Farmers Market Update: Riverside

by | Jan 30, 2011

Mission On Main Street

Natalie is a Computer Science graduate turned Software Developer living in Moreno Valley, CA. The highlight of accomplishing her MS was presenting for the third IEEE International Conference on Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology. Though she adores science, she is most passionate about great food, heavy metal, and kitties.

Check out her heavy metal foodie blog, The Devil Wears Parsley, find her on Twitter @DvlWearsParsley and like The Devil Wears Parsley Facebook Page.

Farmers Market Update: Riverside, CA

By Natalie Wiser-Orozco

Riverside, CA is one of the jewels of the Inland Empire. The beautiful architecture downtown sets the perfect stage for a quaint one-block farmers market every Saturday on Main Street, rain or shine!

Baby Kale

Dickens Festival Man

Every Saturday morning, though I do love to sleep in, I am always excited to get down to the market. My husband and I have been frequenting this fruit and vegetable paradise for a few years now, and I just can’t get enough of the local produce, free-range chicken, and eggs.

Bosc Pears

Free Range Chicken and Eggs

Prior to visiting the farmer’s market, I had heard about the benefits of buying food from these kinds of places. Not only are you supporting local farms, but most of the growers are certified organic in the surrounding area, meaning no icky pesticides to consume. The thing that really got me hooked on the idea was the taste and quality of the vegetables. We took carrots home the very first trip, among other things, and I was astounded. The carrots tasted so sweet, and, well – like carrots! The ones from the grocery store were so bland and boring compared to these.

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Beans

Berries

Now that we’ve been on the circuit for awhile, if I miss a week, I get grumpy. Who wants to settle for bland produce? Not this gal. The market has really helped me learn what produce will be present for each season. It also helps distinguish the seasons themselves here in Southern California. When you’ve got 74 degree highs in the middle of winter, it can be hard to tell them apart.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Dried Apples

It’s winter in Riverside, meaning that my favorite citrus has arrived. About two years ago, we stumbled onto the blood orange when our favorite vendor had them on display. We went nuts for them! They have a slight earthy flavor compared to their counterparts, but are sweet vehicles of goodness. I always think of beets when I eat them, because the color is so similar and fantastic.

Clementines

Blood Oranges

This week, along with stocking up on blood oranges, I found some exceptional Clementines – a citrus I hadn’t tried before, and some gorgeous baby kale. I have been hearing of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been pasteurized, so I picked up some of that as well.

One booth has beautiful beeswax candles that smell great and clean the air, rather than pollute it like regular petroleum based candles. Finally, a must-have every week is the free-range chicken and eggs. The chicken is so tender and delicious. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the supermarket brands.

Beeswax Candles

Olive Oils

The vendors are all so friendly here, and most are pesticide free and organic. It makes “grocery shopping” a pleasurable experience rather than a chore, and the quality is un-matched. If you haven’t already, I urge you to support your local farms while simultaneously upgrading your healthstyle!

Friendly Vendor

This weekend’s haul:

  • Blood Oranges, Bosc Pear, and Clementines (Hillside Family Farms, San Diego, CA (310) 529-2361)
  • Cauliflower and Green Beans (RS Farms, Riverside, CA)
  • Baby Kale and Butternut Squash (Sage Mountain Farm, Aguanga, CA)
  • Dried Apples and Apple Cider Vinegar (Ha’s Apple Farm, Tehachapi, CA)
  • Free Range Chicken and Eggs (La Bahn Ranch, Temecula, CA)
  • Blackberries, Blueberries, and Raspberries (Brenda’s Berry Farm, Nipomo, CA)
  • Yellow Onions (Gama Farms, Arvin, CA)
  • Squaw Bread (Old Town Bakery, 8631 Baseline Rd., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730)

If you’d like to share your farmers market experience at Summer Tomato, please read this.

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For The Love Of Food

by | Jan 28, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Junk food got even more bad press than usual this week. I love it! I’m not too happy about the GM alfalfa though. I also found a fantastic article about sustainable seafood and some interesting research on meditation.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For a complete list of my favorite stories check out my links on Digg. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Farmers Market Update: Photo Journal

by | Jan 23, 2011
Blood Orange Slices

Blood Orange Slices

I’ve been feeling under the weather so I’m going to let the farmers market speak for itself this week. Here are some of the best shots I got at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturday.

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

Beautiful Turnips

Beautiful Turnips

Satsuma Mandarins

Satsuma Mandarins

Watercress

Watercress

Fuji Apples

Fuji Apples

Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens

Tokyo Turnips

Tokyo Turnips

What did you find at the farmers market this week?

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For The Love Of Food

by | Jan 21, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week I learned some products contain “blueberries” that are really just sugar, goo and dye, Starbucks wants to kill you with coffee (while 7-eleven wants to kill you slightly less with soda) and ginger is good for sore muscles.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For a complete list of my favorite stories check out my links on Digg. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week


The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Thought for Food – Fruit Pouch, Doritos Ad & Super Big Gulp<a>
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive


Have a great weekend!

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Farmers Market Update: Is It Spring Already?

by | Jan 16, 2011
Pomelo

Pomelo

Residents of San Francisco woke up Saturday morning to a veritable spring day. The the sun was shining, the sky was clear and maybe, just for a moment, you could walk outside without a jacket.

