FARMERS' MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF JUNE 28, 2009

corn-crate-2

AHHHH…THE GLOBAL FOOD MARKET (IN A NUTSHELL):

99 percent of the U.S. corn crop is actually maize (or field corn), not the sweet corn that we are accustomed to. Of the annual production of corn produced, 333 billion pounds of it is dedicated to feed corn. 179 billion pounds are diverted (and government mandated) to ethanol. 28 billion pounds are dedicated to high fructose corn syrup, while only 11 billion pounds end up in our cereals.
Commodity speculation and fuel costs have driven up prices. The world relies far too heavily on far too few crops (supply v. demand). Farm subsidies are given to big business farmers while the poor farmers, especially in developing nations struggle daily, never seeing a subsidy for their crops. Countries have began hoarding in fear of shortages while also attempting to combat food prices which effectually spikes future prices. Those countries so dependent on imports who have insufficient or infertile land conditions are generally the poorest countries who are unable to develop proper farming infrastructure.
What does this all mean? We need a 21st century solution to a growing problem of supply and demand, imbalance in farm subsidies and imbalance of trade. Food diversification, farming incentives, smarter globally-minded policies and a clear understanding that communities can feed communities are some practices that could lead to a solution. We are on the edge, either on the brink or at a turning point in the global food landscape. We can choose to ignore the realities or we can choose to be a part of the solution. Carbon footprint may sound cliche, but it is still a carbon footprint nonetheless. For every 27 cents spent on the dollar that goes toward the cost of energy alone in a Big Mac purchase, we could sow a handful of seeds in an urban garden or purchase a tomato from a California grower. The choice is ours and the future of food depends on it.

RIVER BOTTOM FARMS – HEIRLOOM TOMATOES REVEALED

Dubbed “Early Summer” Heirloom Tomato Mix featuring a variety of AWESOME unique tomatoes like the Yellow Mortgage Lifter, Striped Roman, Gold Medal, Sprite (cute little sweet teardrop!) and…..Bloody Butcher!  They are here, they are ripe and they are revealing the full spectrum of the heirloom shapes, sizes and flavors that we love and MORE.  Uber-limited quantities, but we have got each and every heirloom tomato that has ripened on the vine (at a price you cannot resist!)

COASTAL ORGANICS – PREMIUM SQUASHES AND SWEET TOMATOES!

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.

Baby Sunburst Squash – patty pans that are cute, small, crunchy and ORGANIC!

Eight Ball Squash

Middle Eastern Squash

Green Zucchini Squash

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes – let’s just say the seeds are a “family secret” that Maryann Carpenter is not revealing to…anyone!  Secrets never tasted so gooood!

Sun Gold Tomatoes –

WEISER FAMILY FARMS – MELONS, MELONS, MELONS!!

Cavaillon Melons – The esteemed French favorite is back!   When the Cavaillon is ripe the skin turns a cream color, the ribbed stripes change to darker green and the stem begins to crack and pulls off easily. Fragrant and quite sweet!

Ogen Melons – Yellow with green striped skin. Sweet and aromatic green flesh.  Soft like an avocado when ripe.

Butterscotch Melons – These small melons have a pale green skin and a two-toned green and orange flesh. Many people think the flesh tastes like butterscotch candy because it is so sweet, which is where the name comes from. Ripe melons are paler in color with a sweet sugary aroma.

Entering:
Padrone Chile Peppers from Happy Quail Farms!!!!!!!!!
White Corn from Gloria Tamai Farms (sweet and ready for the grill!), Heirloom Cherokee Tomatoes from Tutti Frutti, Zephyr Squash from McGrath Family Farms, Eight Ball, Middle Eastern, Sunburst and Summer Baby Squash Mix from Coastal Organics (awesome!!!), Meyer Lemons and Encore Tangerines from Garcia Organics, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes from Coastal Organics are finally here and they are sweeeeet!, 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, 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!!), Rustic Arugula and Round Baby Carrots from Windrose Farm, and Ron Burgundy Fingerling Potatoes from Weiser Famly Farms.
AND, finally a word on shelling beans:  Flageolets are here and naturally have smaller pods which means petite beans inside.  Look for more shelling beans as the summer ripens.  Vines are growing, flowers are budding and shells are taking shape.  Once July heat fires up there will be a plethora at our fingertips:  Black-Eyed, Black Soy, Cranberry, Calypso, Dragon’s Tongue, Dixie Butter, Persian, Purple-hulled Pink Eyes, Rattlesnakes…you get the idea.   The farmers know you want them and they have assured me I will be the first to know when they hit the radar.  That makes you as close to the source as possible.
Flageolets

Purple-hulled Pink Eyes

Cranberry

Back on track: Fiesole (Baby Purple) Artichokes from Life’s A Choke

Semi-Savoy Spinach from Rutiz Farms

Gapping: Bloomsdale Spinach from Weiser Family Farms and Icicle Radishes from Jaime Farms (two more weeks..)
Exiting: Cara Cara Oranges, firecracker Lettuce, Sugar Snap Peas, Murcott Tangerines, 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:

White Corn from Gloria Tamai Farms: tender pale white kernels so sweet you’ll forget another color of corn exists…

Zephyr Squash – from McGrath Family Farms, limited quantities, sells out fast – pre-order!!!

