Farmers Market Update: April Showers

by | Apr 11, 2010
Asparagus and Radishes

Asparagus and Radishes

I made a San Francisco rookie mistake today at the farmers market.

Yesterday was so incredibly beautiful I didn’t think it was possible we could have rain today. I was wrong and should have known better.

Completely unprepared, I found myself at the farmers market in the rain with no umbrella, a light hoodless jacket and tiny little non-waterproof shoes. Consequently, I didn’t feel much like lingering and did most of my purchases at just a few farms.

But despite my quickness to depart, I did notice the arrival of fava beans this week. Exciting!

First Fava Beans

First Fava Beans

Another rookie mistake I made was not showing up early enough to get the good strawberries. Anyone who visits the market regularly knows that the most special items tend to be gone by 9am. This morning I was told my strawberries were gone by 8:30. When the weather gets warmer there will be strawberries by the truck load, but until then the early bird catches the worm.

But I didn’t miss out completely. The artichokes I bought last week were so mind blowing that I had to get them again. I also noticed that collard greens are looking particularly tasty.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Small Artichokes

Small Artichokes

And though radishes have been around for a few weeks, they are just now starting to look really beautiful.

Carrots have also been impressing me the past few weeks. Every time I eat one I think with pity about all the kids growing up thinking that those flavorless bagged “baby carrots” are what vegetables really taste like. The real thing is as sweet as candy.

Adorable Carrots

Adorable Carrots

This week I finally broke down and bought an heirloom tomato. I’ve been putting this moment off knowing they wouldn’t be quite good yet. But these are starting to look pretty awesome, so I took the plunge. It was good, but not great.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh eggs are not to be missed this time of year. Even if you cannot afford to eat them regularly, I recommend heading to the farmers market and picking some up at least once. You’ll be amazed. Use them to make a special brunch. (Pro tip: Try them with a sprinkle of smoked paprika)

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons

Eatwell Eggs

Eatwell Eggs

You should also stock up on Meyer lemons while you have the chance.

And though these are things I didn’t actually buy, they are great examples of why I love my farmers market so much. Purple potatoes and low sugar jam FTW!

Very Low Sugar Jam

Very Low Sugar Jam

Purple Potatoes

Purple Potatoes

Today’s Purchases:

Is it spring for you yet?

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9 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: April Showers”

  1. thomas says:

    do they give discounts when it rains? less people and all ;)

  2. Wow, how gorgeous do those tomatoes look eh?

  3. It is disappointing to have missed out on the good strawberries. My wife and I planted some yesterday. Hopefully next year they will produce enough to snack on.

    Oh, and the smoked paprika on eggs — it rocks!

  4. David Gans says:

    I played the Grand Lake farmers’ market yesterday. SO GLAD the weather was so nice!

  5. liz says:

    i canNOT wait for the farmers markets to start up here in kc, i think it’s next weekend. black quinoa? any difference in taste or cooking that regular tan/white quinoa?

    • Darya Pino says:

      Black quinoa is a bit more earthy and crunchy than regular quinoa. My favorite variety is red quinoa. If you have a Whole Foods near you, you may find it there.

  6. jennifer says:

    Hey Darya, I’ve been almost-dying the last few months waiting for our farmer’s market to open back up this week. Luckily, they opened up a week early, so I was able to hit it up yesterday and snag all my produce for the week.

    Thing is, thou, after talking to the guy who was ringing me out, I discovered that none of the produce carried at this farmer’s market is grown organically. So now, in my mind, I’d be better off buying organic produce at the grocery store, rather than buying local, but commercially (pesticide)-grown produce at the farmer’s market. Right?

    I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this one!

    • Darya Pino says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      I understand your confusion. The first thing to do is find out why exactly the farms at your market aren’t certified. Is it because they use pesticides or because certification was too expensive/time consuming? Not all the vendors at my market are organic, but most of those that aren’t would easily qualify if they had the means. And some farmers consider the label “organic” insulting to what they do, because their food is so much higher quality than industrial organics. Personally I am not particularly impressed by the “organic” label and would shop at the farmers market anyway. But you should do whatever you feel the most comfortable with. You might check out this article too: http://summertomato.com/is-organic-food-really-better/

      dp

  7. Edward says:

    Those radishes look great. Radishes, at least here on the east coast, seem to be very underrated.

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