Farmers Market | California | Living in Mexico

Farmers Market

I've already bitched here about the high price of groceries in Santa Barbara: Steaks for $20 per pound, coffee for $12.

SB23

Last week we bought fruit at Ralph's supermarket. Mostly because it's within walking distance.

We got two perfect-looking and huge Fuji apples that apparently had been held in nitrogen or carbon dioxide or whatever for at least a year, because they were brown and mushy inside. We bought two big mangos that never ripened. (As mexican residents, we know our mangos.) We got four tasteless pluots. Two mealy peaches. A package of baby lettuce that turned slimy after one day in the fridge. A plastic container of tired, fermenting blueberries.

We wound up throwing most of this stuff away, not having a compost pile to recycle it in.

So, we've learned a lesson: Don't buy veggies at Ralph's.

Fortunately, we have two farmers' markets within walking distance of our rented townhouse; on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings. There's a lot of stands there that sell olive oil, honey, pistachios, frozen steaks and flowers.

SB25

I finally found some vendors that sold actual vegetables and fruit. I was pleased to see that much of it was locally grown on the Central Coast—Arroyo Grande and like that.

SB26

We bought a few things for dinner: bicolor corn, delicate lettuces, heirloom tomatoes and peaches. Man, were they good. Almost as good as Mexican produce. And certainly less contaminated by pesticides and E. coli.

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But if we were expecting lower prices than Ralph's, well, forget it. What you see here cost $11. Still, it was cheaper than Ralph's, considering that all we got out of the stuff we bought there was a cantaloupe, a few lonely blueberries and a contribution for the landfill.
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