Every Saturday, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, there is a farmer’s market in the mini mall across the street from the townhouse where I live. Half of the parking lot is covered with rows and rows of fruits, vegetables, nuts, ethnic foods, crafts, artwork, paintings, and homemade foods, snaking in organized rows of tented booths. There are also antioxidant coffees and other homemade coffee as well as homemade pet food. Since the prices are very competitive, averaging around $10.00 per piece, most of the vendors give out free samples of succulent and sweet fruits and vegetables as well as coffee, nuts, ethnic food and pastries. Somewhere in the middle of this parking lot filled with vendors selling their merchandise, there is a live ethnic band entertaining the large crowd of people inching their way through the filled up narrow pathway between each row. As people make their way through the crowd, trying to check out each booth and sample their produce, they realize that each booth has better organic produce than the last one they tasted. Irvine tends to be more expensive than other Orange County farmer’s markets. There is also a popcorn vendor selling different size bags of kettle popcorn as well as a small ice cream cart where a man is selling cups of multicolored Italian Ice in different flavors.
The farmer’s market in Costa Mesa, California is much smaller, but located at a small artist mini mall that has vegan restaurants and nature stores. It is opened on Sunday mornings, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. Similar products are sold in this farmer’s market, from produce to artists’ crafts. This small farmer’s market looks more like an outdoor art gallery because there are more artwork displayed than there are produce being sold. Because of the size of this farmer’s market as well as Costa Mesa being much older city than Irvine, the prices in this farmer’s market tends to be much cheaper. But, overall, this nature outdoorsy mini mall is a cute and interesting place to hang out in because of the quiet and relaxing environment that is filled with a hammock, bonfire, drumming circle, art gallery shows, and fake crickets humming a meditative song in the background. There is also a tattoo parlor, yoga studio, expensive boutiques, scuba diving school, coffee shop, and spa.
After a casual stroll through the busy and crowded farmer’s market, tasting samples, picking up business cards and brochures, and occasionally buying something needed, it is time for me to drop by the yoga studio in the mini mall. It is a casual and entertaining place for the weekends to hang out with family, do some grocery shopping and enjoy the nice Spring weather.