Local products & programs help ensure healthy eating habits

If one of your goals for 2020 is to eat healthily and support local producers, there is an abundance of ways to accomplish this goal thanks to the many farmers and ranchers situated throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Here are a few suggestions to keep you on the path of healthy eating habits:

Visit a Farmers Market

The North County Farmers Market operates four weekly markets. Call 805-748-1109 or see northcountyfarmersmarkets.com for more info.

Baywood/Los Osos: 

  • Monday, 2-4:30 p.m. Santa Maria St.

Paso Robles: 

  • Tuesday, 9-11:30 a.m. 11th and Spring streets

Atascadero: 

  • Wednesday, 3-6 p.m. Sunken Gardens

Templeton: 

  • Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. City Park

The San Luis Obispo County Farmers’ Market Association operates five weekly markets. Call 805-544-9570 or see slocountyfarmers.org for more information.

Arroyo Grande: Saturdays, 12-2:30 p.m. Olohan Alley and Wednesdays, 8-10:45 a.m. Smart & Final parking lot

San Luis Obispo: Saturdays, 8-10:45 a.m. World Market parking lot and Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. Higuera & Chorro streets

Morro Bay: Thursdays, 2-4:30 p.m. Spencer’s Fresh Markets parking lot

Additional Farmers Markets, organized independently, include: Tuesdays: SLO, 3-6 p.m. Farm Supply parking lot; Cal Poly, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Mustang Way on campus. Fridays: Cambria, 2:30-5:30 p.m. 1000 Main St.; Avila Beach, 4-8 p.m. Promenade, Front St (March 5-Sept. 27); and Cayucos, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Ocean & D (June 7-Aug. 30). Saturdays: Paso Robles, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 11th & Spring; and Morro Bay, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Main St & Morro Bay Blvd.

Produce Boxes

SLO Veg offers four box sizes of fresh produce, ranging in price from $31 to $46. Call 805-704-8230 or see sloveg.com for more information.

Talley Farms offers both delivery and pick up programs of their farm boxes of locally grown produce. Two sizes are available, ranging in price from $20 to $40; choose weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly boxes. Call 805-489-5533 or see talleyfarmsfreshharvest.com for more information.

Farm Stands

Loo Loo Farms supplies fresh, local produce to a variety of local eateries including Thomas Hill Organics, The Hatch, and Allegretto Vineyard Resort and supplies products to many local catering companies. They sometimes have extra bounty to share; call 805-286-4422 or see looloofarms.com for produce stand hours. 

Templeton Valley Farms sells fresh, organic, sustainable, and local fruits, veggies, flowers, and honey. Call 805-234-6912 or see templetonvalleyfarms.com for hours open at the farm stand, located at 880 Climbing Tree Lane, Templeton. 

Nature’s Touch Nursery & Harvest offers a full grocery store, including local produce, meats, eggs, dairy products, and breads as well as grab-and-go food, a seasonal edible plant nursery, and a weekly produce basket program. Visit 225 South Main St. in Templeton, call 805-434-3062, or see naturestouchnurseryandharvest.com for more information.

Windrose Farms, located east of Paso Robles near Creston, has fresh produce including tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, winter squash, carrots, beets, apples, stone fruit, and more. Farm tours offered on Saturdays; call 805-239-3757 or see windrosefarm.org for more information, including directions.

Local meats

Find fresh, local meats at J&R Meats, 805-434-5050, jrmeats.com; Templeton Hills Beef, 805-237-8114, templetonbeef.com; and Larder Meat Co., 800-SLO-MEAT, lardermeatco.com.

Education & more

The SLO County Public Health Department helps provide education that supports healthy eating and activities. Organization leaders may request a presentation, according to the website, with current programs including Nutrition Education in Classrooms, School Garden Support, and Adult Nutrition Education Classes. Call 805-781-5564 for more information.

The Wellness Kitchen staff and volunteers prepare nutritious dairy and gluten-free foods for individuals undergoing a health crisis and/or striving for a healthy lifestyle. They also provide food education, cooking classes, nutrition lectures, and demonstrations from local health professionals, chefs, farmers, and more. Stop by 1255 Las Tablas Road, Suite 102 in Templeton, or call 805-434-1800 to pick up a healthy, nutritious meal (preorder meals by Sunday of a new menu each week) or learn about their food delivery and pick-up programs.

The SLO Food Bank empowers people to make healthy choices in their everyday lives through outreach and education. ​Specialty programs include the Children’s Farmers Market, which allows children to share fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables with their family; more than 1,100 children benefit from this monthly. In addition, Senior Farmers Markets are held in cooperation with local housing complexes and mobile home parks, ensuring low-income seniors have monthly access to a variety of fresh produce. For more info, call SLO Food Bank at 805-238-4664.

With a mission of creating “awesome school garden programs that power healthy, happy, and smart youth” the folks with One Cool Earth are spreading their message of food education to students across SLO County. In addition, they have developed compost and recycling as well as Earth Genius programs at schools county-wide. Volunteers are always needed; call 805-242-6301 or see onecoolearth.org.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles