FARMERS MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF LABOR DAY, 2009

passion-fruit

RAFT~

Renew America’s Food Traditions is “an alliance of food, farming, environmental and culinary advocates who have joined together to identify, restore and celebrate America’s biologically and culturally diverse food traditions through conservation, education, promotion and regional networking.”  It has been cultivated under Slow Food USA and its mission is to develop and promote conservation strategies to restore and renew at-risk foods and food traditions of North America.  This past spring RAFT and Chef’s Collaborative (dedicated to connecting chefs to their local farmers) set out to bring 16 heirloom varieties back to life.  38 farmers planted the seeds and then sold their crops to local chefs.  Maybe 16 heirlooms doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is a step in the right direction, restoring agricultural biodiversity, strengthening the bond between farmers and chefs, reconnecting with the earth and with our country’s traditions.  An heirloom variety is open-pollinated and specifically one which pre-dates the 1950’s when “modern” hybrids were introduced and seeds were no longer developed to come back the next year, which forces farmers to repurchase seeds year after year.  Heirlooms are nearly extinct, which makes seed-saving essential to their survival.  Save your seeds from the heirloom produce you receive from the farms and put them in a farmer’s hand to plant and keep tradition alive.  Support Slow Food USA, become a member of Chef’s Collaborative and continue to be a conscious member of the food community.  And if you haven’t seen it already, go see Food, Inc. – it will change your life.
Happy Labor Day

UPDATE:

COLEMAN FAMILY FARMS:

NOW AVAILABLE:
SHISHITO PEPPERS:
shishito-peppers-coleman-farms1


KOREAN SHISO:
korean-shiso-coleman-farms
DEER’S TONGUE LETTUCE:

ALSO:
THE ELUSIVE SHUNKYO RADISHES,  PASSION FRUIT!! AND PADRON PEPPERS.


GLORIA TAMAI FARMS:
YELLOW WAX BEANS, BLUE LAKE BEANS, WILD ARUGULA (IN BUNCHES) AND LIMITED AMOUNTS OF BEETS – CANDIED, PINK AND GOLD.
FAIRVIEW GARDENS HAS SHELLED FLAGEOLETS -THEY SHELL THEM ON TUESDAYS AND BRING THEM TO THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAYS – FRESH!! AND COLLARD GREENS.
WINDROSE HAS APPLES!!! AND JUNIOR LETTUCES CALLED “BABIES IN A BOX” THEY ARE GORGEOUS!!! LET’S JUST SAY SOME FAMOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE L.A. AREA GET THEIRS WEEKLY…
CHERRY TOMATO MIX FROM COASTAL ORGANICS ARE BACK!!! THEIR SQUASHES ARE AVAILABLE  IN THE BABY SUMMER MIX, BABY PATTY PAN (SUNBURSTS ) AND BABY EIGHT BALLS!!!

NO MORE  PINK LEMONS, HARRY’S STRAWBERRIES OR FITZGERALD STONE FRUITS (INCLUDING PEACHES!!). LIMITED QUANTITIES OF ARUGULA FROM WINDROSE, GET YOUR FRENCH BEANS FROM MCGRATH FARMS!!! YASUTOMI MINERS LETTUCE IS GAPPING BUT THEIR BUTTER LETTUCE IS AMAZING! SHELLING BEANS ARE EXTREMELY POPULAR AND WILL BE AROUND FOR AT LEAST THIS MONTH.  TORPEDO ONIONS ARE STILL AVAILABLE BUT CURED DOWN. GARCIA ORGANIC FARMS HAS SOME INCREDIBLY SWEET BROWN TURKEY FIGS AND GOLDEN FIGS (CANDY!). THEIR MEYER LEMON SEASON IS WINDING DOWN..


SHELLING BEANS~

Available this week: Persian Beans, Mauve Runners, Cranberry and Flageolets.

Persian Beans – from McGrath Farms

Purple-hulled Pink Eyes
Rich, sweet earthy and complex, unique and delicious, a stand-out bean with a short two-month season.

Flageolet Beans– McGrath Family Farms – Creamy and firm in texture, these beans, unlike other shelling beans do not typically require soaking.

Mauve Runner

INTRODUCING!!!!

