WHEEL OF LIFE:
“Good farmers use land according to its livelihood. They are careful students of its natural vegetation, soil depth, structure, slope and drainage. They are not appliers of generalizations, theoretical, methodical or mechanical. Nor are they active agents of their own economical will, working their way upon an inert and passive mass. They are responsive partners in an intimate and mutual relationship.
The attitudes and values of traditional agriculture still survive in our time and are supported by the experience of our time. Their survival is marginal but survivors do exist. Farmers are people of principle, both stubborn and adventurous, independent enough to trust their own experience and strong enough to hold in considerable isolation of truths not officially or popularily favored. Their farms stand for their principles and prove them.”
– Wendell Berry, agrarian prophet, writer, lifetime farmer and one of my heroes. This excerpt is from his book “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture”.
One does not follow the words of Wendell Berry without great shadows looming. Wendell Berry gets it. He has been been preaching the gospel of local eating since 1960. His passion and focus are unwavering, his arguments and observations are more relevant today than ever. Amid your culinary adventures, research, etc. look him up.
In the meantime, find out what is happening in the word of produce right here at home.
On the horizon: 42 million heirloom tomato varieties including Heirloom Cherry tomatoes from Coastal Organics. Just a few less varieties of every size summer squash imaginable and stone fruits of every shape, size and texture. Landing in the market from here through summer’s end! As each variety appears the 411 will come your way!
Entering: Cherries from Simms Cherry farm, First Lady Peaches from Fitzgerald Farms, Baby Green Artichokes from Life’s a Choke, Green Onion Chives from Yasutomi Farm, Radishes, Radishes, Radishes and Black Plum Tomatoes from Jaime Farm, Meyer Lemons, Gold Nuggets and Murcott Tangerines, from Garcia Organics, Russian Red Kale, French Leeks (slim, sweet and savory all in one!) and Oriental Mix (red and green frill!) from Windrose Farm, and All blues Potatoes and Red Spring Onions from Weiser Famly Farms.
Gapping: Fiesole Artichokes from Life’s A Choke and Bloomsdale Spinach from Weiser Family Farms
Exiting: Paige Tangerines from Garcia Organics, Black Kale, Baby Turnips (Coastal Organics) and Watermelon Randishes from Mcgrath 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!!
Pencil California Asparagus – Skinny, tender, tasty purple-tipped and LOCAL! So thin it cooks in a flash!
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!
Gem Lettuces: Red and Green from Coastal Organics – these lettuces are unparalleled in their sweetness, rich colors, crisp textures and succulent leaves
French Leeks from Windrose Farms
Baby White Belly Radish – sweetest radish out there with edible greens too makes these 100% delicious.
Baby Celery – from Yasutomi Farm, more leaves than stalk, hydroponically grown, slender and almost herbaceously tasty stalks. The best baby celery available. Period.
Meiwa Kumquats –
Jerry’s Berries Strawberries (Galante variety) from Rutiz Farm – sweeter than candy!!
Continue reading “FARMERS' MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF MAY 10, 2009”