Santa Monica Farmer’s Market turns 30!
I never like to tell my age. What great broad does? I am always cautious about dating certain life’s events because someone might do the math and figure out how old I am. When Real Food Daily was invited to participate in the 30-anniversary celebration for the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica, CA, I got out my calculator. Damn, I’ve been in living in Los Angeles for twenty-five years now. That’s longer than I have lived anywhere, even Memphis where I grew up.
In 1986, I relocated to LA from NYC where I had lived in my early 20’s. Okay, go ahead, do the math. Once I got settled in my own place, I started going to the Santa Monica’s Farmers Market. Business people in downtown Santa Monica, local home cooks and budding culinary people like myself couldn’t wait till Wednesday to see what we could bag up and take to our kitchens. Each week a community gathered to share in the bounty grown in rich soil and brought to us on funky pick-ups and mud drenched flat bed trucks. It wasn’t just the produce that turned us on; it was the grower too. He or she educated us about the land they toiled and what it took to harvest their beloved crop. Woven into this education were stories of their families and the hardships they had in feeding not just the people around their table but also the larger community.
I started my home delivery service two years after I settled in LA. My commitment to using organically grown produce was born shopping at this market. Building relationships with the farmers and people who worked their booths cleared the way for me to eventually open Real Food Daily, the restaurant. Today, I still shop the market though my focus has changed. With two RFDs, there are logistical challenges to sourcing produce at the market, but for sure I walk it every week and buy supplies for home. I take my kids any chance I get to continue to impress upon them the importance of making a connection to where your food comes from and to meet who grows it.
I rummaged through my video files to find this excerpt from one of my cooking shows, Naturally Delicious which airs on the Dish Network. It’s my homage to the market that has been such a blessing in my life.
Join us this Friday night, at The Annenburg Community Beach House where RFD will serve a cool silky corn soup made from organically grown corn at Mud Creek Ranch.
As part of the celebration, on Sunday, I’ll be giving a cooking demo at The Good Food Festival at 3pm on the campus of SaMo High School.