Every Sunday on Matilija Street in Ojai, Calif., residents and visitors gather for the Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market. They wind around tables weighted down with bright produce and handmade goods, orchids from Carpinteria and olive oil grown and pressed down the road.
The friendly farmers enthusiastically discuss their wares with customers. On a July morning, soapmaker Violet (“everyone will know who you mean”), of Violet’s Pink Thrift and Vintage Store, chatted happily with a mother and daughter, gifting each with a fragrant sliver of lavender soap.
Larry Yee, president of the Food Commons, pondered recipes for the herbs of Earthtrine Farms, while Marguerita Smith of Mud Creek Ranch mused on the difference between Thai basil and Italian.
“Next time I come to Ojai,” wrote Emily D. in a Yelp review, “I’m bringing an ice chest and stocking up on some fresh locally produced hormone free meats, cheeses and veggies.”
Holly Leber is a writer and editor based in Silver Spring, Md. When she’s not hunting for stories, she can be found going on produce-related shopping sprees, making jam, wine tasting and reading 1930’s Nancy Drew. Holly is the editorial director of The Daily Do Good.
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Milliken Family Farms sells sugar berries – extra-sweet strawberries for an extra-sweet summer.
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Jujubes aren't named after the movie candy – just the opposite, in fact. Actually jujubes are a type of date. Burkart Organics sells dried jujubes and persimmon chips.
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The famous Ojai Pixie tangerine.
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Tutti Frutti Farms is named for the Italian phrase meaning "all fruits." The family-owned farm offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including artichokes.
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The Rodriguez Ranch in Fresno County began in 1955 as a tomato and squash farm. After several incarnations, J.R. Organics was formed in 1986. Today, the Rodriguez family grows a large variety of organic vegetables, including tomatillos.
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Sunflowers practice phototropism, or growth toward the light (sun). For this reason, as well as their representation of their namesake, sunflowers have long been seen as a positive, optimistic plant.
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Celosia, or cockscomb, from Earthtrine Organic, grow in dazzling colors and feel soft, like velvet.
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The lemons at the Ojai Farmers Market are impressively sized.
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Bright, sweet orange carrots from John Givens Farms in Santa Barbara.
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Musician and poet Heather Wednesday plays the folk harp.