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Letter from the Editor: The Value of Farmers' Markets

Senior editor Archana Ram dishes on the January issue of San Diego Magazine


Published:

Photo by Priscilla Iezzi

On my first weekend living in San Diego—exactly five years ago this month—visiting a farmers’ market was the first item of business before we even unpacked. My husband and I went to the famed, mobbed, busy Little Italy market. And we could see exactly why it was so famed, mobbed, and busy.

The produce overflowed. Samples were aplenty. And there wasn’t just food. There were local products, insta-glam bouquets, live music, bay views. I fell hard for San Diego’s farmers’ markets in that moment.

As our food critic, Troy Johnson, points out in this month’s cover story, the local farmers’ market is like the new church, and San Diegans are some of the fiercest, most loyal devotees. I think it’s an apt analogy. Can you think of a more popular secular community gathering these days?

The markets have also helped catapult local businesses into foodie stardom. Take Bitchin’ Sauce, now sold at Vons, Whole Foods, and Costco, or Once Upon a Farm, the cold-pressed organic baby food company that sells at Whole Foods and counts actress Jennifer Garner as its chief brand officer. And in November, overnight oats market star Mush accepted a $300,000 offer from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank. Our farmers’ markets have created icons. The proof is in the porridge. You can read about more success stories, plus the evolution of our local farmers’ market scene, in Troy’s story.

Those aren’t the only local companies we’re celebrating this month. In “The Coolest Jobs in San Diego,” we round up 15 enviable jobs, from a climate change researcher at Scripps Oceanography to a UC San Diego neuroscientist who makes video games you control with your eyes. It’s a diverse bunch, but they all met our one major requirement: Do their jobs make us think, “Cool! I want to do that!”

We’re bringing this story to life at our inaugural Behind the Brands event, a collaboration with our sister publication Hatch. There’ll be résumé workshops, speakers from ViaSat, Illumina, and Taylor Guitars, plus food, drinks, music, and more.

Even if you’re not looking for a new career, this issue is packed with new things—93 to be exact—to try, see, and do for 2018, from Hamilton at the Civic Theatre to a percussion concert at the US-Mexico border.

Happy New Year!

Archana Ram, Senior Editor
archana@sdmag.com archanapramarchanapram

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