SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market was chosen as a finalist for the 10 Best Readers’ Choice award by USA Today. Each week, USA Today asks their readers to vote on their top 10 out of 20 choices for various categories. USA Today’s “travel experts” pick the 20 finalists, and their readers vote for the top 10.

USA Today described the Santa Monica Farmers Market as “California’s largest and most diverse grower-only farmers’ market.” According to their data, in addition to “some of Los Angeles’ top chefs and restaurateurs,” who “can be found poring over the fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods,” Santa Monica’s Farmers Market attracts around 9,000 shoppers every Wednesday.

A farmers market, according to the Farmers Market Coalition, is “a public and recurring assembly of farmers or their representatives, selling directly to consumers food which they have produced themselves.” In 2013, more than 8,100 farmers markets were reported in the USA.

The Santa Monica’s Farmers Market was established by then-Mayor Ruth Yanatta-Goldway in 1981. The first one was opened in Santa Monica’s downtown retail district, and now operates every Wednesday. According to its official website, its mission is to “[promote] healthful eating and sustainable agriculture in California by providing fresh agricultural products from small farms to urban customers, thereby building community and preserving California farmland.”

California growers sell peppers at a Santa Monica Farmers Market. Photo by Jordan Fischer.
California growers sell peppers at a Santa Monica Farmers Market. Photo by Jordan Fischer.

The Santa Monica’s Farmers Market has expanded to encompass four locations: The Pico Farmers Market, established March 1982; the Saturday Downtown Farmers Market, established May 1991; and the Sunday Market, the youngest of all, established in January 1995. The Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets now attracts an average of 9,000 annual shoppers.

The Santa Monica Farmers Market is competing against 19 other markets, including: Burlington Farmers’ Market in Burlington, Vermont; Boulder Farmers’ Market in Boulder, Colorado and the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market in Santa Fe.

Votes can be cast up until August 17 at USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice website.