In Our November/December 2016 Issue
Letter From the Publishers
It seems especially appropriate —and not at all a cliché given the especially contentious election goings on—to stop and smell the roses this fall. We who live in San Diego County, like most of our readers, have much to be thankful for. Here’s some things we’re grateful for every day.
Farmers. One tenth of San Diego County’s 4,200 square miles is devoted to agriculture. It has 5,732 farms, more than any county in the nation. We have 363 registered organic growers (and many more small farms growing fruits and vegetables sustainably but without formal organic certification). The total value of ag production in SD County is nearly $2 billion. More than half of that comes from the nursery and cut flower market, but the rest comes from fruits and nuts, vegetables, livestock and poultry products, field crops, timber and bees.
Local produce year round. With so many small farm produce growers and the long growing season, a wide variety of fresh local produce is available year round. The top ten organic crops are avocados, lemons, valencia oranges, herbs & spices, navel oranges, tangerines, tangelos, tomatoes and blueberries. Winter squash, brassicas, kale, chard and many root vegetables are available now or on their way.
Farmers’ markets and CSAs. Again, because of our ideal climate and long growing season, we are rich in neighborhood farmers’ markets and subscription produce services. Around 50 farmers’ markets convene once a week from Imperial Beach and Otay Ranch to the south, to Oceanside and Valley Center to the north. The weekend markets are the largest, but even the smallest have at least one farmer. Many are now selling locally raised meats. Check our website for directories for both farmers’ markets, and CSAs. Let us know if we missed any. Our directory listings are free and we keep them up to date.
The ocean: As important to our climate as our latitude, you can also thank the ocean for making San Diego a beautiful place to live and a popular tourist destination. What many overlook, even long-time San Diegans, is that we have a wealth of local fish that are exquisitely fresh, delicious and relatively inexpensive compared to the Chilean sea bass, imported salmon, halibut and king crab, etc., so often seen on restaurant menus. Ask your fishmonger to recommend something locally caught, or head down to the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market on Saturday mornings to buy it at great prices from the fishermen who caught it.
-Riley Davenport and John Vawter, Publishers