As the days have grown cooler, a relaxing and healthy way to spend your morning is visiting one of the three certified farmers markets in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, or La Quinta. All three are certified organic markets that promote small, local businesses and feature farm fresh produce, homemade baked goods, beauty products, delicious dips, wild caught fish, farm raised meats, artisan cheeses, and natural honey.
It’s a smorgasbord of healthy offerings sold by passionate people who work hard to bring their products to the public.
These Coachella Valley farmers markets are open, and local purveyors have set up shop outdoors in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and La Quinta. Each of the markets features live music, a friendly information booth, and vendors from a variety of certified organic offerings — food, gifts, and flowers. With the holiday season upon us, farmers markets are the perfect place to shop for items to serve at home and a great place to buy unique gifts for your friends and loved ones.
Here are 10 to put on your must-visit list, and next to each is the market(s) they can be found at:
1. The Biscotti Lady (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta)
If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Santina Pellegrino at the farmers market and tasting her delicious homemade biscotti, there is a piece of sweetness missing from your life. Pellegrino’s booth is like an Italian bakery filled with goodies that are perfect for dipping into your morning cup of coffee. Flavors such as Amaretto (the best-seller) and Wedding Cookies are a great buy to enjoy at home or give as a tasty hostess gift. The cookies are made from scratch using natural ingredients like fresh lemon and fresh orange juice.
Biscotti with sprinkles from The Biscotti Lady, Santina Pellegrino.
2. Sea Chi Botanical Products (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta)
This is the booth of your skincare dreams. You’ll find organic beauty products handcrafted by all-female herbalists and aromatherapists (girl power!). I bought the Sea Chi Créme, a highly emollient moisturizer rich in botanicals like wild harvested seaweed extract, comfrey, and high oleic safflower oil. You’ll also find sensual oils, lip balm, hair care, body wash, and lotions. “We are like a family here. It’s a great way to sample products out so that people can try them and support the organic farming community,” says Sanandra, founder of Sea Chi.
Sea Chi Créme is a highly emollient moisturizer rich in botanicals like wild harvested seaweed extract, comfrey, and high oleic safflower oil.
3. Que Mami Organics (Palm Springs and La Quinta)
If you’re wondering what to serve at your next dinner party, or perhaps you just need some healthier grub while catching up on your next Netflix binge, do visit the Que Mami Organics booth on your next farmers market visit. Owner Sylvia Garza will show you her selection of homemade salsas, moles, enchilada sauces, and vegetarian and vegan tamales. Some of the tantalizing flavors include black bean and smoked cheese tamales and mushroom and red potato tamales. The recipes are all inspired by her mother’s cooking. You can find her at the Palm Springs market on Saturdays and La Quinta on Sundays.
Owner Sylvia Garza will show you her selection of homemade salsas, moles, enchilada sauces, and vegetarian and vegan tamales.
4. Hook & Line: Line Caught Wild Alaska Salmon (La Quinta only)
Their tagline is “From our family’s boat to your table,” meaning it doesn’t get any fresher than that. Your body is screaming for omega-3s, and Hook and Line has all the salmon to satisfy those essential vitamins. You’ll find salmon steaks in both King and Coho varieties, smoked salmon, and now line-caught wild Alaska halibut. Each piece is individually wrapped and labeled, ready for you to take home and serve up. You can visit their Facebook page for recipes and YouTube videos.
You’ll find salmon steaks in both King and Coho varieties.
5. Cherry’s Famous Rugelah (La Quinta only)
All you need is a sample taste of Cherry’s Famous Rugelah to inspire you to buy a box for yourself, your mother, your coworkers, and anyone else on your gift roster. Made in Cherry’s kitchen, these bites of goodness are like potato chips and cats: You just can’t have one. In flavors like chocolate, raspberry, and apricot, you’re surely to be back each week to stock up to feed your new addiction. You’ll also find vegan and gluten-free varieties. The rugelah comes packaged for individual use or also in dressed-up gift boxes for the holidays.
Cherry’s Famous Rugelah comes in flavors like chocolate, raspberry, and apricot.
