Early Spring in San Diego

Early Spring in San Diego

I spent the last week of March in San Diego. The farmers’ market in Little Italy was bustling. I was excited to discover that most of the spring fruit and vegetables that I usually wait for until May/early June were already in season and out for sale in the farmer’s stalls. I couldn’t help but indulge in some strawberries and asparagus, along with many other fruits (oranges and lemons, of course). I also discovered a mysterious fruit, the cherimoya, which I will tell you about!

 

Living like a San Diegan

The Little Italy Farmers’ Market in San Diego is one of the biggest markets in San Diego. In addition to all the farmers there were many artisans selling their crafts, including jewellery, textiles, sculptures, and woven baskets. I brought my husband along this time, so I couldn’t linger quite as long as I would’ve liked to, but I still managed to get a number of pictures.

 

 

 

Our trip to San Diego was more of a mix of work and vacation, so I got to experience things a little more like the locals do. We rented an apartment through Air BnB, which I would highly recommend, so we were able to cook our own food in our own kitchen, say Hi to the neighbours in the hallway, and enjoy meals out in the shared courtyard. We rented bikes to get around, and I even got a trial membership at a local yoga studio where I got to introduce myself to some local yogis.

 

 

I spent a lot of my time inspecting people’s gardens and the types of plants that they grow. My favourite plants to grow inside my house are my succulent plants. I only have one variety, but it has multiplied into many more plants since my discovery of how easy it is to propagate. Succulent plants grow everywhere around California due to their ability to tolerate drier soil and climates. I was tempted to pluck a few leaves for myself and take them home to multiply in my garden, but I didn’t think they’d survive in my suitcase. There were some beautiful succulent arrangements at the farmer’s market, so now I’m inspired to try my own arrangements this summer.

 

Little Italy Farmers’ Market Highlights

  • fresh eucalyptus
  • small batch sausages
  • mysterious fruits

I bought myself a bunch of eucalyptus so I could enjoy the sweet fragrant smell in our apartment all week. I couldn’t believe the size of the bouquet, and it was only $3! It sprayed out of my basket and the scent of eucalyptus wafted towards me the whole way home on my bike.

Another highlight was the hand-twisted sausages of the Meatmen. They make small batch, hand crafted dry-cured sausages. They had so many delicious flavours that we had to buy a few including “Tasty Treason” and the “Naughty Constable.” We enjoyed a nice picnic that day along with some bread, cheese, and fruit.

 

 

On to the fruit! One of the farmers introduced me to a fruit that I had never heard of before. It’s called the cherimoya. It is thought to be a native fruit to the Andes, but it also grows in other regions including South Asia, Central America, and Southern California. Mark Twain called it “the most delicious fruit known to men.” I knew I had to try it, even from just looking at it. I’d never seen anything like it.  We tried to pick fruits that were the ripest. I got two just in case. My husband couldn’t wait and cut one open as soon as we got back to our apartment. It was only a little bit sweet and it was still a little bit hard around the peel. I waited a few more days to try the second one and the texture evolved into a soft and creamy texture and was very sweet. No wonder it is also called it the “ice cream fruit.”

 

 

Beyond the Market: San Diego’s Military Presence

 

 

San Diego is also a great place to explore and bikes were a great way to get around. Since they have the largest Naval Fleet on the west coast of the United States, we decided to explore some of the museums including the USS Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier that was part of the Vietnam War. We also explored a few ships and submarines at the Maritime Museum.

 

 

We did a one-day bike ride around to Ocean Beach, along the Sunset Cliffs and then over to Point Loma where we overlooked the San Diego Bay. Point Loma is also home to the Naval Training Center and there is also a museum there that describes the former use of the lighthouse and the costal artillery batteries. We got a beautiful view of the San Diego bay from Point Loma. It was a great way to end our stay.

 

 

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About Avery Peters

Sharing stories. Sharing food.

I express my creativity in the kitchen. My inspiration comes from being outside—in the forest, on the farm, by the ocean, or going to the farmers’ market. I love to share food with family and friends.