Coachella Valley foodies (chefs, restaurant owners, home cooks, cuisine artists, and everyone else who prefers locally grown food) can rejoice. The desert’s original three State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets are re-opening for their 2021/2022 season and will operate in their outside locations through April.
Sponsored by the non-profit Palm Springs Cultural Center, the three high season Certified Farmers’ Markets in Palm Springs, La Quinta and Palm Desert have become a must-do for visitors and regular customers who eagerly anticipate their return each fall. Now that outdoor dining restrictions have relaxed, the CFMCV’s are opening a half hour later and closing an hour later to accommodate a group of brand-new culinary entrepreneurs who started their businesses during the “pandemic pivot.”
The new mini restaurants — Croux and Co. Catering, Popping Off Pies, Pura Vida Vegan Taqueria, and Straight and Marrow Street Food — are all restaurant industry veterans who decided to take the plunge in the past few years and dive into their personal dreams of feeding the community. Social media platforms like Instagram have birthed a whole new generation of nimble makers and eaters who follow exciting trends and bypass stodgy traditions.
“We are excited to provide a rotating platform for these folks that allows for flexibility,” says Megan Goehring, general manager of the CFMCVs. “The transition to an 8:30 AM opening and 1:30 PM close might take a few weeks to get used to – we’re anticipating a little bit of confusion. But when our customers try the innovative and delicious food our pop-ups are creating we’re betting they’ll become fans and regular lunch customers.”
The other change in the wind at the Markets is a location shift for the Wednesday Palm Desert location, returning to its original spot for over a decade in the sun-dappled Entrada Center, at the corner of Highway 111 and El Paseo, between the Chamber of Commerce and the new home of the Artists’ Council.
All Certified Farmers’ Markets offer a $15/$15 match to customers participating in CalFresh EBT and a $10/$10 match for WIC, SSDI and federal unemployment. The Markets offer Market Buck tokens as an in-house currency / ATM alternative to all customers with a charge or debit card, which can be used for purchases at any vendor.
- Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: Open Saturdays 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM The PS Market is held at 2300 E. Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
- La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: Open Sundays 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The LQ Market is held in Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico)
- Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market: Open Wednesdays 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM The PD Market is held at 72-559 Hwy 111, adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce.
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s original 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 were grown using organic principles. The CFMCV are also GMO-free and sustainably-focused Markets.
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.