FARMERS' MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF JUNE 7, 2009

You say To-May-To, I say To-Mah-To…

Click on the link below for a preview movie of beautiful heirloom tomatoes in their early fruit stages…

River Bottom Farms Heirloom Tomatoes

MARKET REVIEW:

Maybe I’m a softie this week, but for this week, I think it’s for the best…
FOUR WORDS:  HEIRLOOM TOMATOES,  SUMMER SQUASH
The time is upon us.  Summer squashes are snapping and the heirloom crops are ripening.  Zephyr squash is a standout this week along with eight balls and yellow crooknecks (all in the lil’ baby variety the way we LOVE them!)  There is a lovely crop of early heirlooms (Tuttti Frutti Farm)  as well as cherry heirloom tomatoes (Jaime Farms and Coastal Organic Farm) creeping into the market as well.  The short film:  I had the opportunity to visit a local custom grower, Steve Blizzard and his 42 heirloom varieties that are taking shape and getting ready to take the culinary stage.  In short, it was AWESOME!  More word to come about his unique varieties such as the Striped Roman, Yellow Mortgage Lifter, Bloody Butcher and Royal Hillbilly….You have never seen heirlooms like this…
Entering: Zephyr Squash from McGrath Family Farms,  Summer Baby Squash Mix from Coastal Organics (awesome!!!), Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Micro French Breakfast Radishes and Spanish Radishes from Jaime Farms, Tiny Tiny Apricots (Elgian Marbles), Yellow Nectarines, WHITE Nectarines (candy!) and Yellow Peaches from Fitzgerald Farms, Kings Bing Cherries from Simms Cherry Farm, Baby Green Artichokes from Life’s a Choke, Green Onion Chives and Miners Lettuce from Yasutomi Farm, Pink Variegated Lemons from J.J.’s Lone Daughter Ranch (look for some uber-unique kumquats and kaffir limes!!), Meyer Lemons and Murcott Tangerines from Garcia Organics, Rustic Arugula and Spicy Mix (Arugula, Mizuna and Chard) from Windrose Farm, and All Blues Potatoes from Weiser Famly Farms.
Back on track: Fiesole (Baby Purple) Artichokes from Life’s A Choke
Gapping: Bloomsdale Spinach from Weiser Family Farms and most Radish varieties from Jaime Farms (two more weeks..)
Exiting: French Leeks, Green Garlic, Meiwa Kumquats, Paige Tangerines, Tom’s Terrific Tangerines and Gold Nuggets from Garcia Organics, Black Kale, Baby Turnips (Coastal Organics) and Watermelon Radishes from Mcgrath Farms
MARKET TOUR:
Zephyr Squash – from McGrath Family Farms

Miners Lettuce – from Yasutomi Farms.  Hydroponically grown European Heirloom seed with mild and sweet flavors.  Nobody else is growing this and it is amazing!

Heirloom Tomato Variety – from Tutti Frutti Farms

Baby Green Artichokes – round, meaty and mild, more heart than other varieties, as it is simply a tinier version of its larger counterparts that get more sun. 100% edible!

Baby Green Zucchini with Flower – Life’s A Choke Farms inject water into each squash blossom’s stem to ensure their freshness and livelihood. A wonderful and glamorous spring and summer menu accoutrement!!

Tulare Cherries – from Simms Cherry Farms – a bing and perfectly sweet!

Yellow Peaches – from Fitzgerald Farms. Sugar and acid strike the perfect balance making this the perfect peach!

Baby Summer Squash Mix– from Coastal Organics: a variety of Ronde Nice, 8-Ball, Green & Gold Zucchini, Sunburst (a.k.a gold patty pan) and Middle Eastern.

Persian Watercress – Rutiz Farms, a hot peppery leaf that has been an equally hot seller at the market. Very unique shape and taste!

Torpedo Onions – from Windrose farms

Japanese Tomatoes – I just love these meaty tomatoes! They are the most beautiful tomatoes at the market right now. Great pre-heirloom season variety nicknamed the “Tough Boy” for its heat-resilient texture and succulence!

