You can get fruit at the local grocery store, but do you really know how fresh it is? How far did that fruit travel to get to the store? Every piece of fruit has a story and when you buy from your local farms and farmer’ markets, you meet the farmers behind that fruit, learn how they grow it, and lessen your carbon footprint knowing that your fruit is grown locally. Here is a list of some great farmers’ markets and farmers right here in Orange County.

Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market
304 N. Cypress St.
Orange, CA 92866

In 2009, the idea of this market started out with a few neighbors in Orange who wanted to make locally grown food more accessible for their community. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots effort encompassing thousands with a farmers’ market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Orange Home Grown is constantly seeking new ways to cultivate community by embracing the locally grown food revolution such as a partnership with OPLF to run the first seed lending library, a scholarship program to support local youth, the groundbreaking of the first education farm, and launch of a new Youth Food Literacy Program for local high school students. You can also enjoy live music, kids’ health activities, and seasonal cooking classes.

DTSA Farmers’ Market
201 2nd St. Promenade
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 592-4678

The DTSA Farmers’ Market was founded by a group of activists, chefs, and farmers with deep roots in the Santa Ana community. The farmers’ market is held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 2nd Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Ana. They have fresh fruits, vegetables, specialty prepared foods, and some local artisans each week. One of their closest farms is only 4 miles away, Heritage Museum of Orange County’s Gospel Swamp Farm. Many of the prepared food vendors prepare their food down the street at the East End Kitchens in 4th Street Market. They also have live music, free yoga classes, and craft workshops. The DTSA Farmers’ market makes fresh produce available for everyone by running a program called Market Match. It allows them to double up on the first $15 in CalFresh/EBT that customers withdraw to use at the market.

(credit: Oksana Shufrych/shutterstock)

SOCO Farmers’ Market
3315 Hyland Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

The SOCO Farmers’ Market is located in the SOCO Collection in Costa Mesa and held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There you will find an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables along with a great selection of meats and eggs (non-GMO, soy-free, corn-free) and freshly baked breads, spreads, nut butters, and so much more! After picking up your favorite summer fruit, spend the afternoon shopping for home décor at C.S. Wo & Sons or kitchen gadgets at Surfas Culinary District and/or lounging with a perfectly made cup of coffee at Portola Coffee Lab or enjoying fresh oysters at Shuck Oyster Bar inside the OC Mix.

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(credit: P. Luly W./yelp)

The Original Manassero Farms
15850 Irvine Valley
Irvine, CA City, ST 92618
(949) 554-5103

In 1922, James Manassero started farming in Yorba Linda. Dan Manassero is part of this third-generation farming family in Orange County. He learned the tricks of the trade from his grandfather, father, and uncle and has become one of OC’s best certified organic and conventional farmers. Their Irvine Market, located on the boundary of Irvine Valley College, is open year-round (Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Pick up your favorite summer fruit and vegetables any day of the week while gazing upon the expanse of farmland behind the market.

(credit: Kelley U./yelp)

Tanaka Farms
5380 ¾ University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 653-2100

Tanaka Farms was established in 1940, but farming in this family began long before in Hiroshima-ken, Japan. Farmer Tanaka, his wife, Shirley, and his son, Kenny, own and operate this authentic working farm. The 30-acre farm produces fruits and vegetables for their produce stand, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and various educational tours. Summer is the start of their melon season, when they grow different types including Saticoy, Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Orange Honeydew, Sarah’s Choice, Red Watermelons (both seeded and seedless), and Yellow Watermelon. On a wagon ride tour, a guide will tell you all about the farm and various fruits and vegetables growing while you get to sample 4-5 vegetables along the way. The tour stops at the melon tasting tent where fresh melons are sliced up for everyone to try. At the end of the tour, everyone goes home with a melon.