6. Raw Remedy Organic Juice Bar (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta)
Rise and shine and start your day with a freshly squeezed juice from Raw Remedy. The fresh fruits and veggies are all ready to jump into the powerhouse blenders they have on hand at the markets serving up such concoctions as Spicy Carrot, Cali Sunrise, and the Green Glow. I had a refreshing Cali-Sunrise that was a vibrant pink (think Barbie juice). You can also choose to satisfy your hunger with an acai or pitaya bowl or cashew nut or avocado toasts. They have been part of the certified markets for five years. “The customers and energy (at the markets) are so positive. Everyone is so happy,” says co-owner Josh Ryan Pena.
Raw remedy organic juice bar has been serving up fresh juice at the markets for five years.
7. Monarch Raw Pet Food (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta)
You can find tasty treats for your furry friends, too. Monarch Raw Pet Food is certified organic raw food for your pet, offering a healthier choice from that overly processed stuff you buy at the grocery store. Jerky Hearts are made from dehydrated ground chicken hearts, no preservatives, and formulated for both dogs and cats. The frozen raw food is made from free-range poultry, non-GMO, with no additives, no antibiotics, no growth hormones.
The frozen raw food is made from free-range poultry, non-GMO, with no additives, no antibiotics, no growth hormones.
Having your pet on this diet mimics one designed in nature for carnivores. I took a pound home to my cat and he definitely agreed with his appetite that this was better than the subpar food you buy at Petco. As I was talking to sales rep Eric Reyes at the booth, plenty of die-hard, returning customers came to purchase their weekly four-pound bag of food, acclaiming that their dogs are healthier because of it.
8. Just Wholesome Bone Broth (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta)
Bone broth seems to be the newest fad in the health industry. However, beyond the fad is the fact that it does help with digestion, weight loss, and overall well-being. Just Wholesome is a high-integrity bone broth containing collagen (great for skin and nails), gelatin (good for digestion), and protein and amino acids (aids muscle and joint health). The broth comes in beef and fish varieties and is homemade with natural, organic ingredients. Bone broth helps to build a stronger immune system by healing the gut, absorbing a greater number of nutrients.
Just Wholesome is a high-integrity bone broth containing collagen (great for skin and nails), gelatin (good for digestion), and protein and amino acids (aids muscle and joint health).
9. Herbivore (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta)
Heaven is a place on earth, and also a place that sells fresh herbs and chocolate. At the Herbivore booth you’ll find a wide selection of organic herbs and custom blends to spruce up your kitchen and turn your blah cooking into gourmet. Asian Blend, Oregano Salt, and Genovese Basil are just a few of the many different herb concoctions you’ll find at this booth. There are also samples of the homemade chocolate bar in fancy flavors like lavender, rosemary almond, and pistachio mint. Owner Gabrielle Gaul sells only what she grows, and her packaging makes for great gift-giving. I dare you to buy one of her tasty chocolate bars and leave the market without eating the whole thing!
10. Organic Meats and Cheeses
If you’re trying to eat a more healthy diet and strictly plant-based is not for you, try shopping for organic, GMO- and antibiotic-free meat and cheese. At the Spring Hill Jersey Cheese booth in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, or La Quinta, you’ll find cheeses and butters from humanely raised, grass-fed, hormone-free cows from a Sonoma County farm. Bars of salted and unsalted butter, garlic cheese curds, and Monterey and Colby Jack cheeses are the perfect addition to your next desert pool party.
At the Spring Hill Jersey Cheese booth, you’ll find cheeses and butters from humanely raised, grass-fed, hormone-free cows from a Sonoma County farm.
At the Da-le-Ranch booth in Palm Springs and La Quinta, you’ll find everything you need to host your next barbecue: local farm fresh meat and free-range eggs directly from a family ranch in Lake Elsinore. Their farmers market offerings include grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, quail, pheasant, and bison. They tour many different markets so be sure to check out their schedule.
For schedules, times, and days at Certified Farmers Markets in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, visit certifiedfarmersmarket.org.