Farmers Market Update: Spring Treasures

by | Apr 17, 2011
Purple Spring Onions

Purple Spring Onions

I’m not sure I’ve done enough yet this year to illustrate what a truly special season spring can be. In the springtime, everything is new.

Breathtaking Tulips

Breathtaking Tulips

We get the first greens and fresh colors since the final harvest in autumn, but in the spring everything is sweeter and more delicate.

Bloomsdale Spinach

Bloomsdale Spinach

We don’t just have garlic, we have the sweeter and more subtle green garlic. Carrots, while large and husky in the winter are small and tender in the spring. These baby carrots taste nothing like the fake, flavorless “baby carrots” that come in big bags at the supermarket. These carrots are special.

Real Baby Carrots

Real Baby Carrots

Swiss and rainbow chard are better right now then they are at any other time of year. They’re so beautiful it’s hard to not bring extra home to put into a vase.

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Chard

Artichokes and asparagus are also peaking right now. I was so overwhelmed by the sweet, earthy smell of artichokes when I walked up to the farm stand that I forgot to actually take a photo of the beautiful vegetables (there are plenty from previous weeks if you want a peek).

Though most people don’t think about eggs as a seasonal product, they are. Chickens don’t lay as many eggs when it’s cold. Plus, pastured grass is lush and filled with plump, tasty bugs once spring arrives. We got some pullet eggs this morning from Eatwell Farm. We had asked for the extra-large eggs, but apparently they sold out before the market even opened this morning. They’re that good.

Pasture Raised Eggs

Pasture Raised Eggs

For farmers market noobies, one of the most impressive things you can introduce them to is Meyer lemons. Lemons are sour and their peels are bitter, right? Not Meyers. While they aren’t exactly sweet, their acid is not harsh. And their peels are so thin and tender you can eat them raw. Meyer lemons are divine.

Perfect Meyer Lemons

Perfect Meyer Lemons

But one of the best aspects of spring is the hints of summer that sneak in from week to week. Now we have strawberries, and they’re actually getting good.

Endless Strawberries

Endless Strawberries

We also have some early tomatoes and ripe, creamy avocados, two of my absolute favorite summer ingredients.

Haas Avocados

Haas Avocados

As a last throwback to winter I plan to make a soup with one of these celery roots later this week.

Celery Root

Celery Root

Today’s purchases:

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9 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Spring Treasures”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Oh, this post just makes me long for spring. And you’re talking about hints of summer already? Sigh. Alas, here in Toronto, it is snowing outside my window as I read this. I’m desperate for spring! At least the asparagus harvest is looming on the horizon!

  2. Lisa says:

    Spring is one of the best seasons. You’re so lucky on the west coast! All those lovely fruits and veggies at the farmers markets now. We won’t have those for a few months. But I have noticed that between the rain yesterday and warmer weather today, we finally have baby leaves on the trees! ; )

  3. Sophie says:

    Lovely pictures. I completely agree, there’s something very special about spring. Much as I love ripe summer fruit and juicy tomatoes the delicate, fresh offerings we get in the spring are especially lovely. My favourite at the moment is the slender stemmed, pale pink new rhubarb at our local market.

  4. Steve Novotny says:

    I love N. California. You are killing me with those pictures.

  5. claypotclub says:

    I feel like I can almost go completely meat free once the spring/summer produce starts rolling in. I can’t wait for the strawberries.

  6. Callie says:

    Those tulips are gorgeous! These photos make me so happy–I love SF in the Spring! Love the blog, keep up the good work!

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