The Encinitas and Leucadia Farmers Markets Bring Quality Goods, Freshness and Variety to the Community

The Encinitas Station Certified Farmers Market and Leucadia Farmers Market serve the 92024 community, providing between forty to seventy vendors to peruse, an abundance of produce, products, and entertainment, and an attitude that embodies the laid-back vibe of Encinitas and Leucadia. Read along to learn more about the markets’ history, favorite vendors, and how the bustling hubs stay connected with the community.

Q & A with Brandon Janiss and Tasha Ardalan, Encinitas Station Certified Farmers Market Managers

What is the history behind the Encinitas Station Certified Farmers Market?
The market was created by the Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association in order to attract more visitors to our beautiful downtown, and to serve the community with a midweek farmers market option. The market is now in its third year and has become a beloved feature of the community.

What is your role with the market?
We manage the farmers market as a team. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes in order to certifiedlocal02 prepare for a weekly farmers market. A glimpse into our week most likely includes creating a seasonal recipe, showcasing the market’s wonderful products for the weekly newsletter and website (www.farmersmarketencinitas.com), vetting out potential vendors, helping start-up businesses navigate the various County permitting processes, providing free consulting to help our vendors do their best at the market and elsewhere, and fostering a friendly and welcoming environment for our vendors and patrons to enjoy. It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding. Our regulars do a really great job of making sure we know how much the weekly market’s presence is appreciated.

Does the market partner up with any local organizations or businesses?
Yes, we enjoy partnering with many members of the community. We have held special events supporting local organizations such as Healthy Day Partners and Ocean Knoll Elementary. We give Market Dollars to employees of all Downtown Encinitas businesses and organizations. Roxy Cafe provides our managers’ booth with menus featuring a 10% off coupon exclusively for farmers market patrons. Those are just a few examples.

How has the market evolved since its opening?
The community’s wants and needs have helped the market evolve into a fun and welcoming shopping atmosphere which also happens to foster neighborly relationships. We provide tables and chairs so patrons can sit and enjoy the company of their friends and family while dining on freshly prepared food such as gumbo, fresh ceviche, and handmade pasta.

How many vendors does the market host?
The market is comprised of approximately forty vendors.
April’s Oven
Asana Foods
Awesome Hot Sauce
David Bacco Chocolatier (Seasonal)
Bump Coffee Brewers
Edible Alchemy
Eli’s Farms
Farm Fresh To You
Freskos
Godfrey Farm
Gourmet Delights
Gourmet Tamales
Green Door Catering
GreenFix Organic Smoothie
Healthy Soul
Hopkins AG
India Express
Jammin’ Stan
J.R. Organics
Koral’s Tropical Fruit Farm
La Isla Ceviche
Nicolau Farms
Pasta Design
Picada Latin Cuisine
Prager Brothers
Rivas Farm
Roasted Peanuts
Roxy’s Green Corner
ScreaminCorn
Smit Farms
Sundial Farm
Sunny Cal Farms
Tacupeto Chips and Salsa
Tasty Naturals
Valley Center Growers
Yasukochi Family Farm

More vendors will be joining the market soon.

What are your most popular vendors?
Popularity usually depends on the season. For instance, in the summer, our stone fruit farmers (Smit Farms and Sunny Cal Farms) are especially popular. Then, in autumn, butternut squash and apples are all the rage. GreenFix Organic Smoothie and Edible Alchemy’s kombucha are year-round favorites.

certifiedlocal03Does the market have any events planned in the months of September or October?
We are always hosting fun and interactive events at our market. As of late we have been providing market tours, live music (even a band who performed at Coachella!), solar oven cooking demonstrations, digital scavenger hunts, and hosting local celebrity food bloggers. We are also working on a children’s cooking workshop planned for this fall. In late September, we will be hosting an Oktoberfest-themed solar oven demo using Edible Alchemy’s sauerkraut and other seasonal delights from the market. Check our newsletter and social media pages for up-to-date information.

On any given week, about how many visitors attend the market?
We average a few hundred visitors per week, which is very good for a midweek market.

