Golden Beet Salad

Golden Beet Salad

Serves 4

One bunch golden beets, tops removed and scrubbed (save the tops)
One bunch mizuna, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/4 cup Cara Cara orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment. Arrange the beets on the baking sheet and cover. Roast for 20 minutes (tiny beets) 30 minutes (small) 40 to 50 minutes for medium to large beets. The beets will be tender, when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife.
2. Remove from the oven, when cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets, cut into 1/2-inch dice, and put into a small bowl.
3. Put the mizuna into a salad bowl, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the juice, vinegar, onion and oil. Season with salt and pepper, pour a bit of the dressing over the beets, and toss.
4. Dress the mizuna with some of the dressing, and plate the mizuna. Top with the beets, and drizzle with some of the remaining dressing.
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© 2009 Melissa Mayer
© 2009 Melissa Mayer


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 it is responsible for Round Up, a systemic, broad-spectrum herbicide containing the active ingredient, glyphosate, which Monsanto developed and patented in 1970.   In addition to its inherent toxicity as a chemical pesticide, Roundup has now been found to aid the spread of fusarium head blight in wheat. This disease creates a toxin in the infected wheat, making the crop unsuitable for human or animal consumption. Canada’s wheat industry is currently being ravaged by this disease. At the same time, the widespread use of Roundup has resulted in the formation of “super weeds” — unwanted plants that have developed an immunity to these pesticides.  This is just cracking the surface, really.  Monsanto also has many pending lawsuits in attempts to prevent farmers from saving and replanting seeds, accusing farmers of patent infringement, even though replanting seeds is perfectly legal, as  the first unrestricted sale of a patented item exhausts the patentee’s control over that particular item.  Monsanto has retaliated aggressively by creating seeds that cannot be sown more than once:  they have developed genetic modifications into crops so that the resultant plants are incapable of reproducing, and seed can’t be harvested, and also completely destroying biological self-sufficiency.  Monsanto has taken nature into its own hands and reversed the laws of perennial production.  While Monsanto owns the market on genetically engineered seeds, the GE crops are costing American taxpayers 12 billion dollars in farm subsidies just in the past three years alone.  The GE crops have forced more usage of pesticides and are creating far less yields than natural crops.  Monsanto is creating seeds that are failing farmers and are inbuilt with pesticides.  They are the spearhead of monoculture, creating the world’s food staples with genes from bacteria which are then released into our food chain.  Monsanto is the same company who is responsible for the creation of PCB’s and Agent Orange.  This same company has harnessed control over the present and future of our food sources.  From Canada to India, farmers’ livelihoods are being directly affected by Monsanto and the negative impacts of its technology. Monsanto is the embodiment of agribusiness and it stands to be the antithesis of sustainable and organic agriculture, agrarian values and the real solution to our world’s food crisis.  Most breathtaking to me is that Monsanto is essentially conducting a huge biological experiment, holding farmers and humanity hostage along the way.  There needs to be more public consciousness of Monsanto and the threat to our food safety that they have created.  They have created international peril and nearly nothing can stop them.  I know optimists and I know pessimists.  When it comes to Monsanto, too often pessimism wins.  Buy organic seeds and plant them.  Save the seeds and harvest them year after year.  Support your local and sustainable farmers who are free from the grips of Monsanto’s clamps.  Know your food source and know that your food source is good for our world.  Take the future of food out of Monsanto’s hands and you will be putting it in yours.



This 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: it’s shaped like a jalapeno pepper, has variegated coloring, is super meaty and has amazing flavor. Other varieties in the mix include Dr. Wyche’s Yellow, Missouri Pink Love Apple, Japanese Trifele, Copia, Anna Russian, Red Zebra and Sprite.  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 vine-ripe heirloom tomato from their fields.


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 Certified 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.
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, even slightly SPICY and ORGANIC!

Eight Ball Squash –  stuff ’em, eat them whole, adore their brilliant shape and color and honor these seasonal beauties with culinary grace – let ’em shine!

Middle Eastern Squash –  quintessentially perfect squash variety!  Actually, that is what they are known to be: the idyllic squash.  You do the math.

Green Zucchini Squash –  Coastal Organics zucchinis are squeaky fresh, slim and texturally shiny (AND They’re organic!)…so perfect, you could eat them raw.

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*


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.

Padron 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.

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.

Purple-hulled Pink Eyes


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: Jerry’s Berries, Firecracker Lettuce, Cara Cara Oranges, 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


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.

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.