Pencil California Asparagus – Skinny, tender, tasty purple-tipped and LOCAL! So thin it cooks in a flash!



Baby Celery – from Yasutomi Farm, more leaves than stalk, hydroponically grown, slender and almost herbaceously tasty stalks. The best baby celery available. Period.

Jerry’s Berries Strawberries (Galante variety) from Rutiz Farm – sweeter than candy!!
Jerry's Berries Strawberries from Rutiz Farm


Beylik Family Farms – Fillmore, CA

Persian Cucumbers – petite and crunchy! No seeds=sweet!
Japanese Tomatoes – “Tough Boy” brings hefty flavor, succulence and meatiness.
Yellow Tomatoes – sweet, tangy and heartier than your average yellow tomato!

Coastal Organics – Oxnard, CA

Baby Summer Squash Mix– a variety of Ronde Nice, 8-Ball, Green & Gold Zucchini, Sunburst (a.k.a gold patty pan) and Middle Eastern.  You can also order individual squash varieties.

Coleman Family Farm – Carpinteria, CA

Pirella Lettuce – My new favorite! Perfect for summer, mild-flavored limestone variety originally developed in Kentucky to withstand the heat!

Red Butter (Piret) Lettuce – you won’t find this anywhere else! Awesome texture and buttery flavor!
Freckles Lettuce – Freckles! Sweet leaves, crispy inside. Perfect lettuce carrier for salads!
Lollo Rossa Lettuce – great for mixed salads, beautiful deep purple-red.
Treviso – so young, you’ll barely recognize it. Deep green with a deep blush.
Radicchio – note: small heads! Perfect for plate garnishes. Best Radicchio ever!
Dandelion Greens
Stinging Nettles

Fitzgerald Farms

Debutant Peaches – The first peach of the season and it is striking an impeccable balance of acidity and sweetness. Makes for a perfect bite every bite!
Yellow Nectarines – Sweet and slightly acidic. The perfect nectarine!
Apriums – Hit or miss availability as season is so limited you want to take advantage of it while you can.
Apricots – the tiniest variety with the tiniest season! A quintessential apricot!

Garcia Organic Farm – Fallbrook, CA

Murcott Tangerines taste like a Paige, easier to peel!
Meyer Lemons – softer skin, brilliant, lemon orange sun-kissed color, sweet candied lemon scent and flavor!
Pink Variegated Lemons – Variegated pink and yellow skin, , beautiful pink exterior, tart lemon flavor, great for refreshing garnish.

Harry’s Berries – Oxnard, CA

Strawberries – Seascape variety, deep ruby red with a vibrant yet sweet flavor appeal!

Jaime Farm – Ontario, CA

Mixed Baby Bunch Carrots – beautiful baby yellow, orange, red, and purple haze carrots with tops
Spanish Radishes – large pale fuchsia colored unique radish that is both peppery and sweet
Baby White Belly Radish – gapping! sweetest radish out there with edible greens, too makes these 100% delicious.
Shunkyo Radish – gapping! Shaped like a baby pink carrot: one moment it’s hot, the next it is sweet! My personal favorite!
Easter Egg Radish – gapping! mild, snappy flavor, vibrant color bouquet of pinks, reds and white.
Icicle Radish – gapping! looks like a white carrot (except the leaves)! Rich spicy flavor can be smoothed out with a little saute and butter!
Rainbow Chard – striking colors, hearty leaves.  hit or miss availability this season.
Onion Whistles – beautiful buds, large hallow stalks, amazing! just add water!

J.J.’s Lone Daughter Ranch- Bryn Mawr, CA

Cara Cara Oranges– a grapefruit and navel orange hybrid gives it its signature salmon colored flesh with all the great sweet juicy orange taste!
Veriegated Pink Lemons!! – must try these for yourself! Remember Pink Lemonade???