What variety of items can be found at the market?
Our market is proud to be selling local farm fresh produce, specialty meats and cheeses, and an array of artisan products, including naturally leavened breads, kale chips, gourmet olive oils, and a wide variety of gluten-free foods.

How many farmers supply food to the market? Do all food vendors only carry organically grown produce/cuisine?
There are twelve farmers who regularly participate in the market. JR Organics and Smit Farms offer certified organic produce, while Rivas Farms and Eli’s Farm are nearing the end of the organic certification process. None of our farmers use harmful chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides on their crops.
We are also fortunate to work with a group of prepared food vendors who are very conscientious of where they source their ingredients. All of the ingredients may not be certified organic, but the vendors do their best to source non-GMO and locally grown ingredients. You can often find prepared food vendors like Martin (Green Door Catering) and Mark (India Express) running through the market to the certified section to pick up beets, kale, and whatever else catches the chefs’ eyes.

Tell us about the cost benefits of shopping at the Encinitas Station Certified Farmers Market. What sets the market apart from other markets in the area?
The Encinitas Station Certified Farmers Market is a midweek market. Many people who shop on the weekend run out of food midweek. We want to support the community and give them the opportunity to get a hold of fresh local produce before the weekend. Buying smaller amounts of fresh produce throughout the week reduces food waste due to spoilage, therefore shopping at farmers markets is more cost-effective. It also helps reduce your carbon footprint since you’re purchasing California-grown produce! Plus, we have one of the best selections of gluten-free and vegetarian items around. Healthy Soul’s vegan gluten-free chocolate cake is a must-have for any chocolate lover, April’s Oven makes the tastiest little anise donuts and grain-free cookies, and Pasta Design’s gluten-free lasagna is perfection. We do our best to carefully curate the market to satisfy the tastes and needs of this community.

What can one expect if they visit the market on any given Wednesday?
Smiling faces and fabulous finds! We believe our market is more slow-paced than others, which means each vendor has the time to chat and really make a personal connection with our shoppers. There is a great comfort in knowing who grows and produces the food we eat. Please feel free to take advantage of our “veggie valet” at the managers’ booth. We’ll gladly keep an eye on your market haul while you chat with vendors and friends, or grab a bite or a drink at a nearby establishment.

What are the top four or five reasons one visits the market?
You’ll find fresh local produce, friendly vendors, gourmet take-home dinners, and wonderful people-watching. Patrons also love our Market Dollars. It’s a really neat sort of incentive program to encourage the community to get outside during the week for fresh air, fun, and delicious food. We give patrons one Market Dollar for walking, biking, taking the Coaster to the farmers market, or for dropping a reusable bag into our “Leave a Bag, Take a Bag” basket. We also do fun Facebook and Instagram contests where participants can win various prizes or Market Dollars.

How will the market change when the fall season begins?
As the temperature drops, the market will come up with creative ways to keep our customers cozy. We will offer free tea and apple cider samples, and provide seasonal recipes to inspire our customers. Don’t be afraid of the dark! When the days get shorter, the lights go up. We string lights throughout the market to illuminate each vendor and their delicious offerings.

Please tell us about the surrounding area of the market. What else does the area have to offer to visitors?
Our market is located centrally in Downtown Encinitas, which means you are right in the middle of all the wonderful shops and restaurants, as well as our famous beaches.


Encinitas Station Certified Farmers Market At-A-Glance

Managers: Tasha Ardalan and Brandon Janiss
Day: Wednesday
Time: May – Sept.: 5 – 8 p.m.; Oct. – April: 4 – 7 p.m.
Location: 600 S. Vulcan Ave. in the parking lot on the southwest corner of E St. and Vulcan Ave.
Phone: 760-522-2053
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/encinitas-station-certified-farmers-market
Instagram: @encinitasfarmar
Email: manager@farmersmarketencinitas.com


 

Encinitas Station Certified Farmers Market’s Green Bean Casserole

by Tasha Ardalan

Ingredients for Casserole

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved (Rivas Farms)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (Eli’s Farms) – for crispy onions
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour or oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Expeller-pressed grapeseed oil (Gourmet Delights) or ghee, for deep-frying