PENRYN ORCHARD and SAGE MOUNTAIN FARM

Penryn Orchard is a 100% sustainable boutique-sized 4 acre orchard that is growing amazing tree fruits: from rare heirloom Asian pears to eight different varieties of persimmons and the elusive and sensitive celestial figs, there is a plethora of unique and delicious fruit to “pick” from and their season(s) have just begun!!!
On their roster this week:
20th Century Pears, Kosui Pears, Elephant Heart Plums, Celestial Figs and Black Mission Figs.
Sage Mountain Farm is 100% certified organic and sustainable.  Relying on spring water from the mountains and utilizing pure organic growing guidelines, Sage Mountain Farm grows hard-to-source garlics, unique cucumber varieties like the Armenian cucumber, squashes, tomatoes, candy sweet onions and they even raise steer which, in true farmers market nature, is also for sale!! by the quarter, half or full steer.  Each steer is raised on 100% organic feed, from the grass they graze on to the wheat in their feed.  They drink spring water too!  Each steer sold comes with a certified organic feed certificate.
This week, look forward to golf-ball sized Eight Ball Squashes, Bogatyr Garlic, Single-Cloved Elephant Garlic, and Candy Sweet Onions!
As we continue building our new relationships with each farm, more information and products will be shared with you!  I am in love with the garlic varieties and the 20th century pears!
Marvel Striped Tomatoes – from Tutti Frutti



Padron Chile Peppers – from Happy Quail Farms:  Petit Padron chile peppers are slightly crinkled and grooved, have a semi-matte finished deep green skin and generally measures about two inches long. When small and immature, this chile pepper offers a crisp and mildly sweet pepper flavor.

Bogatyr Garlic – from Sage Mountain Farms:  Bogatyr garlic is a hardnecked purple-striped single clove variety that is one of the spiciest known varieties of garlic when eaten raw. It is very rare and not found in general market places.

Hatch Chiles – the one and only!!! from Gillis Farms

20th Century Asian Pears – from Penryn Orchard

Elephant Heart Plums – from Penryn Orchard

Brown Turkey Figs – from Garcia Organics

Gravenstein Apples – from Windrose Farms (famous for their apple orchard)

Kidds Red Apples – also Windrose Farms

Butter Lettuce (hydroponic!) – Yasutomi Farms has produced a beautiful variety that any butter lettuce or baby lettuce lover will be quick to gravitate toward. Packaged in two “heads” to a bunch.

Cannelini Beans – Although no explanation is necessary for these well-known beans, two words: rich, creamy….

PUDWILL FARMS: BERRIES!!!!!

More unique to American soil are the black and red currants. Not so unique to Pudwill Farms. They are in season and out of sight!! The black are sweet and tart while the red are a little more sweet than tart – great for cutting through richer meats or as a refresher between courses.
Golden Raspberries – If I were allowed to use the acronym, OMG, I would use it right here.

Blueberries – These are magically superb, plump with full berry flavor.

Raspberries – Available this week: candy for the eyes and mouth!

Blackberries – scrumptiously delicious!!!

Black Currants – Musky aroma gives way to a pucker-up tartness and slight sweetness. This tart, short-seasoned berry prefers the help of sugar and the richness of fat to bring out its best characteristics.

RANCHO DEL SOL: CERTIFIED ORGANIC AND LOCAL! JAMUL, CA

A visit to Rancho Del Sol was almost more dizzying than a tour of the market. 40 acres, two golf carts, peacocks, lamas, bunnies, horses and more citrus trees than you could shake a stick at reads like a novel and yet their is nothing novel or short of amazing going on at Rancho Del Sol. I will share more about that experience, so stay tuned…
Bill and Linda Zaiser are exercising their agricultural flair on a 36-acre ranch in Jamul, where citrus became their signature in the 1980’s. Their cash crop was the not-so-fashionable-yet blood oranges that almost 30 years later are now a Southern California ubiquety. Today they grow specialty citruses, melons, cucumbers, squashes and more. The artist in Linda thrives in her agricultural creations: an early butternut squash, blending winter and summer into one and an oblong brilliant orange variegated lemon cucumbers of Chinese descent, just a couple of examples of Rancho Del Sol’s unique array of fruitful offerings. Their summer harvest includes extremly rare andunique melons and cucumbers and oodles of squash varieties that serve as bumper crops for their prolific fall harvest of exotic citrus varieties including sorrento lemons,kishuyuzu, limequats, buddah’s hand and more!!
Tigger Melon – limited quantities – a petite and sweet melon with deep burnt orange variegated skin and a creamy white flesh that tastes like a honeydew-cantaloupe blend. I’m loving it!

