Pasadena, nestled east of Downtown Los Angeles amidst shady live oaks and flowering magnolia and dogwood trees, offers a bounty of delectable produce, from nectarines and Valencia oranges to squash, broccoli and peppers. These five markets, fairs and cafes stock their shelves and plates with all kinds of locally sourced crops and products—make sure to support their efforts the next time you head to the City of Roses.
PASADENA FARMERS MARKET – Stop by the Pasadena Farmers Market every Tuesday at Villa Parke and Saturdays at Victory Park—the latter market draws about 60 vendors every week, each offering fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and farm products. From avocados and fruit jams to homegrown loofah sponges, this fair offers a range of items for your kitchen and home.
URBAN HOMESTEAD – Since 1985, the Dervaes family tends to more than 300 fruits, veggies and herbs on their 1/5 of an acre in Pasadena. This homegrown veggie garden doles out more than 6,000 pounds of organic produce every year, which sustains the Dervaes and the community—they sell community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription boxes to local consumers. They also raise goats, bees, chickens and ducks and sell their milk, honey and eggs, respectively.
SOUTH PASADENA’S FARMERS’ MARKET – Open from 4pm-8pm every Thursday on Meridian Avenue and El Centro Street in historic South Pasadena, this weekly farmers’ market is the place to find organic veggies and fruits in addition to fresh-squeezed juices, ice cream, tamales, breads, cheeses and other food and drink vendors.
THE PRODUCE PLACE – East of Pasadena in Irwindale, The Produce Place is an under-the-radar spot that crafts beautiful trays as well as cocktails, shaved ice and smoothies from locally-grown fruits. Like spice? Try their chamangos drink, made with chamoy sauce, mangos, lime juice and chilli powder and topped with a tamarind straw. For something sweet, order a homemade bionico—a fruit dessert covered with crema and topped with granola, shredded coconut, raisins and honey.
CULTURE CLUB 101 – Located south east of Pasadena, closer to Downtown L.A., this hybrid store, cafe and educational space offers breakfast and lunch (all dishes are made with ingredients sourced from local farms) as well as classes and events that center on various fascinating topics, like raising earthworms, making sourdough bread and more. Come for the kombucha and artisanal sauerkrauts, and stay for the enlightening chats on all things local, healthful and sustainable.