With the recent gloomy weather, it can sometimes be difficult to make that trip to the grocery store — or let alone even step outside. Last weekend, I was struggling with this exact issue before stumbling across one of Goleta’s hidden gems, which managed to make the weather seem at least a little less unpleasant. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Camino Real Marketplace hosts one of Santa Barbara’s certified farmers markets, along with live music for all of the shopping center’s customers to enjoy!
There was something about the sense of community and joy that radiated from the farmers market that morning immediately drew me in. Families could be seen walking the aisle of booths owned by many local farmers, while children danced along to the sound of a local band performing in the courtyard. Each seller greeted me with a smile and occasionally offered me a taste of their most popular item.
Many of the tents that lined the market offered a wide selection of local produce, including fresh berries, oranges, avocados, vegetables and more. Others included organically sourced meats, eggs, honey, nuts and dried fruits.
My favorite purchase from the market was from Baba Small Batch Hummus. They were selling six different variations of hummus, including flavors like red pepper, avocado and cilantro, roasted garlic and artichoke, sun-dried tomato basil and cilantro jalapeno.
There were also booths with locally grown, non-edible items. One in particular was a table covered in different candles that were each made entirely from beeswax. Another one included a variety of homemade essential oils, and the woman working the booth was happy to tell me about the individual benefits of each one. In walking just a little further down, I could see many locally grown flowers and succulents. My heart just about melted when I witnessed a man in front of me buy a large bouquet for his wife.
After walking around for over 30 minutes, enraptured by the cheerful era of the farmers market, I headed home with my arms full of fresh veggies and my spirits lifted. While Sunday mornings can be busy and stressful, I definitely recommend taking the time to visit the Goleta Farmer’s Market to walk around, enjoy the music and support our local farmers!
Paige Holloway is a Communication and Sociology major as well as an Opinion and On the Menu writer. Her interests include fitness, iced coffee and baby animals.