Morro Bay Thursday Farmers’ Market, CCG Featured Market
The first thing I overheard walking into the Morro Bay Thursday farmers’ market was three children thrilled about the fresh strawberries their family had just bought. This was my first clue that this farmers’ market was all about a close community and quality food. Located in the parking lot of Spencer’s Fresh Market, the Morro Bay farmers’ market has the buzz of Morro Bay all around. Community is everywhere you look. You can hear conversations of friends reconnecting, the farmers joking, and kids eagerly tasting fresh produce. With blue skies brimming, sea breeze blowing and seagulls flying above, it is hard not to enjoy yourself here. Among the wide range of products available, you can find booths that solely sell the sweetest watermelons and stands that sell up to fourteen different produce items.
There was one stand at the market in particular that caught my attention called Julia’s Juices. Mother Julia makes the juice and her daughter, Jessica, sells it at markets around the county. The ingredients are grown on their 20-acre farm in Arroyo Grande. They are all grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Because of this, the ingredients are always seasonal and fresh. There were nine different juices that day with free samples available. Their most popular juice is the Kale A.B.P, containing kale, apple, golden beet, pineapple and ginger. While tasting the delicious juices, I caught another moment of community. A woman came up to the stand, and before she could say which juice she wanted, Jessica had already poured it for her. Jessica and the woman engaged in a friendly banter about their daily routine and the delicious juice. It was clear this juice stand has a following. After trying a few more juices, I settled on the Red Veggie Blast that had red beet, greens, kale, carrot, turnip, fennel, celery, parsley, lemon, and apple. It is also a dollar off if you bring your own cup in their effort to reduce waste. I gladly handed Jessica my mason jar to fill it up with the Red Veggie Blast of goodness. Once I had my juice, I thanked her and continued to saunter through the market.
Another treasure you can find at the Morro Bay Thursday farmers’ market is fresh brewed coffee at two booths that also sell at the Saturday morning market in San Luis Obispo. The coffee is as fresh as it can get because they roast the hand-selected beans right there at the stand. You can either buy the beans for your own brewing or buy a fresh roasted cup right there. The coffee beans they had that day were Colombia Florde Huila (City Roast and Vienna Roast) and El Salvado Tres Marias (French Roast). The couple acquires the beans from a San Francisco broker who supplies the majority of the Bay Area coffee shops as well. I am not much of a coffee connoisseur, however, I know a good cup of joe when I try it. This coffee was one of the best I have ever had. They had a light roast and dark roast ready for customers to juxtapose. You could taste the complexities and freshness of the bean clearly in the light roast. The dark roast had the sultry taste of a longer roasted bean. This coffee is the most locally roasted I have ever come across. I recommend it for all of the coffee fanatics out there in the Central Coast who want to support local business.
As I continued my saunter, I kept over hearing conversations from the customer to the farmer about how spouses and children were doing. Everyone seemed to know the people they were getting their produce from. There was one apple and kiwi stand I stopped by where the farmer’s twelve-year-old son was helping sell the apples all the while making jokes with the farmers next door. Through this whole experience I could not kick the smile off of my face. If a fun, delicious, family-oriented farmers’ market is something you are looking for, then the Thursday Morro Bay farmers’ market at Spencer’s Fresh Market is the one for you.