One of our favorite things to do while traveling is to explore different farmers' markets, getting a glimpse – and bite! – of the local food and community life. Last week, we visited Davis, which lies at the heart of agricultural land in northern California's Central Valley. On a warm Wednesday evening, the Davis Farmers' Market bustled with fresh produce vendors, local restaurant stands, and families enjoying a picnic and music in the park. Founded over 30 years ago, the Davis Farmers' Market was one of the first certified farmers' markets in California. The market operates under a permanent structure in the town's Central Park, making it an integral part of the community. With its proximity to farmland, the market has a stunning variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as artisanal olive oils, baked goods, and preserves. Here, eating local is not a new trend, but a way of life.
In addition to the year-round Saturday morning farmers' market, a "Picnic in the Park" event is held on Wednesday evenings from March through November. Sadly, we weren't in town for the Saturday market, which residents told us is one of the largest farmers' markets in the state. However, we had a delicious time at the smaller Wednesday market, dining on heirloom tomato gazpacho, yellow plums, and lavender lemonade, and strolling through stands of ripe summer tomatoes, peppers, melons, grapes, peaches, and figs.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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