Farmers Market Update: Prepping for Asilomar

by | Sep 20, 2009
Hawaiian Apples

Hawaiian Apples

My goal at the farmers market today was to get everything I need to survive the next few days at the annual neuroscience department retreat at the Asilomar conference grounds in Monterey, CA. Last year they served us some of the most unspeakably disgusting food I’ve ever eaten in my life, and budget cuts forecast this year to be even worse.

Almost certainly I’ll be stuck eating fewer calories than usual, but I like to have a few of my own things to make sure I am at least somewhat nourished. For a complete rundown of what I’m bringing, watch the 3 minute video clip below.

How do you survive conferences and events that serve horrible food?

Since I also won’t be cooking dinners or making salads at work for the next few days, I didn’t buy my usual cornucopia of vegetables this week. But I certainly wanted to!

Peaches and Pomegranates

Peaches and Pomegranates



The seasons are changing before my eyes. Autumn fruits like pomegranates, pears, grapes and apples are downright abundant. You can also find pumpkins, carrots and beets, all wonderful for roasting in the fall. (Try this recipe for delicious roasted beets with mint and chevre).

I even found chestnuts at K & J Orchards!

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts



I learned today that Brussels sprout season is early this year (it usually starts in October-November). I decided to buy some since I know they will keep well until I return on Tuesday. They are really small right now, which is how you want them for the best taste. I used to hate Brussels sprouts, but have since learned the error of my ways.

Roasting Pimentos

Roasting Pimentos

Peppers and Eggplants

Peppers and Eggplants

The good news for those of us who adore summer produce is that most of it is still spectacular. Tomatoes, peaches, plums, zucchini, melon, peppers (oh the peppers!), eggplant, figs, okra and green beans are what I’m going to focus on for the next few weeks while they are still around.

Paw Paw Ice Cream

Paw Paw Ice Cream

Oh, and if you’re a fan of paw paws, Langier Ranches made up some paw paw ice cream you can get for only $1!

Today’s purchases:

What did you find at the farmers market this week?

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13 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Prepping for Asilomar”

  1. Greg says:

    What is a Paw Paw? Great blog post, it really is special to follow your blog and watch the seasons slowly change like you mentioned. Seeing the stonefruit leave is very sad though.

  2. Jan says:

    Wow good call on the canned fish! What grains would you suggest eating with it? I usually cannot eat canned fish alone so in the past I have eaten it with brown rice but not if I were to be traveling…

    • Darya Pino says:

      Great call Jan. I’ll probably have to end up stealing some bread or rice from the cafeteria. The salmon I could do solo, but you’re right definitely need something for the sardines.

  3. Katie says:

    I went to Asilomar for a conference a few years ago, and spent most of the week complaining about the food. I love the idea of packing your own food, and it looks like you have a ton of tasty things! Everybody else is going to be extremely jealous 🙂

  4. Allie says:

    The Empire apples are amazing! They were always my favorite variety on the East Coast and this was the first week I’ve seen them anywhere on the West Coast. So exciting!!

  5. I travel for work *constantly* and am actually making a point to try to seek out local food wherever I am- Just because I have to burn a ton of fossil fuels, doesn’t mean my food has to! I usually can’t just pack what I need because my travel involves flying but I’m glad to see you are making the attempt. I can’t even tell you how awful it is to regularly be stuck in an airport terminal with nothing but a pizza hut express. I go hungry a lot. 🙁 Good luck on your trip! Sounds like you’ll be well prepared and well fed.

  6. Matt Shook says:

    You mentioned the best ideas…lots of nuts and firm or dried fruit are a health nomads best friend!

    I picked up some amazing local honeycrisp apples at the farmer market this week…I discovered them last year and they are my favorite apple by far.

  7. Jan says:

    Hi Darya! I came back to this exact post because I wanted to get advice on a care package I am sending to a friend of mine who is away at college.

    So far I am going to send him dried fruits, almonds and trail mix. Do you have any other suggestions? He goes to West Point so I want to send him healthy food and not your average sky high sugar granola bars…

    I guess what I am asking is…if you were to get a care package in the mail, what would *you* want?

    Thanks Darya!

    ps. oooh maybe you can make a video or post about this for all the moms who read this and want to send stuff to their kids that are away in school! 😉

    • Darya Pino says:

      OMG, this is the cutest question ever. Thanks Jan!

      I actually recently got a care package that included spelt (muesli) which is delicious. It also has some specialty oil (pumpkin seed) and local honey. Fine quality chocolate is also nice, and one of the healthiest dessert foods. Anything preserved would work well (personally I love canned fish, but that isn’t for everyone). Coffee, tea. Herbs, spices. I’ll let you know if I think of anything else.

      Sounds fun and good luck!


  8. Jan says:

    thanks darya! good call on the coffee and tea!

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