The stalls are full of the season’s best produce, but how do consumers really know what they buy at their neighborhood farmers’ market was harvested by local growers? The County of San Diego Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures certifies each market to make sure it meets specific standards.
“Our inspectors want consumers to know they are getting fresh, quality produce. We do that by visiting local growers at their farms to see the produce they plan to sell, and then we follow up at the farmers’ markets themselves to ensure the products are sold by certified farmers,” said County Agriculture Commissioner Bob Atkins.
The inspectors follow California guidelines to verify that fruits, vegetables, eggs and other agricultural products at farmers’ markets are grown at the producer’s own farm. Their products must also meet state quality and maturity standards. Any seller who does not meet the certification guidelines is cited.
Consumers can find out if a vendor at their local market has had a violation simply by checking online.
Easily find a certified local farmers' market; there are more than two dozen certified markets in San Diego County, operating almost every day of the week.
Many favorite fruits and vegetables are coming into season:
- Valencia oranges
- Sweet onions