One of the many benefits of living in Orange County? Year-round access to the farmers market. Luckily we are surrounded by dozens of farmers markets. Today, one of our readers Aimee is going to share one her absolute favorite favorite farmers market at the Great Park.
It’s easy to forget how lucky we are in SoCal to be able to enjoy 75 degree weather under clear sunny skies in the winter, while millions of people are shoveling their driveways in the freezing cold. As a transplant from New England, I feel obligated to take advantage! So, this weekend, I put on my sandals and sunscreen, loaded the kids in the car and headed to the newly opened, weekly farmer’s market at The Great Park in Irvine. (The Great Park Farmers Market is open Sundays from 10am – 2pm, rain or shine.)
The market opens at 10am, and my kids are early risers, so we were one of the first ones there. My game plan with any farmer’s market is to take a loop around and check things out before making any purchases. One of the first things I noticed was the lineup of gourmet food trucks. Yippee! There was a great selection, featuring: Barcelona on the Go, Chomp Chomp, Dan Dan BBQ, Kid Beanz Coffee and Louks, and Rolling Sushi Van. The trucks rotate every week so be sure to check the website in advance to see who will be there.
The second thing to catch my eye was the Kids Rock play area. It is the first of many environments being developed as part of the park’s major transformation. For more information on the current and upcoming changes, read the Great Park Plan HERE.
Lastly, they have carousal that you can ride free of charge. The carousal may look familiar to you; the attendant told us it’s the same one as the one in Fashion Island. Yes, that’s right; they literally moved it from Fashion Island to The Great Park and made it free!
OC Great Park
So, let’s see, food trucks — check. Free carousal rides — check. Small playground to run the kids — check. So far, so good, now let’s get down to the food. I saw a good assortment of local artisans and farmers including a few unique items, like great flavored balsamic vinegars and avocado honey from Temecula Valley.
On average the farmers market at Great Park has about 25 – 30 vendors a week, but they’re hoping that will expand. I am too, especially in the fresh produce area, since there were only 2-3 rows of it the day I was there. The farmers that were there brought truckloads of citrus, in all varieties, like tangelos, mandarin oranges, pomelos, clementines, key limes and lemons, and winter veggies like artichokes, cauliflower, beets, brussel sprouts, collard greens and carrots.
Irvine Great Park
Overall, I had a fantastic morning at the Great Park’s new market, and I hope I inspired you to take a trip to your local OC farmer’s market, you’ll be happy you did.
Thanks Aimee! The farmers market at the Great Park sounds AMAZING! I can’t wait to until next week when you share with us some of your favorite ways to prepare some these winter veggies. By the way, have you met Aimee?
I was born and raised in Connecticut and lived in Philadelphia, London and Boston prior to moving to Orange County. So, I consider myself an East Coaster who is embracing the West Coast lifestyle. My amazing husband and two children (a two year old daughter and a four year old son) make my world go round. I believe balance is the key to life and strive to achieve it every day. My background is in marketing, and through the years I’ve been lucky enough to promote things I truly love; children’s fashion, natural and organic food and yoga! I also love exploring, learning and sharing and that’s just what I hope to do here.