Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Farmers Market Report: Claremont Farmers and Artisans Market
From Contributing Editor, Stephanie Georgieff
Sundays in Claremont California from 8 am to 1 pm, just off the 10 Freeway east of the 57, on the corner of Indian Hill and Second Street.
A weekend Metrolink Pass for $10.00 is a perfect way to get to this Market, the Claremont station is about a half mile from the Market. It is a great way to spend a Sunday, and worth the effort.
Voted the Best Farmers Market in the Inland Empire by the 2012 Los Angeles Times
Reader ‘s Choice Award, this market certainly deserves the accolades.
Neff Ranch was one of the more unique offerings of the market, offering Valencia
oranges from some of the last remaining groves in Orange County. Depending on the
season, Neff provides Tangerines, Meyer Lemons, Valencia’s, Navels and Avocados.
Their booth also has delicious fresh squeezed orange and apple juice. The groves are
sustainably maintained and in the process of receiving Organic Certification.
I also enjoyed some Farmers Blend Organic Olive Oil from Paso Gold Olive Oil Farm
in Paso Robles. Olive Farmer Michael O’Brien was on hand to answer questions about his farm and pressing techniques. He showed pictures of his high intensity olive
groves and where he presses and bottles his oil. I informed him that since I read
Extra Virginity the Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil I cannot purchase
anything but California Olive Oil. He said he gets at least four customers per day
referencing this book, but has yet to read it. After tasting both of the blends he had to
taste, I felt “gold” was the best name for this fragrant liquid.
Farmers from Orange, Riverside, Fresno and San Bernardino County fill the stalls with everything from Honey, to Olive Oil, Grass Fed Beef and Certified Organic Produce. The Market also offers fresh flowers, baked goods, seasonings and some prepared food items
such as Middle Eastern foods. The community in Claremont is very invested in sustainability, and initiated Sustainable Claremont (SC) in 2008. SC is a network of
initiatives and members dedicated to creating environmental, economic and social
sustainability in this delightful college town. One of the action groups in Sustainable
Claremont is focused on food issues, encouraging citizens to eat organic, eat local,
and eat less processed foods. Meeting these goals is easy because long before the
formation of SC, another civic organization, the Claremont Forum, helped to found
the Farmers Market in the city. Since 1996, the Forum has sponsored the Farmers
and Artisan Market as a way to engage the local community in healthy eating
habits and supporting local farms and businesses. The hours of the market are
perfect for enjoying a Sunday Brunch before or after shopping, at one of the many
independently owned artisan restaurants, and the nearby parks are full of big shade
trees for picnics.