Founded in 1976, the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets (MBCFM) is the oldest and largest farmers market organization on the Central Coast of California, with four market locations: Aptos, two in Monterey, and Carmel. Each market has its own style that reflects its community, and two of the four markets operate year-round. The MBCFM is a “certified” organization, meaning the participating farmers are certified with the state and sell only products they grow themselves. The MBCFM is a member the California Federation of Certified Farmers Markets and is ranked in the top 10 farmers markets in California.
The Monterey Bay region, from the North Coast of Santa Cruz County to the tip of Monterey, is an extremely rich agricultural area that is home to a remarkable number of outstanding organic farms, wineries and food purveyors. The region is also esteemed for being a leader in sustainable and organic agricultural practices. In fact, Santa Cruz is the cradle of the organic movement dating back to 1967 when Alan Chadwick and students transformed a rugged hillside at University of California Santa Cruz into an abundant garden using hand tools and organic amendments. The region is now home to more organic operations than any other area in California.
With 80 + vendors, visitors to the open-air markets find an unmatched selection of top quality produce and flowers from small regional farmers, many of whom are certified organic and use sustainable farming methods. In addition, local vendors offer a wide variety of specialty products, including artisan breads, organic grass-fed meat, honey, olive oil, hand crafted sauerkraut, exotic mushrooms, farm fresh eggs, preserves, sustainably-harvested fish, oysters, gourmet sauces and pasta, fresh-baked pastries, award winning pottery from Parrot Ranch Pottery, fair-trade coffee and specialty teas. The Aptos and Monterey markets also offer on-site, professional sharpening services for cutlery and gardening tools.