August 9, 2009 0 Comments

The Santa Monica Farmers Market is a landmark and a benchmark. It is one of the largest and original certified farmers markets in the state of California. It is steeped in history and gleaning from the culture of farming. On any given Wednesday morning, as the sweet salty ocean air breezes into Arizona Street and Second, truckloads of fresh harvests arrive, farmers in tow, bringing the rich scent of fertile soil and humble origins. Farmers from near and far rise far before dawn, put on their muddied boots and make the drive to the market to financially sustain their farms. Selling directly to earn $1 for a bunch of carrots versus $1 for a box of carrots is essentially the core of the farmers market. Selling at the market is a gamble. To avoid the temptation of going the commercial route in California’s mild climate takes guts. Farmers spend their years gambling on crops against the elements, whether they are natural or man-made.


August 2, 2009 0 Comments

It is the long hours of tireless work dedicated to each crop and each square foot of farm land, the impeccably beautiful food harvested for us day after day, week after week, the limited return for such work, the simple truth that farming is essential to our lives yet in a 21st century world technology is king. It is the amazement in my eyes that I can witness such an event as the farmers market unravel before my eyes – the summer months bringing hundreds of people to snatch a basket of figs, hold the perfect heirloom tomato or tear through ears of white corn, plucking what they deem is the best at the market right now. It is the idealism that the market represents and upholds, truth in food, in its honest and purest form. The food represents life and sustains livelihood. It is that which is most humbling. Humility is the essential ingredient to remember when you are making your next farmers market strawberry sorbet or pineapple heirloom tomato salad or piling fresh picked blueberries into a summer pie. It is the secret ingredient that reigns supreme and makes everything taste a little bit better for it.

PMA Foodservice Conference

July 30, 2009 2 Comments

PMA Foodservice Conference & Exposition Monterey, California USA July 24-26, 2009 The One Place where Fresh Produce, Foodservice, and a Tough Economy add up to Flavorful Opportunities. – The Foodservice Conference & Expo (FSC), introduced by PMA in 1982, is a three-day learning and networking experience designed to bring foodservice professionals across the supply chain …

Cooks Confab: Craft Beer

July 27, 2009 0 Comments

Here’s an invitation direct from the Cooks Confab: We’re excited about our event in August! Masterbrewers from the preeminent craft breweries of San Diego, Hell the States for that matter, have selected one of their favorite beers and our Cooks Confab Chefs will pair food with it (more beers will be featured at the bars). Each brewery …


July 26, 2009 0 Comments

The market was fast, hot, ripe and brimming with summer. Pudwill Farms stood out with its array of berries, currants, wild strawberries and figs – dozens of flats stacked high waiting for their new homes. Melons were everywhere I turned. I could have sampled my way through the market on different melon varieties alone (and I did!)…McGrath Farms proudly showcased their first harvest of cranberry beans while Maryann and her son Mark at Coastal Organics were the champions of heirloom tomatoes, selling a dizzying number of gorgeous varieties from cherry-sized to full one pounders. Their squashes may still be on the vine but tomatoes were beyond prolific and delicious. On the prowl for some sweet and mild pepper varieties, I found pimentos, lipsticks, hungarians and PADRONS!! The citrus was fading into the background while stone fruits were stealing the show. You could not walk 15 feet without seeing, smelling or tasting a peach, nectarine or a plum.
Yes, the farmers market was almost overwhelming to all of the senses. And as nothing is ever always as it appears, everything had to be touched and tasted, narrowing the field down to the tastebuds’ final thoughts. Decisions became more clear after a few rounds and dozens of fruit later. Below, I believe is the best of the best, coming from the proud farmers and their fertile soil that enriched crops that are worthy of grand display and the grandest of feasts. These farms are steeped in tradition and creation, balancing burden and skill with craft and ingenuity to stay ahead of the agricultural curve. The results do not demand respect, they command it.


July 17, 2009 0 Comments

GOING LOCAL~ Specialty Produce has been at the forefront of supporting local, sustainable and organic California farmers.  Its decades of business has thrived upon the bounty of produce provided by the small, medium and larger farms of our prolific producing state.  We are paying that forward with the addition of several new local farms in …

Demolition Derby!!

July 14, 2009 0 Comments

Our friend Joe of Dion International entered in this year’s Demolition Derby at the San Diego County Fair! He always supports us – can you see the logo on the rear above the tire? HE ROCKS!


July 12, 2009 0 Comments

There is a company that is dominating our agricultural landscape like no other, in a myriad of ways with a scope so wide it is staggering. It has a near-monopoly on herbicides and seeds. It owns almost 100% of the market share of genetically modified seeds. It is the largest conventional seed company and it is the number one selling herbicide company in the world. It is a biotechnology corporation conveniently predicated on agriculture. The company is Monsanto and

Photos from the Farmers' Market Sustainability Dinner @ 1500 Ocean

July 9, 2009 0 Comments

FARMERS MARKET SUSTAINABILITY DINNER Tuesday, June 30 Local and regional farmers and artisans will set up an exclusive ‘farmers market’ experience on The Del’s oceanfront Windsor Lawn. Guests will drift from one stand to the next, sampling fresh ingredients and learning more about eco-friendly food production. Then, Chef Sinnott will team up with Executive Chef …


July 3, 2009 0 Comments

© 2007 Melissa Mayer RED WHITE AND BLUE July 4, 1776: “…We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish …