Farmers Market Update: Clouds

by | Jan 24, 2009

You know what’s great about gloomy weather? I get the farmers market all to myself! No crowds to shove through, no one grabbing lemons out of my pics before I can snap them.

Cold weather days when the tourists decide to stay indoors are the best days to take pictures and make friends at the market.

Oddly enough I ran into Alice Waters today at the Ferry Building–you know, Pol Pot herself. I didn’t take her picture or interrupt her activities; she seemed the be enjoying the anonymity as much as I was so I left her to herself. She was hanging out at Boulettes Larder, probably planning something amazing as always.

Today was also a “field trip” day at the market. I brought along my friends Adam and Emily to show them around, one of whom had never been to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market before. Though it is common for your first market trip to be a life changing experience, not having the huge crowds made our explorations that much more rewarding.

Another thing that made today particularly special is that for the first time in a while, Dirty Girl Produce had a big basket of baby savoy cabbages on display, the very same cabbages that inspired the birth of this blog. How quaint my blog was back then, just like these cute little cabbages. Awwwww.

I bought something called a Bears lime today at Happy Quail Farms. They couldn’t tell me much about what makes these limes special besides them having no seeds. My faithful internet wasn’t much help either. I’m beginning to think maybe this is a hybrid plant created at UC Berkeley….

(Oh wait, I think it is just a Persian lime with a misspelled name. These are probably Bearss limes, even though they are yellow. That just means they are riper.)

I purchased the rest of my citrus at Hamada Farms, because all the stuff I bought last week was out of this world.

Finally, I am really excited to report that Tierra Vegetables has an outstanding assortment of dried chilies and today I found a mixture to make harissa (I found a molé mix too). Harissa is one of my favorite things about Moroccan food, but it is not particularly easy to make from scratch nor is it readily available in grocery stores. I have been craving a Moroccan tagine from my favorite soup book, but have not made it because I was missing harissa. Now I have it!

As you can tell, it was an exciting day for me. I hope your day is just as full of discoveries!


  • Baby savoy cabbages (Dirty Girl Produce)
  • Dino kale (Iacopi Farms)
  • Romanesco (Eatwell Farms)
  • Daikon (Chue’s Farm)
  • Kiwi (Four Sisters Farm)
  • Melo gold (Hamada Farms)
  • Chandler pomelo (Hamada Farms)
  • Blood oranges (Hamada Farms)
  • Navel oranges (Hamada Farms)
  • Satsuma mandarins (Hamada Farms)
  • Clementines (Hamada Farms)
  • Bearss lime (Happy Quail Farms)
  • Harissa spice mix (Tierra Vegetables)
  • Soul Food eggs (Prather Ranch)
  • Pain Epi loaf (Acme Bread Co.)

Anything good at your market today?

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8 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Clouds”

  1. Healthyliving says:

    This cabbage looks great- but all cooked up in your braised baby savoy cabbage dish looks even better! Funny how your first post ever was a recipe in pure paragraph format…a little difficult to follow (I’d still like to eat it though!!)!

  2. Darya Pino says:

    @Healthliving*Blush* Thanks!!

  3. MB says:

    My farmers market is open Saturday morning officially 9-1, but starts to close up at 12 ish. Often I can’t get there due to other commitments 🙁 So I missed this week. I’ll have to try a different one. Our vendor selection seems to be anemic. My egg guy hasn’t been there for weeks.

  4. Mike says:

    Whats the Harissa spice mix all about?

  5. Michelle says:

    Oh, I’m forever jealous. Our farmer’s market packs it in at the end of November and doesn’t return until spring. In NYC the other week I made it to their Union Sq market and was tempted to squirrel away sunchokes and parsnips in my pockets for the greyhound bus ride home.

  6. Travis Saunders, MSc says:

    I am in the same boat as Michelle, our market converts to an ice rink in the winter (literally… kids skate there day and night) and it has become a bit more difficult to buy fresh local food the past few months. On a happier note, we bought a food processor yesterday and are very excited to finally be able to try out your hummus recipe!

  7. Darya Pino says:

    @everyone who’s FMs closedAhhhh!!!! Such a bummer! Sometimes there are small local produce markets that are open regular business hours and carry better stuff than large chain grocery stores. You could look for those or subscribe to a CSA during the winter.—–@MikeFrom Wikipedia: “Harissa is a North African hot red sauce or paste made from chili peppers (often smoked or dried) and garlic, often with coriander and caraway or cumin and served with olive oil. It may also contain tomatoes. It somewhat resembles sambal and chili sauce.”In Moroccan cuisine it is used as a condiment.—–@MichelleI would love to see someone smuggling veggies in their pockets. LOL.—–@TravisCongrats on the food processor! Huge purchase. Don’t forget to add the olive oil after you blend. And in the summer you should try making pesto!!

  8. Healthyliving says:

    Ha! I’ve seen those touching beans before! My kids love ’em.

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