17. Bike to Monterey County Farmers Markets

To return to the portal page of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County 20-section guide, click here. The guide, provided as a public service, was first published in 2009, with many subsequent updates.

In spring 2023, this Farmers Market section of the guide was updated in its entirety. For any additional updates, contact the sources referred to. We also welcome you to contact us with input or questions.

You’ve struck green!

When it comes to fresh, locally grown food, we’re incredibly fortunate in Monterey County. We have an abundance year-round! And local farmers markets are bursting at the seams in peak season, from approximately May to November.
  • What are the locations and days/hours for the markets? Refer to “List of Monterey County’s certified farmers markets” below.
  • If you‘ve struggled to find car/truck parking on farmers market days, you know one reason to bike or bike-and-ride to the market: avoid the need for motor vehicle parking. Refer to “How to market by bike” below for some tips.
  • Looking for info about organic produce? Refer below to “What about organically grown food?”

Photo below: A gentleman from Aptos enjoying the Old Monterey farmers market.

Elliott from Aptos at Farmers Mkt MRY

Market locations

Throughout Monterey County, there are tantalizing farmers markets in one of our local communities most days of the week. For current locations, days, and hours, refer to the list provided below. Over the years, locations have sometimes included the Alisal / East Salinas, California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Seaside, Soledad, and more. (Again, for current locations, refer to lists below.) Be aware that hours listed on websites may or may not include seasonal changes (e.g., the Old Monterey farmers market hours traditionally are 4-7 p.m. October through April, and 4-8 p.m. May through September). When in doubt, contact the market organizer or manager.

List of Monterey County’s certified farmers markets

Bicycling Monterey’s list of farmers market organizers and locations, updated in its entirety on April 28, 2023, with additional updates on May 9, 2023.

Do you have questions not answered on the websites below? Phone numbers and names for market managers are provided on the California Department of Food and Agriculture website. The CDFA’s most recently published list, as of May 9, 2023, is dated January 3, 2023: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/docs/CurrentMrktsCounty.pdf; for later CDFA updates, check their webpage: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/cfm.html

  1. Everyone’s Harvest / https://www.everyonesharvest.org (history: https://www.everyonesharvest.org/our-history/) – Everyone’s Harvest market locations include these in Salinasthe Alisal, Natividad Medical Center, and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital; a Marina market; and one in Pacific Grove. Their Seaside market will begin again on Thursday, June 15, 2023; that market will be Thursdays 3-7 p.m. at Laguna Grande Park. Check Everyone’s Harvest website for updated info for Seaside soon, and for any other updates about their markets.
  2. Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets / https://montereybayfarmers.org (about: https://montereybayfarmers.org/about-us) – MBCFM locations in Monterey County include Carmel; and Monterey, at the Del Monte Shopping Center—year-round on Fridays and seasonally on Sundays. (The longstanding Monterey Farmers Market at Monterey Peninsula College moved to Del Monte Center due to the pandemic; check with Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets for any updates.)
  3. West Coast Farmers Markets / https://www.wcfma.org (FAQs, e.g., re certification https://www.wcfma.org/vendors) – WCFM locations in Monterey County include Carmel Valley; and in Salinas, the market in Oldtown / Salinas City Center.
  4. More Monterey County certified farmers markets: Additional farmers markets are on the County of Monterey Agricultural Commissioner’s list of Certified Farmers Markets (last updated December 2022, as of May 9, 2023); they include: CSUMB (seasonally), Carmel-by-the-Sea, Moss Landing, and Soledad. (The County’s list also includes listings for the Everyone’s Harvest, MBCFM, and WCFM locations mentioned above.) https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/agricultural-commissioner/fruits-vegetables/certified-farmers-markets.

Note: The Monterey County Farm Bureau website includes a list of farmers markets in the county, which they will be updating. (It listed a King City market; however, we confirmed with a King City official that there isn’t currently a King City farmers market, as of 4/28/23. King City leaders do hope to have a farmers market in the future.) https://montereycfb.com/farmers-markets/

You may also be curious about the following, which are not certified farmers markets but do have some fresh produce:

  • In Greenfield, a seasonal market with some fresh produce, alongside other food and a variety of items: Market at the Gazebo, 98 South El Camino Real, Greenfield, Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This seasonal market in 2023 is scheduled to continue through November 4. For any updates, contact Silqa Saavedra, seasonal market coordinator at City of Greenfield; email preferred, ssaavedra@ci.greenfield.ca.us (or if unable to email, phone 831.320.0359).
  • In Salinas, a year-round flea market with some fresh produce (typically one to four farmer vendors), alongside other items: El Mercado Popular at Salinas Sports Complex, 1034 N. Main Street, Salinas, from 3 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (till 10 p.m. in summer) on most Fridays (except cancelled during big events at the complex, e.g., California Rodeo week, or when heavy rain or other exceptional circumstances cancel this flea market for that Friday). For any updates, contact flea market manager Diane Jimenez, 831.539.7068 or market owner Patricia Rodriguez.

Above: June 4, 2021 scene from the market Del Monte Shopping Center, Monterey—

with mask and social distancing protocols, in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

First, who bikes to a farmers market?

Annabelle Bull — photo courtesy of Joanna Bull

Annabelle Bull’s bike basket was full of fresh produce when she caught my eye in August 2010 at the MPC farmers market. She had biked to that market to pick up ingredients for pickle-making. Here she is on another day that month, again biking off to do her family’s marketing. Annabelle, a Brit whose family now resides in Monterey County, clearly hasn’t given up the joys of bicycling as she grew up! (For more on that topic, see Bicycle Culture and Youth.)

