Every week, the residents of Rancho Santa Fe have the opportunity to purchase fresh produce, relax to live music, and watch the children enjoy arts and crafts. Indeed every Sunday, the Rancho Santa Fe Farmer’s Market promises good vibes – and more!
On Sunday afternoons, the parking lot of the Del Rayo Shopping Center is taken over by cream of the crop vendors from all over the community. But the weekly event isn’t just your average market. More than the usual gathering of shoppers and merchants, the Rancho Santa Fe Farmer’s Market prides itself on being a community.
Since January, the market has been run by Diane Haworth and Michael Varbaek, who previously owned markets in Viejas and Alpine. The two have dedicated their lives to health, wellness and longevity – and they’re here to share their knowledge.“Every Sunday, we’re trying to create a symphony — all the instruments have to be in tune,” Varbaek said. The market “soothes the soul, it’s nurturing. In today’s society, there’s a huge need for that, because it doesn’t exist. There’s a lot of go-go-go.”
The pair are certified culinary arts chefs and chef instructors specializing in raw food preparation. Haworth and Varbaek have also spent the last four years of their lives traveling to stay in “longevity villages” around the world, where they studied and documented the lifestyle and habits of the long living people.
For them, a farmer’s market goes right along with their lifestyle. Haworth and Varbaek have put effort into creating an environment where people come for the experience of the market itself.
When asked why they chose the Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market, Diane stated “In the longevity research we did, a common theme appeared regardless of the diet, climate, culture or ethnicity, of the people we studied which we believed to be instrumental in living a longer, healthy life. It is what we call the ‘town square concept’, or central meeting spot in all of these communities which we believe contributes greatly to their physical, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing. It is equally as important as diet and exercise, but sadly it is most often overlooked… Our goal is to provide the community with some of the tools necessary to add years to their lives.”
For whatever your reason for attending the market, you can definitely count on a sense of community.
Market-goers may purchase pretty bouquets from Hidalgo Flowers, farm-fresh eggs and meat from Da-le Ranch, and fresh pastries from Oh La Vache.
Those with a sweet-tooth will likely enjoy the tent for 5150 Nut Butters, with butters in flavors such as cookies and cream and chocolate biscuit.
Some weekends, the market even hosts a Helen Woodward Animal Center Pet Adoption Booth, featuring beloved animals up for adoption.
The market is so popular that there is a waiting list for vendors wanting to join. “We have very good relationships with the vendors; for us it’s a labor of love,” said Haworth.
Sound like somewhere you want to spend your next Sunday morning? The Rancho Santa Fe Farmer’s Market is up and running every Sunday from 9 AM to 1:30 PM.