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

Baby Heirloom Eggplants – from Jaime farms: hybrid mix of baby varieties such as Japanese, Italian, Varieagted, Thai, White, Finger – amazing presentation and flavor!

Heirloom Tomato Variety – from Tutti Frutti Farms

Pirella Lettuce from Coleman 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!!

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.

Jerry’s Berries Strawberries (Galante variety) from Rutiz Farm – sweeter than candy!! Jerry is one of 2 growers in the US producing this amazing strawberry variety. Get them while you still can!
Jerry's Berries Strawberries from Rutiz Farm
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 – these really ARE torpedos!! I don’t often put succulent and onion in the same sentence…but I just did..for a reason!

Japanese Tomatoes – I am still in love with this hefty. 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.





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.

Baby Sunburst Squash – patty pans that are cute, small, crunchy and ORGANIC!

Eight Ball Squash

Middle Eastern Squash

Green Zucchini Squash

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes – let’s just say the seeds are a “family secret” that Maryann Carpenter is not revealing to…anyone!  Secrets never tasted so gooood!

Sun Gold Tomatoes –
Blue Lake Beans

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 – this is an amazing green! Gorgeous, green and red and a hearty crunchy leaf.

Radicchio – note: small heads! Perfect for plate garnishes. Best Radicchio ever!

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!
Pluots – awesome color and the most distinctive flavor of any pluot you’ll sink your teeth into.

Garcia Organic Farm – Fallbrook, CA

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.
Encore Tangerines – candy-sweet, bumpy skin is an easy peel and nearly seedless.  I love ’em!!!

Gloria Tamai Farms, Oxnard, CA

White Corn – tender pale white kernels so sweet you’ll forget another color of corn exists…

Harry’s Berries – Oxnard, CA

Strawberries – Seascape variety, deep ruby red with a vibrant yet sweet flavor appeal!
“Sweetheart” Baby Roma Tomatoes – pricy, sweet, delicious, addictive! and worth every penny, nickel, dime and dollar!




Jaime Farm – Ontario, CA

Mixed Baby Bunch Carrots – beautiful baby yellow, orange, red, and purple haze carrots with tops
Baby Heirloom Eggplants – hybrid mix of baby varieties such as Japanese, Italian, Varieagted, Thai, White, Finger – amazing presentation and flavor!

Spanish Radishes – large pale fuchsia colored unique radish that is both peppery and sweet!

Baby White Belly Radish – Sweetest radish out there with edible greens, too makes these 100% delicious.
Shunkyo Radish – 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!
Baby French Breakfast Radishes – tender on the inside, crispy on the outside heirloom variety that has a pleasant and mild flavor, not to mention tiny and adorable!!
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

Veriegated Pink Lemons!! – The pink lemon is actually its own variety. It is not a hybrid, rather simply unique to the Eureka lemon family Tart like a true lemon, you must try one 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 a fruity flavor and a deep wine color that does not fade with cooking. Bred from the violetta de provence, a purple variety native to southern France.
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 – hit or miss in the heat of the summer.
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!
Zephyr Squash – yellow and green, slender and sweet, limited quantities, sells out fast – pre-order!!!

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!

River Bottom Farms – Lakeside, CA

Sprites – teardrop electric red with a sweet flavor profile leaving just a hint of citrus on the tongue.
Oregon Springs Tomatoes – vine-ripened large size with great flavor.  Its earliest fruits are its largest and predominantly seedless.
Early Summer Heirloom Tomato Mix – features a variety of heirlooms which provides a myriad of flavors, colors, shapes and sizes. Highlights are the Oregon Spring whose earliest fruits are its largest and predominantly seedless, the White Wonder, which is creamy white and quite sweet, the Striped Cavern, which has a unique lobed-shape, brilliant color, meaty flesh and thick walls (great for stuffing) and the Striped Cavern, which is a grower’s dream

Rutiz Farm – Arroyo Grande, CA

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!
Blackberries

Blueberries –
Purslane
Italian Basil –
Blue Lake Beans
Romano Beans
Savoy Spinach – cut in small clusters of 3-4 leaves – beautiful!!
Romanesco – Jerry grows the perfect-sized heads, nicest ones at the market!

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..
Ron’s Burgundy Fingerlings that’s right~there back! variations of red through and through, tender skin, great attractive potato for multiple applications!

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!

Torpedo Onions – these really ARE torpedos!! I don’t often put succulent and onion in the same sentence…but I just did..for a reason!

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!

One Reply to “FARMERS' MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF JUNE 28, 2009”

Leave a Reply to sandraraven Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.