Chinese Lemon Cucumber – This Chinese yellow is green when it is young transforming into an oval shaped cucumber that has beautiful striking lemon-orange variegated (non-bitter) skin with an apple-crisp white flesh, mild yet cucumber-true. Subtle hints of lemony flavor are revealed once the cucumber is ripened. When this variety ages its stripes fade.

Look for more of their produce below!!!!!!

COASTAL ORGANICS – PREMIUM SQUASHES AND SWEET TOMATOES!

COASTAL SQUASHES ARE AVAILABLE THIS WEEK IN THE BABY SUMMER MIX, BABY PATTY PAN (SUNBURSTS ) AND BABY EIGHT BALLS!!!
Coastal Organics is hitting their prime this summer with unequivocally beautiful and delicious squash varieties and petit and sweet tomatoes that make your heart and mouth melt almost simultaneously. Their organic farm delivers harvests of baby crops as a trademark, but don’t think it is done without sacrifice. Harvesting baby crops is more labor-intensive and produces far less yields, which means round-the-clock agricultural care and a contract with Mother nature that can bring uncertainty, nerves and yet, more often sheer brilliance.
Heirloom Tomato Mix – GAPPING: These heirlooms are hand-packed the day before they are sold at the market. Each tomato is perfectly ripe in color and flavor or they are simply not picked. A perfect blend containing a myriad of colors and tastes, the flavors range from sweet, smoky, melony, rich and tomato-true. Unbelievable tomatoes…

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 – Maryann Carpenter swears by these bright orange sun-kissed beauties! They are a market stand-out and sell-out week after week. Their sun-kissed skins are proof that sweetness lies just beneath the surface*

WEISER FAMILY FARMS – 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!

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 (LOTS OF NEW STUFF):

Padron Chile Peppers from Happy Quail Farms!! If you have never utilized the padrons before, take advantage of their fast-saute easiness and sweet, smoky peppery flavor. Awesome appetizer!

Pimento Chiles

Blueberries, Raspberries, Currants and Blackberries from Pudwill Farms

Black Mission Figs from Pudwill Farms

Cranberry – THESE ARE ALREADY SHELLED $$$

Red Bok Choy from Coleman Farms! – Also known as Red Violet Tatsoi Hybrid, this is a unique bok choy vartiety The shiny leaves range in color from red-violet to dark purple, and they hold their color well even in the summer heat, although this variety also tolerates colder temperatures. Lightly textured, the spoon-shaped leaves have a mild mustard flavor.

Thai Basil – from Coleman Farms; “Siam Queen” has a delicious, spicy sweet flavor with a licorice basil aroma. It is

Zucchin Butternut Squash (HYBRID of Summer and Winter!) from Rancho Del Sol – It offfers the best of both seasons, unique delicious and a must try!

Duck Eggs – from Ramona Duck Farms!!

Walnuts – grown in the Santa Rita Hills at Rancho La Viña; these are addictive!!!

Black garlic is cultivated and harvested right here in California and it is waiting to allure you…

Fiesole (Baby Purple) Artichokes from Life’s A Choke

Semi-Savoy Spinach from Rutiz Farms

More Gapping News: Persian Shelling Beans, La Ratte Potatoes, Coastal Organics Tomatoes, Bloomsdale Spinach from Weiser Family Farms and several radish varieties from Jaime Farms – each week check back as they farmers check their progress daily. One day they are in the ground an dthe next day..they could be out!
Other Exiting: Harry’s Berries, Jerry’s Berries, Firecracker Lettuce, Cara Cara Oranges, Sugar Snap Peas, Encore 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…

Baby Calabrese Broccoli – Rutiz Farms

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

Cherokee Heirloom Tomatoes- from Tutti Frutti Farms

Pirella Lettuce from Coleman Farms

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!