See more people who bike to market in the photos on this page.

How to market by bike

  • Once you arrive at a farmers market, it’s usually best to lock up your bicycle and walk the aisles without it (because of the typically heavy pedestrian traffic at these popular events). In some cases, where aisles are not clogged by pedestrian traffic, it may be fine to walk your bicycle through the market instead. Common sense will tell you when that is appropriate. 
  • Biking through is normally not recommended! And in most cases, it isn’t allowed.
  • If locking up your bike, grab some tips in “Bicycle Security: Tips on theft prevention...” and in Bike Valet and Other Bicycle Parking—Including Etiquette and Laws.” 
Jameson Bryan, walking his bike through the Old Monterey Farmers Market.

Bike valet station at farmers markets? Let market organizers know if you would like bicycle valet parking. For over five years, free bike valet parking was provided at Old Monterey’s Farmers Market on Alvarado Street (pictured below). As of 4/13/18, it was no longer available, per the valet service provider, Michael Baroni. For any updates from Baroni, contact him via https://www.nitrocycle831.com.


Bicycling needn’t be all or nothing! As Everyone’s Harvest website mentions, some Monterey-Salinas Transit routes go near farmers markets. MST is a popular bike-and-ride option.  Another bike-and-ride option, of course—for people who have a car or a truck—is to simply park your motor vehicle on the outskirts of town or the outskirts of a busy farmers market neighborhood, then bike to do your marketing and other errands. Besides reducing traffic congestion and parking issues near farmers markets, you’re reducing carbon emissions too. Every bit helps!

Bike-and-ride shopping
for people who have a car/truck
  1. Park your car/truck where parking is easy, e.g., on the outskirts of town.
  2. Ride your bicycle to the market, bringing a daypack, etc.
  3. Lock up your bike, and walk the market aisles.
  4. Bike back to your vehicle to drop things off.
  5. Repeat as needed.
  6. Smile! You got to market without any parking hassles today.

Bike-and-ride is a helpful solution if you’re doing a big shopping (and don’t own a cargo bike or bicycle trailer, etc.). It’s also a way to avoid heavy items, such as melons, squashing delicate items like berries and tomatoes; return to your vehicle to unload heavy items as needed. 

Also, another option to avoid having too much to carry is to do your marketing on more than one day a week—a common practice in many countries. With multiple farmers markets in Monterey County, that’s a viable option for some people. 

Carrying items on a bicycle

At minimum, you’ll probably want to bring a daypack to carry your purchases. If you have a large household to shop for, consider a bike trailer, cargo bike, or various other options to haul your food home. Ask for suggestions at local bicycle shops, such as these bike shops in Monterey County.

Be mindful of the safety factors that come into play when carrying even a few items, or something as simple as a purse. See tips about keeping your hands free for steering and signaling, etc. in our section “Bicycle Riding Skills, Bike Safety, and CA Bicycle Laws—for Children, Teens, and Adults.”

Photo below: Kristin Meagher on the bikeways near Wharf II, a short bike ride from the Old Monterey farmers market. Kristin’s all set; her daypack can hold a nice stash of yummy produce.


Is it dark when you bike? See tips for night riding.

Bring your own bags

California state voters said single-use, carry-out plastic bags just don’t make sense (see “Nation’s first statewide plastic bag ban” in the San Diego Tribune, a ban urged by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and so many others. See, on the Aquarium’s blog, “Why plastic bag recycling isn’t enough.”

How to store produce without plastic

Thanks to Ecology Center of Berkeley, CA for their Sustainable Living fact sheets, including farmers market tips on storing fruits and vegetables without plastic.

Beyond fresh produce: Why go to a farmers market?

Not only are farmers markets the best place to buy fresh local produce, at many markets you will find other local foods, too (e.g., honey, seafood), along with with prepared food booths, crafts, and street musicians.

Farmers markets are a fun destination for people who bike. They are vibrant community gatherings where locals and visitors may make new friends or renew old friendships.

Try a bite!

And as you meander along the aisles, you are often invited to sample the yummy produce and other offerings.

Bon appetit!

Most vendors are very friendly and helpful.  Especially in the less hectic periods, many are happy to take time to offer tips on recipes and more.

A healthy hang-out spot

Farmers markets are truly bursting with life.  They are a great place to hang out with old friends, or make new ones.

Friends Sidney Ramsden-Scott and Jacquelyn Smith Woodward met up with young Sierra Dehmler at the Monterey Peninsula College (MPC)  market.

Farmers Laurie and Tom Coke are popular partly due to their delicious, organically grown produce, and partly due to their kind, calm, caring manner!

What about organically grown food?

In Monterey County much (not all) of the fresh food at our farmers markets is organically grown.

When selecting produce, consider the Environmental Working Group’s 2023 update about the fruits and vegetables most important to eat organic—among those are strawberries, spinach, kale, collard, mustard greens, peaches, pears, nectarines, and more. See the Dirty Dozen, and learn more, at https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php.

What resources are available to help you judge if something is really organically grown? 
You may also be interested in our post “Have you hugged an organic grower today?”

Thank you,

field workers

Only because of the labor of individuals—including field workers like those pictured below—does fresh produce get from the fields to the farmers markets and other outlets. Learn more in our post: Salinas Valley, Salad Bowl of the Nation — Who could be hungry?