Archive for August, 2009

FARMERS MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF AUGUST 9, 2009

produce-box

LABOR OF LOVE

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.  Some lose land to eminent domain or are simply uprooted as the land they lease gets sold to urban developers.  Once a vast agricultural landscape, farms are mere pin dots on a map.  But these farmers make it work as it is their work, their life, their passions.  It is inherent in their souls.  They grow food for their families and for families across our state.   They are stewards of the land bringing miracles to the market in the form of food.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It is a labor of love represented by some 180 seasonal and year-round farmers, a combined total of more than eight thousand acres of farmland and over four thousand years of farming experience.  Respect… More >

FARMERS MARKET REPORT: WEEK OF AUGUST 2, 2009

HUMBLE PIE

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 all of 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.

Shelling beans update:

Available this week: Purple-Hulled Pink Eyes, Flageolets and Lima Beans

Purple-hulled Pink Eyes

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

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

Lima Beans – McGrath Family Farms – mild, mellow and creamy; often referred to as a “butter bean”.

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