Farmers Market Update

by | Feb 21, 2009

pea greens
As I suspected a few weeks ago, spring is almost here. The hints are popping up all over the place at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Today I bought pea greens, the delicate green shoots and tendrils from a pea plant. They are beautiful, sweet and delicious (I’m thinking lunch tomorrow…). I’m always excited to see these little guys because they are a sure sign of the changing seasons.
white cherimoya
Asparagus, another hallmark of springtime, also made its debut today. The stalks were thick and had a brownish hint, so I didn’t buy any just yet. But it will only be a matter of weeks before the thin, brilliant green spears make their way into my meals.

The most prominent asparagus vendor at the market is Zuckerman’s, and they assured me their famous deep fried asparagus will be available soon. I also got an insiders tip today that Dirty Girl Produce is growing white asparagus for the first time, and it should be available in a couple weeks as well. Exciting!

Brokaw Nursery
has been featuring white cherimoyas for the past couple weeks, and I finally shelled out the $8.75 to get one today. I have not tried one before, so I will let you kwatercressnow what it’s like when it ripens–I was told to wait 3-4 days. The fruit is supposed to be very delicate, so I hope it was not damaged on its journey to my kitchen.

It is rare for me to have an agenda at the market, I usually just buy what looks the best and figure out what to do with it once I get home. Today, however, I was assigned to pick up vegetables for making sushi with my friends (someone else is on fish duty).

In addition to collecting ingredients for the sushi rolls (daikon and carrots), I want to try out this amazing looking miso soup recipe I found this week. I am skipping the noodles and tofu (we already have plenty of protein and carbs), but I bought some beautiful looking watercress and golden enoki mushrooms that should be wonderful additions to this dish.
golden enoki mushrooms
The last thing I will mention is that collard greens are my new favorite vegetable. It is peak season, so I highly recommend you go get yourself some!

Today’s purchases:

  • White cherimoya (Brokaw Nursery)
  • Golden enoki mushrooms (Faw West Fungi)
  • Daikon (Chue’s)
  • Carrots (Capay Organics)
  • Collard greens (Capay Organics)
  • Pea greens (Capay Organics)collard greens
  • Watercress (Four Sisters Farms)
  • Kiwi (Four Sisters Farms)
  • Navel oranges (Hamada Farms)
  • Clementines (Hamada Farms)
  • Meyer lemon (Hamada Farms)
  • Pink pomelo (Paredez Farms)
  • Broccoli shoots (Dirty Girl Produce)

Have you ever tried to roll sushi?

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9 Responses to “Farmers Market Update”

  1. Healthyliving says:

    “….delicate green shoots and tendrils from a pea plant….”I felt like I was friends with your pea plants after the beautiful picture and lovely description, then you went on to say you’re gonna eat them!!!!! (I guess also because you called them ‘little guys’ like they were little cute babies or something) Won’t the shoots and tendrils shrivel up when you cook them? Or do you not even cook them?

  2. Mike says:

    A White cherimoya costs $8.75?! Is that by weight or something? I gotta look into these things, I’ve seen them but know nothing- hold on, I’ll be back…………..Okay, at first I thought these things looked like a Noni, which is the fruit from the schister-snake oil health drink, which it turns out it looks similar but not the same. The cherimoya sounds like it may be worth the money though, wikipedia reports that Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men.”I totally wanna try it now!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don't know if people know this, but CA is in a huge drought right now. Here are some excerpts from a recent NYTimes article: "….in an unlucky strike of nature, the downturn is being deepened by a severe drought that threatens to drive up joblessness, increase food prices and cripple farms and towns…..could mean shorter supplies and higher prices in produce aisles — California is the nation’s biggest producer of tomatoes, almonds, avocados, grapes, artichokes, onions, lettuce, olives and dozens of other crops — and increased desperation…"Did you see any of this at your market today? Did the farms look like they were struggling at all?

  4. Scott says:

    White asparagus? Doesn’t that just mean that they’ll have fewer nutrients/phytochemicals? I do love asparagus though. And great pictures, I love the detail- I think the cherimoya looks like an avacado, if it was darker.

  5. Car Blog says:

    I really dont know what so great about Sushi? Everyone just so loves it like crazy and its a favorite of most bloggers? Why oh why?

  6. Darya Pino says:

    @HealthlivingThey will definitely shrivel up, but I do not cook them for very long. Such delicate greens will probably pair well with eggs.—–@MikeMark Twain is right about a lot of things (e.g. summers in San Francisco), and that was definitely part of my motivation for trying one!—–@AnonNo doubt the drought is affecting the market. Persimmon and pomegranate seasons were both cut short this year. We have gotten a lot of rain in the past few weeks though. If it keeps up our spring and summer crops could still be saved.Thanks for the link!—–@ScottI don’t worry too much about wonderfully grown white asparagus having less nutrients than green asparagus. Maybe it has some other wonderful nutrients?Generally the color of fruits and vegetables as an indication of nutrient levels is caused by differences in soil quality. I know for a fact that Dirty Girl maintains healthy soil, and I am happy to get the variety!Also, I bought a small-ish cherimoya and it is easily 3-4 times bigger than an avocado. It’s green, but really more like a mango.—–@Car BlogI’m going to be a little presumptuous here and guess that you have never had really fine sushi, and likely don’t live in a coastal city?Most sushi is okay, but fine sushi is one of the most amazing foods you can eat. The fish quality is imperative, but the skill of the sushi chef can be just as important. I would recommend trying again….

  7. Scott says:

    “know for a fact that Dirty Girl maintains healthy soil”This is one thing that irks me about the federal government and farms. I seem to remember a bunch of studies some years ago that started quantifying the nutrient level in produce as a function of the state it was grown in- the discepancies were so obvious, the feds prohibited the research in fear of damaging local state economies. How do you know so many details about any particular farm?

  8. Darya Pino says:

    @Scott”How do you know so many details about any particular farm?”I go to the farmers market and I ask them. The good ones are very proud of their growing practices and have nothing to hide.

  9. NB says:

    Alright, I tried your magical cherimoya tonight, and I happily affirm that the experience is amazing! My first impression was that I was eating some kind of processed candy, but when I remembered that it was a completely natural fruit grown from the ground, a rainbow of tropical flavors bathed my tastebuds with an intoxicating sweet goodness! This is probably what candy-makers are shooting for. Serving the fruit was a bit of a disaster; I cut it in half as recommended online, but my fruit was a little over ripened, and I didn’t have any solution to the giant black seeds (like watermelon seeds on steroids) that were strewn throughout. All in all, I highly recommend trying it!

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