Life’s A Choke – Lompoc, CA

Baby Anzio Artichokes – a cross between green and purple artichokes, and very meaty!
Baby Purple Artichokes
Baby Green Zucchini with Flower – Life’s A Choke Farms inject water into each squash blossom’s stem to ensure their freshness and livelihood. A wonderful and glamorous spring and summer menu accoutrement!!
Lyon Artichoke with stem– large and in charge! This is a very jumbo, round, meaty variety from Southern France that yields a whole lot of heart!!
“California” Pencil Asparagus – Skinny, tender, tasty purple-tipped and LOCAL! So thin it cooks in a flash!
Baby Green Zucchini with Flower – Life’s A Choke Farms inject water into each squash blossom’s stem to ensure their freshness and livelihood. A wonderful and glamorous spring and summer menu accoutrement!!

McGrath Family Farm – Camarillo, CA

Zephyr Squash – this squash is snappy and small, with a mild, creamy and sweet flesh so good you can eat it fresh!
Wild Arugula – 3 Pound bag
Firecracker Lettuce – deep red, a bit frilly! Great for mixed salads!
Baby Bunch Candy Beets, Red Beets, Gold Beets
If you want beets, right now they are beautiful and priced to sell!!!
Red Okami Spinach – a uniquely shaped leaf with a deep red stem and veins – great for sauteeing!

Mike and Son Egg Ranch – Ontario, CA

Brown Eggs farm fresh eggs that are unequivocally delicious with gleaming yolks! Each egg is individually candled! (5 doz case only)

Polito Family Farm – Valley Center, CA

Oro Blanco Grapefuit – golden-flesh, sweet and juicy – still going strong!
Tom’s Terrific Tangerines – juicy squared, easy to peel, and almost seedless – terrifically yummy!!

Rutiz Farm – Arroyo Grande, CA

Sugar Snap Peas – sweet and snappy. ’nuff said!
Persian Watercress– a unique variety, with a wonderfully spicy-sweet kick
Jerry’s Berries Strawberries– (pre-order only) worth every penny!! A must try strawberry!
Wild Strawberries – delicate, delicious, perfect for a salad or dessert garnish

Savoy Spinach – gapping! cut in small clusters of 3-4 leaves – beautiful!!
Romanesco – Jerry grows the perfect-sized heads, nicest ones at the market!

Scott Farms

Pluots! – I have never tasted a better, perfectly juicy pluot before in my life!

Simms Cherry Farm

Tulare Cherries – from Simms Cherry Farms – much like a bing and perfectly sweet! First picking of the season. Sweet, dark and delicious.!

Weiser Family Farm – Bakersfield, CA

Red Thumb Potatoes – red skinned on the outside, and pretty in pink on the inside
Russian Banana Fingerlings – baker size, but oh so creamy..
All Blues Fingerlings – Similar in color to the purples, a little variegation inside, mild, moist and great cooking potato!

French Heirloom Fingerlings – red-skinned, baker-sized and white-fleshed, has a very silky texture ( I love these!!)
La Ratte Fingerlings – nutty flavors, stand out fingerling, one of the best potatoes, ever!!
Mix Baby Carrots – gapping for about a month
Micro Mix Baby Carrots – gapping for about a month
Bloomsdale Spinach – gapping for about 3-4 weeks
Baby Bermuda Onions – the mother of all SWEET onions, short season, though so appreciate…Now!

Windrose Farms

Spicy Greens Mix -a perfect combination of loose leaf arugula, mizuna and chard! You’ll love it!
Rustic Arugula – loose leaf, frisee style and perfectly peppered!

Yasutomi Farm – Pico Rivera, CA

Baby Bok Choy – amazingly tender, great flavor, good for braising and hey, even the grill…
Baby Celery – more leaves than stalk, hydroponically grown, slender and tasty stalks. The best baby celery available. Period.
Green Onion Chives – mild, sometimes sweet green onion and chive hydroponic hybrid. great shelf-life too!
Miners Lettuce – It’s hydroponic!!!  It’s an heirloom European seed. It’s perfect!

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