Ingredients for Mushroom Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 2 mushroom medley baskets, thinly sliced (Edible Alchemy)
  • Few gratings fresh nutmeg (Coronado Spice & Tea)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon Yakima smoked salt
  • 1 small onion, minced (Eli’s Farms)
  • 2 tablespoons non-GMO cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth (use low-sodium variety if not making your own)
  • 1/2 cup organic heavy cream
  • Optional: 1 sprig thyme, finely chopped (Godfrey Farm)

Directions:

  1. Make the crispy onions. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and evenly coat onion slices. Heat approximately 1/2-inch of oil in a large skillet or wok until a drop of water flicked into it will hiss and sputter.
  2. Add onions, one small handful at a time, and fry until a light golden brown (they’ll get darker in the oven). Do not overcrowd the skillet.
  3. Once golden, remove with a large slotted spoon allowing excess oil to drip off back into the skillet, then spread out onions in a single layer on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining onions. Set aside uncovered until needed.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Blanch the beans. Bring a large pot of water salted with sea salt to boil and cook the green beans for 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Drain beans, then plunge them into ice water to halt cooking. Drain again, and set aside to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
  7. Make the mushroom sauce. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a large skillet/saute pan.
  8. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and sautee them until they start releasing their liquid, which is approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Add the minced onion and sautee until slightly softened.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the broth (cold) then stir into the mushrooms until they are fully coated.
  11. Add the remaining broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Simmer mixture for 1 minute, add nutmeg, and cayenne pepper then slowly add cream and bring back to a simmer, cooking until the sauce thickens a bit, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  12. Assemble and bake. Add cooked greens beans to sauce and stir until they are coated. Pour mixture into a large baking dish then sprinkle crispy onions over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions are a shade darker. Serve immediately. Garnish with thyme if desired.

Q & A with Ron LaChance, Market Manager of the Leucadia Farmers Market

What is the history behind the Leucadia Farmers Market?
The Leucadia Farmers Market was created nine years ago by a joint partnership between myself, The Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Association, and the P.T.A. of Paul Ecke Central. Morgan Mallory, then Leucadia 101 President, and Sandy Gallagher, Paul Ecke P.T.A. President, were both essential in getting everything approved with the City of Encinitas and the Encinitas School District. Special thanks to both of them. I helped establish the market and have been the with the market since its inception. We will be celebrating our 10th year anniversary in 2015. This is an exciting milestone. The market has come a long way since the beginning and has evolved into a place for the whole community to connect, interact, and enjoy local produce. Every Sunday, neighbors and regional visitors convene to enjoy this fantastic market.

What is your role with the market?
As the manager I recruit and deal with vendors issues during the week. I am also on-site every Sunday to set up and operate the market. I am marketing, public relations, accountant, and a traffic cop. I wear a lot of hats!

Does the market partner up with any local organizations or businesses?
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The market has always been a partnership with the Leucadia 101 Main Street and the Paul Ecke Central P.T.A. This market is a large fundraiser for both of our nonprofit organizations. Another interesting fact is that this market supports and creates local businesses. At least two vendors that started with vendor spaces at the Leucadia Farmers Market have opened up brick-and-mortar shops in Leucadia on N. Coast Hwy 101. Those stores are the French Corner Bakery and Fully Loaded Micro Juicery.

How has the market evolved since its opening?
We have developed a selection of organic farmers as well as other healthy options like gluten free, vegan, and more. Our shoppers here in Leucadia helped shape our selection. They are very discerning shoppers.

How many vendors does the market host?
The market hosts about seventy vendors centering around our farmers. We have twenty-five Certified Growers represented here including eight Certified Organic Farms.
You will also find fresh fish, bakeries, sauces and marinades, fresh juice, and more. We also have a great food court where you can get everything from sushi to pizza to grilled artichokes.

