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Cream of the Crop
Sparkling sunshine most days of the year, a moderate climate yielding comfortable temps and just enough rain to keep everything healthy - the same balmy clime that makes Santa Barbara a perfect destination also makes it the perfect place for growing fruits and vegetables. So while you're in Santa Barbara, live like a local - and that means eating local. It's easy to do: There's a farmers market in the area every day of the week except Monday (and who likes Mondays, anyway?), and farm stands with overflowing bins are sprinkled throughout the county. Try Fairview Gardens, a standout in urban agriculture located in Goleta on one of the oldest organic farms in California.
Can-do cooks, A-list chefs and folks who just want a really good tomato prowl the stands and load their baskets with the season's cream of the crops, much of it grown organically. Take a look - you might even be inspired to try something you've never had before ... cherimoya, anyone? In spring and summer you'll find apricots, artichokes, basil, cherries and corn, along with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and tomatoes, which are abundant into fall. Juicy melons make their debut in late summer, followed by fall and winter harvests of apples, avocados, beets, oranges, tangerines and much more. Want the ultimate in fruits at their just-picked best? Pick them yourself at Apple Lane Farm, Morrell Nut & Berry Farm and Restoration Oaks Ranch & Blueberry Farm. Ahh, we feel healthier already.
Farmers Market Schedule: 8 Markets, 6 Days a Week
TuesdaySanta Barbara Old Town500 & 600 blocks of State Street3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (winter); 4 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. (summer)
WednesdaySolvangCopenhagen Drive & 1st Street2:30 p.m.- 6 p.m. (winter); 2:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. (summer)
ThursdayGoleta-Calle Real Shopping CenterCalle Real between Fairview Road & Patterson Avenue3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
FridayMontecito1100 & 1200 blocks of Coast Village Road8 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
SaturdaySanta Barbara DowntownCorner of Santa Barbara Street & Cota Street8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.SundayCamino Real MarketplaceCorner of Storke Road & Hollister Avenue10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
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