Coachella Valley foodies (chefs, restaurant owners, home cooks, food lovers, and everyone else who prefers locally grown food) have reason to celebrate this week. The valley’s three State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets open for their 2015/2016 Season, starting Saturday, 10/3 in Palm Springs, Sunday in La Quinta 10/4 and Wednesday in Palm Desert 10/7.
Sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, the Certified Farmers’ Markets have become a valley tradition, and regular customers eagerly anticipate their return each fall.
“We’ve had emails and calls from people asking when the markets will open,” said Paul Palodichuk, General Manager of the Certified Farmers’ Markets. “This is the beginning of our eighth full season here in the desert. We have most of our local favorites returning and we’ve added some new value added artisan prepared food vendors. The biggest news, though, is that we have changed our Palm Desert Market on Wednesdays to evening hours every week - 4:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. Mid-valley residents who have never been able to participate due to daytime commitments can now make the Palm Desert Evening Market their weekly tradition after work and school.”
“We’ve gotten lots of positive feedback, especially from year-round residents. Our live entertainment will reflect the ‘party’ atmosphere, and we’ll also have a rotating pop-up mini restaurant, along with our weekly artisan food vendors, staffed by an eclectic list of locally owned restaurants that appreciate fresh produce. The first pop-up on 10/7 will be Balisage Bistro. The Palm Springs and Old Town La Quinta markets will continue to be open in the morning from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m."
“We also have a new staffer on board as our La Quinta site manager. Kris Kirkegaard comes from a background in project management and the culinary arts. She has a passion for nutrition education which aligns perfectly with our expanded focus on CV-wide elementary school visits, thanks to our grant through the Kaiser Foundation and curriculum by beloved local educator Cathy Liss. Kris will also co-manage the new Palm Desert market with Megan Goehring, our Palm Springs site manager.
For our Grand Opening:
At Palm Springs 10/3 and La Quinta 10/4 markets, for the first 50 kids (twelve and under) attending each market next week will get $2.00 in market bucks.
We’ll have our prize wheel spinning at the Palm Desert Evening opener on 10/7 for people who provide the secret code word: EVENING
All Certified Farmers’ Markets accept CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. For customers enrolled in CalFresh/SNAP, WIC and SSID (with ID) we match expenditures up to $10 with Market Match tokens funded through a USDA federal grant. The Markets also offer Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, and used as currency at the market for purchases.
In Season / Outdoor Locations
Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: Opens Saturday, October 3rd (8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). The Market will be held at 2300 Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: Opens Sunday, October 4th (8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). The Market will be held in Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico).
Palm Desert Evening Certified Farmers’ Market: Opens Wednesday, October 7th (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.). The Market will continue to be held at 72-599 Highway 111 (adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce).
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. “Certified” means all the produce from participating farms at the markets has been grown at California farms which have been registered and inspected by their county Agriculture Departments. In addition, almost all the CFMCV farms are located within a 100 mile radius of the Markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and many 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.