What are some of your most popular vendors?
The most popular vendors are our farmers, but anything organic, gluten-free, or vegan is popular as well. Annel and Drew’s food booth is very popular. We also have a full-service coffee cart as well as lot of other goodies.

Does the market have any events planned in the months of September or October?
We have a knife-sharpening demonstration once or twice a month that is very popular.

On any given week, about how many visitors attend the market?
On any Sunday we have between 700 to 800 visitors. The food court is very popular so lunchtime is usually busiest.

What variety of items can be found at the market?
A great selection of fresh-picked local produce as well as great “foodie” vendors.

How many farmers supply food to the market? Do all food vendors only carry organically grown produce/cuisine?
We have twenty-five Certified Growers and forty-plus specialty food vendors.

Tell us about the cost benefits of shopping at the Leucadia Farmers Market.
People love shopping at the farmers market. Not only is the produce as fresh as possible, but oftentimes vendors will offer discounts for bulk orders. If you are into canning or preserving, buying at the market can offer an immense cost benefit. Also, specialty items like eggplant, bell peppers, herbs, and seasonal fruits are much cheaper at the market. They can be more difficult to keep fresh or can be susceptible to bugs and the costs of keeping them fresh and pest free are translated into high supermarket prices. The benefits of eating a whole-food diet with minimal processed foods are not only good for your waistline, they are good for your bottom line. You can find fresh organic fruits and vegetables at a fraction of the cost of a supermarket. Eating organic can be difficult when one is buying processed foods that are packaged or what some call value-added products. These products can be very expensive. If you can commit to shopping at the farmers market and buying directly from the source not only will you eat fresher, more nutrient-dense foods, you will find that your ingredients are less expensive too!
One of the best benefits of the market is getting the freshest produce available. Folks love the fact that they can talk to the farmer and be educated about their farm and growing practices.

What sets the market apart from other markets in the area?
Leucadia is what makes this place so special. This town’s mantra is “Keep Leucadia Funky”. It’s a special place for sure. It truly is a family outing place.

What can one expect if they visit the market on any given Saturday?
Visitors can expect a cool, laid-back vibe. The market is very friendly and inviting.

What are the top three reasons one visits the market?
Amazing produce, special friendly people, and a fun day of people-watching too.

How will the market change when the fall season begins?
The produce available will change with the seasons. In the fall there will be more squashes, apples, etc.

Please tell us about the surrounding area of the market. What else does the area have to offer to visitors?
We have live music and a covered eating area so lots of people spend several hours here. We are also within one mile of the Pacific Ocean with some great surf and beaches. Although the market is at a school, it is a primarily residential area. The market is extremely close to the Main Street area in Leucadia. In addition to shopping at the market there are tons of locally owned and operated shops to peruse on the Main Street and the beach is just a stone’s throw away. If you are coming up to the market as a visitor, make a day out of it! Enjoy all of our unique locally owned and operated shops, have a dinner at one of Encinitas’ twenty-five unique restaurants and take your market’s watermelon down to one of our beautiful beaches.

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Leucadia Farmers Market At-A-Glance

Manager: Ron LaChance
Day: Sunday
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Paul Ecke Central School 185 Union St.
Phone: 760-436-2320
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/leucadia-farmers-market
Email: info@leucadiafarmersmarket.com


Leucadia Farmers Market California Toast

Goes great with a blood orange mimosa. The market suggests trying blood oranges from Grateful Davis Organic Farm.

by Carris Rhodes, Executive Director, Leucadia 101 Main Street

California Toast Ingredients
8 eggs (Descanso Valley Ranch or Grateful Davis Farm)
8 slices sesame semolina bread (Prager Brothers)
1/4 cup cream
Cinnamon (to taste)
Vanilla (to taste)
Butter (Spring Hill Creamery)

Toppings Ingredients (suggestions):
Spring Hill Creamery Lemon Quark Cheese
Red walnuts from Terra Bella Farm
Fresh seasonal fruit (strawberries from Rivas Farm, apricots, peaches, and plums from Smit Orchards, and figs from Terra Bella)
Ambrosia or honey (Sunflower Organics)
Edible flowers (Suzie’s Farm)