Our region is truly outstanding in its fields
The Monterey Bay region, from the North Coast of Santa Cruz County to the tip of Monterey, is an extremely rich agricultural area that is home to a remarkable number of outstanding farms, wineries and food purveyors.
The region is also esteemed for being a leader in sustainable and organic agricultural practices. In fact, Santa Cruz is the cradle of the organic movement dating back to 1967 when Alan Chadwick and students transformed a rugged hillside at University of California Santa Cruz into an abundant garden using hand tools and organic amendments. Today, Santa Cruz County has more organic farms than any county in the state. This site will introduce you to the many farmers that participate in the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets who were pioneers in sustainable and organic farming.
What's grown or produced in the Monterey Bay region?
Incredible Fruits and Vegetables:
Historically, this area's farmers have grown
strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, apples, roses, cut flowers, landscape plants,
Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, artichokes, broccoli and wine grapes. And, the
variety of crops grown in the region is ever expanding. Just take a look at
the variety offered by the 90 farmers and vendors that participate in
the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets.
Pastured Raised Meat:
The Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets offers 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised beef from Old Creek Ranch and Tassajara Natural Meat from Carmel Valley. In addition, sheep and goat meat are available from Old Creek Ranch and pork is available from Fogline Farm. These animals are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones.
Locally raised chickens, ducks and turkeys provide delicious eggs for the region. Free-range chicken eggs are available from Davis Poultry Farms, Mello-Dy Ranch, Tomatero Farm, Old Creek Ranch, Fogline Farm, and T&L Coke Farm. Fresh duck eggs are available from Mello-Dy Ranch.
Californians consume far more seafood per capita than the national average, making the state one of the most important seafood markets in the US. MBCFM has three excellent seafood purveyors. H&H Fresh Fish (at our Aptos and Monterey markets) offers fresh, local, sustainably-caught, wild seafood, and hand-selected sashimi-grade imports. Dave’s Gourmet Albacore (at all of our markets) smoked and ready-to-cook sustainable seafood also gets rave reviews. And La Marea of the Sea offers fresh raw oysters and flavorful seafood tacos (at Aptos Farmers Market)
Olives and Olive Oil:
The Mediterranean climate of the Monterey Bay is perfect for growing olives. The Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Market is proud to have local producers, Belle Farms and Valencia Creek Farms, that offer award-winning extra virgin olive oil at all of our farmers markets.
Bees and Honey:
Beekeepers, called apiarists, provide a wonderful supply of honey to the region. Look for Amen Bees at our Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets for one of the largest assortments of local raw honeys including sage, avocado, pine, buckwheat, thistle, blueberry, olallieberry and wildflower honeys. Bee pollen and beeswax candles are also available.
There are many artfully crafted treats in store for you at the markets including artisan cheeses, fair trade coffee, single estate premium teas, chai and Ayurvedic herbal blends, gourmet sauces and fresh pasta, sausages and smoked meats, fresh-baked goods, fresh sauerkraut, and beautiful pottery by Parrot Ranch Pottery. Discover Tres Americas (Fair Trade Coffee), Malabar Trading Company (award winning teas, chai, and herbal blends), Corralitos Market (famous for their apple wood smoked bacon, specialty sausages and meats), local cheeses by Schoch Family Farmstead and Garden Variety Cheese, fresh sauerkraut from Farmhouse Culture, baked goods from Beckmann's Old World Bakery, French pastries from Sweet Elena's Bakery, handmade fresh pasta and gourmet sauces from Pensi Pasta, and Mediterranean specialties including freshly baked pita and focaccia breads, many varieties of hummus, Harissa and Tzaziki sauces, and salads from Zena Foods.
Plants and Flowers
There are beautiful and exotic flowers and plants everywhere you look at our markets. Take the time to stop and enjoy the flowers at Astone Protea, Blue Heron Farms, Cavanaugh Color, Cole Canyon Farm, Gatanaga Nursery, McCahon Floral, McLellan Botanicals, Pacific Rare Plant Nursery, Ozzie's Orchids and Dahlias, Rocket Farms, Thomas Farm, Tashiro Nursery, Upstart Nursery, and William R. P. Welch.