Continue reading “FARMERS' MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF JULY 12, 2009”

Farmers' Market Report – Week of April 1st

Happy Monday!
How did everyone like their Fava’s? Amanda (our microgreen queen and your FM packer) made the mistake of eating one without removing the 2nd shell!! Ha ha, priceless! But yes, under that waxy shell, they are super sweet and fresh; not ONE BIT mealy. McGrath Farms and Coastal has more this week, supplies are goin’ good!
Another great new spring item is Polito Family Farm’s “Tom’s Terrific” Tangerines!! Trust me, you’re going to want this. I am not bringing in anymore Paige tangerines and bringing in these instead, that’s how TERRIFIC they are. We tried a sample last week and were in heaven. They are technically the Tahoe variety, originally developed via UC Riverside’s famous citrus breeding program. Easy to peel, 99% seedless, and JUUIIICCCYYY. Eat it over the sink and don’t say I didn’t warn you. $2.70 per LB, a little cheaper than the Paige. 🙂
Also, Weiser’s Bloomsdale Spinach was too small to cut, so this week will be Rutiz Farm! SNOW Peas available this week from Tutti Frutti Farm – SUPER SWEET!
The not-so-good news: Purplette Scallions from Rutiz Farm is gapping for the next 2 weeks. Harry’s Berries Baby Roma and Yellow Cherry Tomatoes will be gapping for about 3 months. Romanesco from 2 Peas in a Pod now will not be available for several weeks. The weather destroyed his new planting, and we must wait for the other field to come in. 🙁Baby Pink Turnips from Coastal Farm are still not available for 2 more weeks (I know I keep saying 2 weeks, sorry!), and Baby Broccoli is N/A for 2 weeks as they await their new planting. BUT, I am bring in the Weiser Farm Baby Green AND Purple Broccoli, which is a little larger than Coastal’s but equally delicious.
Until next week,
Note: All pre-orders must be placed by Tuesday at noon to [email protected] Emergency orders or add-ons will be accepted, but we can longer guarantee availability. If there are any special requests please feel free to ask!


  • Tom’s Terrific Tangerines from Polito Family Farm
  • Snow Peas from Tutti Frutti Farm
  • Red Spring Onions from Jaime Farm (not quite confirmed, but we’re hoping)
  • Red Spring Onions from Jaime Farms
    Continue reading “Farmers' Market Report – Week of April 1st”

    Farmers' Market Report – Week of March 11th

    Happy Monday, all!
    Ugh, how about that darn daylight savings time? I am not thrilled to lose an hour of sleep, but at least we get more daylight – another sign that spring is coming, slowly but surely.
    After talking to a lot of my farmers, up-and-coming new items for springtime menu’s are: Jerry’s Berries Strawberries (Jerry Rutiz’s version; he uses the “Galante” variety, which is a softer berry but extremely sweet – coming in early April), fresh Fava Beans from various farms – next week, lots more peas and beets and artichokes, purple baby broccoli coming this weekend from Weiser Farm (limited to start!), etc. etc.! More to come, I’m sure.
    So, did you guys get our March Mushroom Madness specials? Dude. Check it out. Best prices of the year – and Kinoko Company is now officially producing all of this out of their San Marcos plant! No more Japan imports, except for the Enoki which requires a specialized technique. Brown and White Hon Shemeji, and Maitake $42.50 per case, King Trumpet $34.50 per case! Sorry, sorry, I know it’s not farmer’s market BUT it is local! Psst… first crop of Morel Mushrooms coming in this week, too. $33.50 per lb to start. You guys are the first to know. Feel special.
    Note: All pre-orders must be placed by Tuesday at noon to [email protected]. Emergency orders or add-ons will be accepted, but we can longer guarantee availability. If there are any special requests, feel free to ask!


  • Purple Scallions from Rutiz Farm
  • Continue reading “Farmers' Market Report – Week of March 11th”

    FM Report – Week of March 4th

    Hey everyone!
    Wow, a lot of our northern Cali growers are experiencing some heavy rain for this whole week – we are so lucky to be living in sunny San Diego!! Feels like spring already, doesn’t it?
    Still a lot of baby beets, turnips, greens, and chards on the market so far. Hope you guys got a chance to check out those awesome Lyon artichokes with stem from Life’s A Choke; they are a variety from Southern France and are best broiled, steamed, marinated raw, stuffed, or baked! Let me know if you would like a sample!
    Also, I would like to stick the the new baby broccoli from Coastal (excellent quality and a nice, smaller size) and the super sweet English peas from Rutiz. I liked them a lot better, hope you did, too!
    Note: All pre-orders must be placed by Tuesday at noon to [email protected]. Emergency orders or add-ons will be accepted, but we can longer guarantee availability. If there are any special requests please feel free to ask!


  • MICRO Mix Carrots from Weiser Family Farm (note – even smaller than the baby mix!)

  • Continue reading “FM Report – Week of March 4th”