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!





Beylik Family Farms – Fillmore, CA

Lipstick Peppers

Pimento Chiles –

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!
Pineapple Tomatoes – awesome through and through! Low-acid, beautifiul color variegation, hold up well for an heirloom!

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 –

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!
Thai Basil – “Siam Queen” has a delicious, spicy sweet flavor with a licorice basil aroma. It is

Red Bok Choy –

Garcia Organic Farm – Fallbrook, CA

Meyer Lemons – softer skin, brilliant, lemon orange sun-kissed color, sweet candied lemon scent and flavor! LAST WEEK!!!
Brown Figs – sweet and Delicious!
Golden Figs – sweet, sweet, SWEET!

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

“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 yellow, orange, red, and purple haze carrots with tops
Spanish Radishes – large pale fuchsia colored unique radish that is both peppery and sweet! GAPPING!

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! GAPPING!!!
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.
Bull’s Blood Beets – GAPPING!!!!!!

Pink Beets –  GAPPING!!!
Gold Beets – GAPPING!!!!


LA NOGALERA

Walnuts – grown in the Santa Rita Hills at Rancho La Viña; these are addictive!!!

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!

McGrath Family Farm – Camarillo, CA

Zephyr Squash – yellow and green, snappy and small, with a mild, creamy and sweet flesh so good you can eat it fresh!
Baby Bunch Candy BeetsRed BeetsGold Beets
Shelling Beans – This week:  Persian, Flageolets and maybe some cannelinnis
Baby Corn – hit or miss but delicious when its a Hit!

Rainbow Chard

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!

Pudwill Farm – Nipomo, CA

Blueberries and Blackberries

Black Mission Figs

Golden Raspberries – If I were allowed to use the acronym, OMG, I would use it right here.

Raspberry Mix, Red Raspberries

Blackberrries

Black Currants


RANCHO DEL SOL – Jamul, CA

Tigger Melon – a petite and sweet melon with deep burnt orange variegated skin and a creamy white flesh that tastes like a honeydew-cantaloupe blend. I’m loving it!

Passport Melon – A tropical beauty with Israelian origins, full of tropical flavor and beautiful sun-kissed lemon skin and lime green flesh.

Boule D’ Or Melon -French (clearly) honeydew melon

Chinese Lemon Cucumber – This Chinese yellow is green when it is young transforming into an oval shaped cucumber that has beautiful striking lemon-orange variegated (non-bitter) skin with an apple-crisp white flesh, mild yet cucumber-true. Subtle hints of lemony flavor are revealed once the cucumber is ripened. When this variety ages its stripes fade.

Zucchin Butternut Squash (HYBRID of Summer and Winter!) from Rancho Del Sol – It offfers the best of both seasons, unique delicious and a must try!

Chinese Squash – This is an amazing squash, cooks up sweet with an almost bright orange flesh – I’m loving it and so will you!

RAMONA DUCK FARM

Duck Eggs – Larger in size than chicken eggs, the whites of duck eggs tend to be a bit thicker and the yolks are a striking yellow. Duck eggs typically have a stronger flavor compared to that of a chicken egg.


Rutiz Farm – Arroyo Grande, CA

Persian Watercress– a unique variety, with a wonderfully spicy-sweet kick
Baby Calabrese Broccoli – available sporadically until late fall..

Purslane
Blue Lake Beans
Romano Beans – flat beany, crispy Italian green variety. Perfect summer bean for snap pea lovers.
Savoy Spinach – cut in small clusters of 3-4 leaves – beautiful!!

Weiser Family Farm – Bakersfield, CA

Padron Chile Peppers – small 1-1/1″ sweet and spicy numbers…
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 – GAPPING: nutty flavors, stand out fingerling, one of the best potatoes, ever!!
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!
Red Russian Kale

Gravenstein Apples – from Windrose Farms (famous for their apple orchard)

Kidds Red Apples – also Windrose Farms

Yasutomi Farm – Pico Rivera, CA

Butter Lettuce!!!!!

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 – GAPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s hydroponic!!! It’s an heirloom European seed. It’s perfect!

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