Started in 1979 by a group of local farmers selling fresh produce out of the back of their trucks in a vacant lot, the Arcata Farmer’s Market is the longest running farmers market in the state of California. Now the Humboldt Grower’s Association boasts over 100 members and puts on markets five days a week in nine different places, but the Saturday morning market (9am – 2pm) in Arcata is its crown jewel.
Completely taking over the plaza of this university town in Humboldt County, known for its majestic old-growth redwood forests, rugged coastline and high-quality marijuana, the Arcata Farmer’s Market is just as much a weekly festival and community gathering as a showcase of the plentiful bounty of this gorgeous region of the world. Local bands jam out in the center of the plaza surrounded by a dozen or so prepared food vendors, while families, hula hoopers and college kids frolic in the grass. Completely circling the plaza, farm stands hawk the best of Northern California’s seasonal fare—everything from Humboldt Bay oysters and local cheeses to heirloom apples, melons, peppers and tomatoes.
This is the kind of farmer’s market you can easily while away the better part of the day in, even if you are not under the influence of some medical grade OG Kush. I like to get there as early as possible grab a coffee and a Guac N Lox from Los Bagels and then slowly make my rounds until my belly and bike bag are full of edible treasures. Then it’s time to grab a patch of greenery and enjoy the people watching and the music…
Ocean Malandra is a freelance writer who divides his time between Northern California and South America. His chai spiced cherry buckwheat cannabis banana bread will have you walking on sunshine even on the foggiest Humboldt days.