Saying Goodbye to Davis

The time is coming—there are less than two weeks left before we move to Colorado! I realized towards the end of last week that this past weekend would be my last full weekend in Davis {I’m going to a wedding in Philadelphia next weekend and then we move the weekend after that}. So, I decided to take a farewell trip about town, visiting all of my favorite places. I am a major creature of habit, and so I have what you might call “a Saturday route,” a little circuit I take most Saturdays to my favorite spots. I have lived in Davis for nearly five years now, and I have grown into myself a lot here. More than any big events, I think these places define my time here. I will miss them, but I’m also looking forward to finding a new route in Boulder! Without further ado, here we go. Come along with me for a little Saturday fun in Davis!

First stop on a Saturday in Davis, is always the incredible Farmer’s Market. It’s open year-round, and to say I’m a dedicated shopper would be an understatement. I love this market, and I think it’s safe to say that it will be one of the best farmer’s markets I ever have the opportunity to partake in.

Davis is located in one of the prime growing areas in California, so you can get every beautiful thing at this market in any season.

Some of our favorite growers: Ahmad Farm grows the most incredible oranges. Mike and I have easily consumed hundreds of oranges over the years we’ve lived in Davis, and we became dedicated to this particular grower some time ago and have never looked back. I like to refer to these oranges as “liquid sunshine”—so sweet and quintessentially orangey. We’ve bought them in 10 lb bags every winter with little problem plowing through each week and going back for another the next.

I’ve also become a dedicated customer of Zuckerman’s Farm; I’ve been buying their Baby Z Yukon Gold potatoes for years now. I’ve always loved potatoes, but I never knew they could have so much flavor and sweetness.

Lastly of course, no trip to the market would be complete without buying a couple of loaves of bread from Village Bakery, our go-to bakery—for the entire time we’ve lived in Davis, nearly every loaf of bread we’ve eaten (other than ones we’ve baked ourselves) has been from this bakery, and we eat a lot of bread! There is no better afternoon snack than tearing into one of their fresh loaves of ciabatta and slathering it with butter.

Beyond the beauty of each and every specific food item, it has been during my time in Davis that I’ve really understood the beauty of fresh, locally grown vegetables and what a different experience it can be to know where your food is coming from and make a real choice about where your money is going. It feels different and good to hand money to someone who put in the time and effort to grow/make something. And to get beautiful, flavorful, gorgeous food in return is more than icing on the cake.

Next stop is one of my all-time favorite hangouts, the public library.

I’ve waxed poetic many times about my love for libraries in general and this one in specific. Suffice it to say no week would be complete without a trip here, where I’ve spent so many sweet hours relaxing with the books and magazines, and soaking up the silence. I’ve always loved libraries, but it has been in Davis that I’ve understood the depth of that love. I’ve thought so many times: “what a gift it is to have this open, free, abundant access to books!” I’m blown away by this privilege, and I hope that libraries full of books always exist because there is nothing quite like wandering in the stacks and happening upon a little book that you just needed to find right then. The Internet can never replace that for me.

Next on my route would be the Yolo County SPCA Thrift Store, my first stop when I’m looking for just about anything.

In the past 5 years I’ve become a dedicated thrift store sleuth, and this here is my favorite. So many times I’ve stopped by and found exactly what I was looking for, no matter how random. And the idea that I’m supporting the SPCA takes it up another notch of wonderful—you mean I get to buy cool things for cheap and support pet adoptions!!??!! Well, this is a no-brainer!

Before moving to Davis, I was not much of a thrift store shopper, but shopping here has turned me around—I’ve just found so many great things and learned a new way of thinking about “stuff”—now whenever I’m looking for something, I hit the thrift store first to see if I can give something used a new life. More often than not, someone else’s trash is my treasure, and I don’t have to give my money to some anonymous big box store. Also, do you have any idea how many women’s clothes get brought to thrift stores!!?? There are loads of barely ever worn clothes out there! I never knew I could find such great stuff if I just had a little patience.

The last stop on my little trip is my favorite grocery store.

Before moving to Davis I had only a vague idea of what a food co-op was, but thanks to this wonderful place, The Davis Food Co-op, my idea of how you can buy groceries has changed completely. Like I was saying above in reference to the farmer’s market, it has been quite a revelation to me to realize that you have a choice about where you spend your money. Becoming a co-op shopper means that every time I buy something, my money’s going back into this community. Also our lovely co-op puts so much thought and effort into offering products that are locally grown and produced, and that means that when you shop at The Co-op (as we refer to it) you also get to support lots of local businesses.

I’ve fallen in love in general too with how The Co-op provides lots of information to customers. Every item in the produce department has a tag saying where it’s from, with special tags for locally grown items. This information continues through the whole store, always alerting buyers to locally produced options. I love it, love it, love it! And I also love that there are clever and informational signs on everything, from a “watch your head sign” on the cart return area with a funny picture of Co-op employees wearing helmets, to a sign talking about the controversy of some ingredient in a given product.

I’ve been disappointed to find out that Boulder doesn’t have a cooperative grocery store—it used to, but it closed some years ago! This is one thing I really wish I could change. Perhaps once I move there I will hear some rumblings about someone trying to start a new one! No matter what though, I’ve felt very lucky to have this option in Davis, and to have learned all that I have about putting your money where your mouth is.

So, this has turned into somewhat of a political post! I didn’t mean it to be so, but I seem to have developed some strong opinions while living in Davis! Also, all of these opinions, plus my interests in man-powered transportation (bicycling), cooking, baking, cheesemaking, canning, and growing food really seem to be adding up to me being a new-wave kind of hippie! Hmmm. That’s not so bad. I’m proud to take these earthy tendencies with me to Boulder, especially since I’m pretty sure I’ll find other people there with the very same interests! Oh happy day!

I will be in and around Davis for another 10 days, and I’m hoping to take one last trip to all of these places. More than anything though, I’m thankful to this wonderful town that has helped me grow into who I am right now. This is, after all, where Blue Bicicletta started! I am eternally thankful for that turn of events! I’m also looking forward to seeing where Boulder takes me—I’m already dreaming of weekly trips to the farmer’s market there, so stay tuned!


4 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to Davis”

  1. 1 Diana Shearer May 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I loved this post. Thanks so much for sharing it. I live in the Sacramento area and I love going to Davis whenever possible. It’s a great little town for so many reasons. So fun to see your pictures. Good luck to you on your move and starting this new time of your life in a new place!! I look forward to reading about your new experiences once you get there.
    Blessings to you!!

  2. 3 Kerri May 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Yay, it was so fun to see where you live and the places you visit! But mostly I was just thinking about how we were separated at birth what with EVERY interest being the same and all!

  3. 4 Sarah June 1, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I came across this blog post when I googled “why doesn’t Boulder have a co-op?” :) I live in Boulder and just returned from visiting good friends in Davis. We went to the co-op (and the thrift store! Both by bicycle!) and I dearly wish we had something like it in Boulder! So I just had to comment when I read this post! We do have a great farmer’s market with a long season (beginning of April to early November – the longest market in Colorado) but there are a lot of things the Davis co-op has that are difficult to find here.

    I bicycle for transportation most of the time (year-round) in Boulder and it is a great place for that. There are also several good thrift stores here that I love to browse :)

    Leaving places you love is always hard and Davis certainly seemed like a great place to live. I hope that your move goes well and you discover new places to love in Boulder. Feel free to contact me by e-mail if you have any questions about Boulder!

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

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