It was great to see the farmers market bustling for the first time since the holidays. Crowds were not only drawn by the weather, but also by the Good Food Awards that were being held this weekend at the Ferry Building. The GFA “grant awards to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients.” Here are the winners.

Spring Onions

Spring Onions

Good Food Awards

Good Food Awards

Spring wasn’t only in the air, it was also peeking out from some of the farm stands. I caught my first glimpse this week of spring onions. It isn’t much, but is a sign of what’s to come.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Winter citrus is just now ramping up. Blood oranges and satsumas are my favorite now, but I’ll be hitting the pomelo scene next week for sure.

Satsumas

Satsumas

Orange Slices

Orange Slices

I’ve also been really impressed with the carrots lately, I’m really starting to appreciate how many varietals there are. Little ones, big ones, purple ones, white ones, orange ones. All very tasty.

Baby Beets

Baby Beets

Carrot Bouquet

Carrot Bouquet

Of course, root vegetables in general are excellent now, very colorful and sweeter than they are most of the year. Like carrots, the variety of turnips is impressive.

Scarlet Turnips

Scarlet Turnips

Large Turnips

Large Turnips

Lastly, don’t forget your winter greens and herbs. Kale, chard and especially cabbage are as good now as they will be all year.

Winter Herbs

Winter Herbs

Cabbage

Cabbage

I didn’t buy much today since I left straight from the farmers market to Lake Tahoe. I just stopped by for the beautiful pictures.

What did you find at the market this week?

If you’d like to share your farmers market experience at Summer Tomato, please read this.

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For The Love Of Food

by | Jan 14, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

I found a stellar collection of thought provoking stories this week. Did you know that the HDL story is more complicated than we originally speculated, even Paleo advocates can acknowledge that how you eat is important and that drinking more can be good for you? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For a complete list of my favorite stories check out my links on Digg. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Farmers Market Update: Citrus Season

by | Jan 9, 2011
Blood Oranges

Blood Oranges

This week was my first farmers market trip of 2011, and it’s great to be back. I’m happy to see that in the few weeks I was away the full array of winter citrus fruits has now become available, from brilliantly colored blood oranges to giant pomelos.

Blood oranges with their deep red flesh have a much richer juice than their navel counterparts, and are a fantastic addition to winter cocktails and elixers.

Pomelo

Pomelo

Navel Oranges

Navel Oranges

Here in San Francisco you can also find several varietals of mandarins, the satsuma being the most prevalent. These are great easy snacks because they are small in size and their skin is particularly easy to peel. You can also find grapefruit, lemon, lime and citron, and we’ll be exploring these more in the coming weeks.

Besides citrus, you can also find pears, persimmons, pomegranates and kiwi this time of year. The persimmon I tasted this week might have been the best I’ve ever tried (at Kashiwase Farm), and I recommend getting them while you can since they will only be around a few more weeks. Same for the pears and pomegranates.

Persimmon

Persimmon

Shun Li Asian Pears

Shun Li Asian Pears

I also really love winter vegetables. This season my attention usually turns to hearty greens like kale and chard, as well as winter squash (delicata are my favorite, followed by kambocha–neither of which require peeling).

Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

I’ve also really been enjoying cabbage lately, playing around with recipes for coleslaw, sauerkraut and kimchi.

Organic Cilantro

Organic Cilantro

Winter Produce

Winter Produce

And though I tend to forget about them (but totally shouldn’t), now is the time for root vegetables like radishes, potatoes, sunchokes and fennel. I made an effort this week to bring some home with me.

Fennel

Fennel

Sunchokes

Sunchokes

I can’t get over how pretty these watermelon radishes are.

Watermelon Radish Slice

Watermelon Radish Slice

This time of year I also cook a lot of beans and lentils. The heirloom beans at Rancho Gordo have received national attention for their amazing flavors and textures. I have an impressive collection of them in my pantry.

Scream Sorbet

Scream Sorbet

Rancho Gordo Beans

Rancho Gordo Beans

Finally, though I’m not a sweets person these days (I have completely given up sugar in January) I was happy to see Scream Sorbet has now set up a booth at the Saturday farmers market (previously they only sold on Thursdays). Scream is amazing because they create local, seasonal sorbet flavors that will blow you away. It’s pretty common when inquiring about an ingredient in one of their sorbets to have them point at a nearby produce stand and say, “we’re using those grapes right there.” How awesome is that?

As always I had a wonderful time and it was totally worth dragging myself out of bed, even on a Saturday.

If you’d like to share your farmers market experience at Summer Tomato, please read this.

Today’s purchases*:

*I overslept a bit and the market was pretty picked over. My bad.

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For The Love Of Food

by | Jan 7, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Before we get started, I want to send you over to Quirky to help a little more with our farmers market bag design. We’ve already picked a winner, but now we’re looking to add features that will take it from awesome to super duper awesome. I know some of you are brilliant, so please come by and submit your ideas and modifications. Even if you don’t have anything to add, please vote on your favorite features.

After a lot of time off, we have some wonderful and inspiring stories this week. 3 simple recipes could set you up for life in the kitchen, more farmers markets are staying through the winter, and the “all carbs are better than all fat” dogma is finally being kicked to the curb.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For a complete list of my favorite stories check out my links on Digg. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

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