Like colorful buoys across a vast ocean of bad food choices, farmers markets are what many Angelenos cling to between obligatory visits to chain grocery stores. Regardless of how well-organized the chef or home cook is–those Lima beans from McGrath Family Farm and heirloom tomatoes from Harry's Berries can be gone in a sitting–one trip to the farmers' market often just isn't enough.

As of today, The Los Angeles Times offers readers keen on finding farmers markets near them a helpful online resource. Using a pinpointed Google map, readers can look for farmers markets using multiple search terms such as zip code, the day of the week or the name of the market. In addition to the market map's navigation tools, the farmers market resource page offers insights into what's in season and which farmers sell what and when.

Market-goers; Credit: Photo credit: Brooke Burton

Market-goers; Credit: Photo credit: Brooke Burton

The online resource for finding farmers markets is fun, interactive, and useful–especially for iPhone or Blackberry users. (If you're not a Google map person, not to worry: the old LAT online farmers market list is still available.)

Russ Parsons, LA Times Food Section editor, says they started thinking about the mapping project at the beginning of the year, but that it only took a couple of weeks to get the site sorted and formatted. As for future projects, they're currently working on getting the more than 600 recipes (with photographs) from previous LAT food stories into a searchable database.

Maybe they should add the Times' Test Kitchen to that Google map. Though probably not Sam Zell's Malibu beach house.

LA Weekly