Pumpkins take center stage this week as the Fresh Pick of the Week at the valley’s Certified Farmers’ Markets. Several of our farms have locally-grown Pumpkins in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. You’re sure to find the perfect Pumpkin, whether you’re shopping for a Halloween Jack-o-Lantern, or the makings for a perfect pumpkin pie!
Pumpkins are grown all over the world, and on six of the seven continents (Antarctica being the one exception). They are believed to have originated in North America; with evidence of pumpkin seeds having been eaten by natives of what is now Mexico as long ago as 7000 B.C. Pumpkins held a special place for American colonists, and continue to be popular in North America, especially during the holidays (from Halloween to Christmas). They are, in fact, one of the most popular crops in the United States, which produces approximately 1.5 billion pounds of Pumpkins per year, and in California, which is one of the top five Pumpkin producing states!
Did you know: Although Charlie Brown’s friend Linus has never actually seen the Giant Pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch on Halloween night, Giant Pumpkins really do exist. The current world record-holder (according to the Guinness Book of World Records) weighed in at a whopping 2009 pounds at the New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off at Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, Massachusetts, USA, on September 28, 2012.
Price: $ 1.50 per pound and up
All Certified Farmers’ Markets accept CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Markets also offer Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market: NEW HOURS in Palm Desert only (8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). The Market will once again be held at 72-599 Highway 111 (adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce).
Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market will once again be held at 2300 Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market will once again be held in Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico).
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and many of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.