The UCSB Gaucho Certified Farmers Market is a great place to get some fresh organic produce and artisan goods, get familiar with your food and meet local farmers and artisans. Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., vendors set out on the lawn by Campbell Hall to sell their products. Here’s a list of some of the great vendors you can find at the Gaucho Certified Farmers Market.
Underwood Family Farms
Location: Underwood Family Farms are located southeast of Santa Barbara in Moorpark, CA as well as in Somis, CA.
What To Get: The Underwood Family Farms sell a plethora of colorful and organic vegetables from purple and orange cauliflower to vibrant green, red and yellow bell peppers. Make sure to take advantage of their cauliflower and root crops throughout this coming winter.
Fun Fact: Underwood Family Farms actually allows people to pick their own fruits and vegetables from their farm! Just about an hour away, visiting is a great way to get outdoors and get familiar with your produce. More information can be found on their website underwoodfamilyfarms.com.
Rock Rose Provisions
Location: Rock Rose Provisions is an artisan culinary project based in Santa Barbara by UCSB alumnus Lucas Ryden.
What to Get Here: Rock Rose Provisions creates a variety of small batch, handcrafted nut butters from sweet butters like their Chocolate Espresso Peanut Butter and Maple Spice Almond Butter to spicy butters like their Curried Ghost Chili Cashew Butter and Chocolate Habanero Sunflower Seed Butter. Aside from their awesome nut spreads, they also sell cocktail shrubs in flavors like Ginger Lemon Peach and Strawberry Jalapeno Lime which are great ways to add flavor to your cocktails or sodas.
Pro Tip: Rock Rose Provisions has great recipes on their website for you to try out. Grab a jar or two of butter and use them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! For those savvy cooks out there, they take customer recipe submissions to add to their website! For more information, visit rockroseprovisions.com.
Santa Barbara Popcorn Company
Location: The name says it all! Santa Barbara, CA!
What to Get: From their savory flavors like Balsamic & Italian Herb and Sea Salt & Olive Oil to more spicy flavors like their Jalapeno Jack, the Santa Barbara Popcorn Company has flavors for all taste palates. Their top seller at the farmers market is their sweet Maple & Brown Sugar popcorn.
Pro Tip: Santa Barbara Popcorn Company makes popcorn a great study snack. While snacks can run out fast, you don’t have to wait until the farmers market to grab a bag. You can purchase their popcorn right at the Isla Vista Food Co-op!
Crazy Good Bread Company
Location: Their bakery is located east of Santa Barbara in nearby Carpinteria.
What to Get Here: The Crazy Good Bread Company sells a variety of breads from baguettes to artisan loaves Make sure to pick up one of their pretzel breads, which are a favorite among Gaucho Certified Farmers Market attendees.
Fun Fact: Crazy Good Bread Company has gotten a lot of media buzz from news stations and magazines such as Santa Barbara Magazine and even in U.S. Airways magazine which featured them in an article about local flavor!
Location: Their juices are cold-pressed daily at each of their three locations. The closest is located on Trigo Road in Isla Vista!
What to Get: Juice Ranch has cold-pressed juices and shots to meet your needs or taste preferences. Since everyone’s taste preference is different, it is best to try before buying.
Pro Tip: Juice Ranch also provides juice cleanses customized to meet different needs. Stop by their store or check their website juiceranch.com.
Location: Rodriguez Farms is situated along the coast between Santa Cruz and Monterey.
What To Get Here: Rodriguez Farms sells red, juicy, organic strawberries that are great for adding to your smoothies, yogurts or just eating plain.
Fun Fact: Rodriguez Farms has been growing strawberries since 1991. What started with three acres has grown to 50 acres. They have been certified organic with CCOF, USDA and Davis Fresh since 2004 and are in transition to becoming 100 percent organic by next year.
Words and photos by Rae Ann Varona
This story originally appeared on page 22 of October 23, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.