Q&A at the Santa Monica farmers market with supervisor Laura Avery

Where can you find the freshest produce in Southern California? For many of us, that answer is our local farmers market. In addition to offering freshly picked fruits and vegetables and other seasonal offerings, the market offers customers the opportunity to interact directly with the farmers, asking questions and seeking out tips and recipe ideas.

One of the largest and most well-known farmers markets, the Santa Monica Farmers Market, started on a Wednesday in the summer of 1981 as a means to bring fresh produce directly to the city’s residents. The Wednesday market now averages 8,000 to 10,000 visitors a week (the city’s three other weekly farmers markets each average 3,000 to 5,000 visitors a week) and caters to a customer base that ranges from household shoppers to restaurants, chefs, produce companies and even schools. I recently caught up with the market’s longtime supervisor, Laura Avery, to talk about the market’s evolution over the years, as well as its various outreach programs.

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