Center, East End Parking Lot; Wilbur Rd and Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks
Phone:(805) 529-6266
Email:vccfm@msn.com
Website:http://bit.ly/1dizziq

Downtown Ventura

When:Saturdays, 8:30 am – 12:00pm
Where:City Parking Lot at Santa Clara St & Palm St, Ventura
Phone:(805) 529-6266
Email:info@vccfm.org
Website:http://bit.ly/Ih2pkC
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

fruit

East Ventura

When:Thursdays, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where:901 S Kimball Rd, Ventura;
Ventura Community Park
Phone:(805) 479-9699 or (805) 263-2907
Website:http://bit.ly/1Ik8ief
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Midtown Ventura

When:Wednesdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where:3301 N. Main St, Ventura;
Pacific View Mall, West Parking Lot
Phone:(805) 529-6266
Email:info@vccfm.org
Website:http://bit.ly/Ih2pkC
Notes:Certified Farmers’ Market

Download this Totally Local VC

Farmers’ Markets List Totally-Local-VC-Farmers'-Markets-ListWe’ve made a PDF document of the Farmers’ Markets List for you to download. Just right click the image and save the file or left click to read the document in your browser.

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as “the Shop Local girl”. Kat’s extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.

 

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