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Market Report
Vista and Temecula
Saturday, March 23, 2002

The Market:
Temecula (Old Town)
6th and Front St.
Sat., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

600 Eucalyptus Ave.
Sat., 7:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Market Notes:  Both of these markets, separated by about 20 miles of the rocky mountainous terrain of northern San Diego County, are excellent showcases for the small farmers and fruit growers who are spread throughout the region.  Each of the dozens of distinctive valleys and canyons squeezed between these mountain ranges have unique microclimates and some of them -- at the right elevation and facing in just the right direction to catch both the full sun and the cooling ocean breeze -- are perfect for growing subtropical fruit from Central and South America.  Thus, I have come today for a visit to both markets -- first Vista, then a drive through the backcountry via the Pala Indian reservation, to Temecula -- in search of subtropical fruit.  Alas, I'm a bit too early.  The only sapotes I find are the green ones shown at left, which aren't bad even this green, though they aren't quite as good as the soft, custardy yellow  sapotes that will begin to hit the market in just a few weeks, or so one grower tells me.  There are, however, plenty of cherimoyas on hand and some loquats, as well.. 

Temecula farmers market

Vista farmers market

Market-Goer: Mark Thompson, publisher of this Web site


What I Bought:


I've always thought sapotes had to be yellow before they were edible.  But these were quite good within a day or two after I brought them home, even though they were still bright green on the outside.

: 3 for $1

Orton cherimoyas

This variety, the fruit grower at the Vista market from whom I bought them, assured me, is the best cherimoya on the earth. The University of California has said so itself, the grower insisted.  They're called Ortons.  They were excellent, indeed.  But I've had some fabulous booths and bays this year and so I would hesitate to place the Orton on a higher plane.  

Price: $2.50/pound

cherimoyas seconds

These were discolored and/or very small.  So this whole bunch, plus two others that my wife ate before I could photograph them, cost just $2.

Price: $2 for a large bag of No. 2 quality cherimoyas


: $1.50/approx. one-pound bag

Dancy tangerines

Price: $1/pound

Baby carrots
A sizeable bag of these babies (amounting to about twice as many carrots as are pictured here) cost just $1.  Note the pencil hiding in the carrot pile, which gives some sense of their size.

Price: $1/bag.

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