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Farmers' Market Report

April 14, 1999|DAVID KARP

Few farmers' markets stay open after dark, but the new Eagle Rock Friday market, at Merton and Caspar avenues, runs from 5 to 9 p.m. "People like to come here after work and dinner for entertainment," says the manager, Van Nuys egg and poultry producer Ken Arno.

One of the joys of farmers' markets is finding backyard growers with unusual produce. On a blustery evening last week, Salome Antiquera, a home gardener in Glendale, sold buckets of calamondins--tiny tart mandarins beloved by the Eagle Rock area's many Filipinos, who use them for a kind of lemonade and for marinades. She also offered New Zealand spinach (FYI: they're known as warrigal greens Down Under), good for salads and stir-fries, and an aromatic herb known as chocolate mint.

Across the street, Godinez Nursery from Oxnard had calamondin trees for sale, as well as two rare varieties of very rich-flavored avocados, Rincon and Edranol.

This may seem like the year of never-ending winter, but McGrath Farms from Camarillo and Valdivia Farms from Carlsbad had fresh fava beans, emblematic of spring. Valdivia also had zucchini blossoms (the females attached to tiny zucchini, the males solo), tiny baby squash and strawberries.

The Underwood stand featured small but very sweet seedless satsumas from Moorpark and a gorgeous display of orange, pink and maroon beets. Across the way, Martinez Apiaries sold orange and sage honey produced in Compton and Palos Verdes--part of a long tradition of urban honeys.

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