Irvine’s Farmers’ Markets Keep Growing: Two New Markets Join Old Favorites — with Update on Fast Food and Fast Growth at University Town Center

Melissa Fox, Irvine Commissioner Melissa Fox, melissajoifox, melissafoxblog.com, melissafoxblog, Melissa Fox blog, Melissa Fox for Irvine City Council

I love farmers’ markets.

I love buying fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, and bread for my family.  I love talking to the vendors, especially those from nearby farms.  I love talking to other shoppers about recipes, about what’s in season, what’s really organic, what’s local, and what’s going on in our community.

Melissa Fox, Irvine Commissioner Melissa Fox, melissajoifox, melissafoxblog.com, melissafoxblog, Melissa Fox blog, Melissa Fox for Irvine City Council Orange County Farm Bureau certified farmers’ markets are guaranteed to be the real thing – places where genuine farmers sell fruits, nuts and vegetables directly to the public.  Every farmer who sells at a certified market is inspected by the county agricultural commissioner to make sure he/she actually grows the produce being sold.

The California Federation of Certified Farmers’ Markets has some great tips for farmers’ market shoppers (like “When you first arrive, walk through the entire market and look at all the offerings before you buy. There are many differences in prices for the same produce type and quality” and “If the farmer is not too busy, do not hesitate to ask questions about recipes or growing methods. You might even get to know each other’s names.”) Check out these shopping tips here.

We are fortunate in Irvine to have had several excellent certified farmers’ markets for many years – and now we have two more!

Melissa Fox, Irvine Commissioner Melissa Fox, melissajoifox, melissafoxblog.com, melissafoxblog, Melissa Fox blog, Melissa Fox for Irvine City Council The two farmers markets in Irvine that have been around for quite a while are:

Certified Farmers’ Market at University Town Center at the corner of Bridge and Campus, Irvine 92612 (across from UCI).

Day and Time: Saturdays, 8:00 AM – 12:00 Noon (rain or shine).

Orange County Farm Bureau Certified: Yes.

Contact: Manager: Trish Harrison. Tel: 714-573-0374. Email: ocfb@sbcglobal.net.

Melissa Fox, Irvine Commissioner Melissa Fox, melissajoifox, melissafoxblog.com, melissafoxblog, Melissa Fox blog, Melissa Fox for Irvine City Council

Shoppers at the Great Park Farmers’ Market, open Sundays 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

We used to shop at the farmers’ market at University Town Center all the time when my husband was studying for his Ph.D. at UC Irvine.

Certified Farmers’ Market at the Great Park, Irvine 92618 (Marine Way off Sand Canyon).

[Note: Access to the Great Park via Marine Way is now closed off until at least July 27, 2014, and visitors need to use an alternative route, entering via Trabuco Road at Sand Canyon Avenue].

Melissa Fox, Irvine Commissioner Melissa Fox, melissajoifox, melissafoxblog.com, melissafoxblog, Melissa Fox blog, Melissa Fox for Irvine City Council Day and Time: Sundays, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM (rain or shine).

Orange County Farm Bureau Certified: Yes.

Contact: Manager Mary Senske. Tel: 949-724-7403. Email: ocgpfm@verizon.net.

The Great Park Farmers’ Market is now our family’s main farmers’ market.  We love being able to bring our Siberian Husky, Scout, eat a lunch we’ve bought from the vendors or one of many food trucks, and listen to live music.

Melissa Fox, Irvine Commissioner Melissa Fox, melissajoifox, melissafoxblog.com, melissafoxblog, Melissa Fox blog, Melissa Fox for Irvine City Council The two new farmers’ markets in Irvine (which we have not yet personally visited) are:

Irvine Crossroads Certified Farmers’ Market at 3750 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine 92606 (between Culver and Harvard).

Day and Time: Sundays, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (rain or shine).

Orange County Farm Bureau Certified: Yes.

Contact: Managers Melissa Farwell and Katie Rogers. Tel: 818-591-8161. Email: info@rawinspiration.org.

Update: I have now visited the Irvine Crossroads Farmers’ Market.  Although it is not large, the produce is fresh and the vendors are friendly.  Recommended!

Irvine Square Certified Farmers’ Market at 17901 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine 92614 (MacArthur and Main).

Day and Time: Sundays, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (rain or shine).

Orange County Farm Bureau Certified: Yes.

Contact: Managers Melissa Farwell and Katie Rogers. Tel: 818-591-8161. Email: info@rawinspiration.org.

According to the Irvine Company, at the new farmers’ markets you will be able to “Shop a variety of offerings from local purveyors including: locally grown fruits and vegetables; freshly baked artisanal breads and pastries; olive oil, hummus, tapenades, and garlic spreads; fresh fish, free-range/grass-fed beef, and grilled sausages; dried fruits and nuts; fresh cut flowers; and more.”

Sounds great!

If you see me at one of our Irvine farmers’ markets, please say hello!

Photos of the Great Park Farmers’ Market by (c) Geoff Fox.