I'm going to be honest with you, when I first received the news that I was going to be moving to the other side of the country, I had my reservations about it. Feelings of nervousness and anxiety are to be expected and that's how I felt. In the long run, I knew this move would be good for me, but I had to keep myself focused on the positive aspects of moving to California in order to keep me motivated and optimistic.
I had created a mental list of why this move would be great. Topping the list was leaving Pittsburgh, but a close second was the never-ending supply of year-round produce at great farmers’ markets.
I’m a huge sucker for fresh, inexpensive produce. I love to snack on fruits and vegetables. love having salads with dinner and I love cooking with great pieces of vegetables. Before the move, I did some research and sure enough, my original suspicions were correct; San Diego hosts many year-round markets. There is no better feeling than knowing you paid a ridiculously-low sum of money for several pounds of food.
In the three months we’ve lived here, we’ve ventured out as far north as Solana Beach in hopes of finding the best prices on the best fruits and vegetables and finding creative, local artisans.
Our first market experience was at Little Italy. We had barely been in the state a week and the downtown-based market not only gave us great groceries, but also a great look at the city. From then on, I knew I not only loved markets, but also San Diego. It was here we were introduced to San Diego gems. We’re regular consumers of Stogsdills’ Pickles and haven’t had a product we didn’t like. I love tasting the chocolates of the Salty Sisters and I can’t stay at the tent for Pacific Beach Peanut Butter for too long because if I do, I will take the advice of their motto and grab a spoon.
We’ve walked through Hillcrest Market, which was our first, real experience of the neighborhood. I loved the atmosphere of the market and the quaintness of the area. We’ve traveled to La Jolla Elementary School and walked the schoolyard, tasting samples of fruits and striking up conversations with the vendors. The market at Solana Beach has a great balance of local shops, artisans, vendors and produce. The Del Mar market is a personal favorite primarily because of its spectacular view of the ocean.
Now that the weather is starting to get warmer and that “cold front” is just about gone, I’m excited to venture out and try more markets, or at least go to several on a more regular basis. That’s the one problem with working in retail, planning weekend shenanigans becomes nearly impossible.