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Farmer's market in Laguna Hills, top choice for healthy produce

Fridays 9 am to 1 pm
Aly Ben-Joseph

Visit a farmer's market in a mall parking lot? Yes, if it is in Laguna Hills, Ca. Every Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm, a local farmer's market pops open their white tents in the Laguna Hills mall parking lot. It's just the place to go if one can spare an hour on Friday morning. The market is quaint and charming, and never very crowded. There are no gimmicks only tasty, healthy, organic food.

Friendly sellers and two rows of colorful produce, many organic, create the perfect atmosphere to inspire healthy cooking for the weekend. Other interesting foods abound as well. Flavored honey, spiced nuts, and a unique creation called: "Yummus." A unique blend of almonds and spices that resembles hummus. Some tubs are spicy and some are not, but all are delicious with tortilla chips or as dip with vegetables. Tangy homemade salsa booths are down the first aisle, and the women are more than willing to let people taste away. There are even homemade tamales for a special treat.

Many ask the question: Why shop at a farmer's market? According to the CUESA, a non-profit organization committed to bridging the gap between city dweller and farmer, and educating people on agriculture sustainability, there are 10 good reasons to frequent farmers' markets.

There is no long distance shipping or gassing of fruits and veggies to keep them fresh looking. They are fresh from farm to table. The fruits and vegetables are in season. Supporting family farmers is an ethical decision. A farmer's market is often locally grown so there are no long shipping distances in trucks that average 1,500 miles to get the food on the table. This helps protect our environment and natural resources. Minimally processed food is better for health. Purple cauliflower, heirloom tomatoes and other varieties of unique fruits and veggies are in the aisles. This keeps cooking and eating interesting. Support the humane treatment of animals by knowing where food is coming from. Get inspired by many creative meal ideas. It's fun to be a part of the community. It's always good to know where the food is coming from.

Laguna Hills is not the only farmer's market around. Visit sights like for reviews and ideas of where to shop locally.

Bring a large, reusable shopping bag with you along with some cash in small bills and enjoy supporting the "OC" community of farmers.

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