Archive for June, 2009

corn-crate-2

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.


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sunshine

FARMERS’ MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF JUNE 21, 2009

sunshine

SLOWING DOWN:

I write this week’s report appropriately on the first day of summer, proclaiming on this longest day of the year that the sun and earth are in harmony. They have aligned to bring nature’s most edible bounty to our kitchens. I have included a video market tour to give you a true visual of the produce that is shining so brightly in the fields, at the market and the table. The message is one of simplicity and beauty, fresh and honest. The facts remain: community and sustainability are more important now than ever. Supporting our farmers equals supporting their livelihoods and ours. My work is about showcasing their efforts, showcasing their products and promoting the sustainability of the entire process. I am not alone in this tireless desire to return our thoughts and actions to humble and noble respect for nature, food and the source of our sustenance. An international effort that is both independent and communal has emerged to counteract agribusiness and fast food living and support local food traditions once again. From global organizations such as Terra Madre and Slow Food to movies speaking out for truth in agriculture, Food Inc. and agrarian values, The Greenhorns, the revolution of food is here and we are hungry…

~melissa

view above or click on the link below for a visual market tour!

Summer Farmers Market

MARKET REVIEW:

Entering: White Corn from Gloria Tamai Farms, Heirloom Cherokee Tomatoes from Tutti Frutti, Zephyr Squash from McGrath Family Farms, Summer Baby Squash Mix from Coastal Organics (awesome!!!), Meyer Lemons and Encore Oranges (taste like a tangerine!) from Garcia Organics, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes (50/50% chance), 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.

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: Bing Cherries :( , 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.


More >

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