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Malibu Cuts the Tape

May 24, 2000|DAVID KARP

After 18 months of waiting for red tape to be cleared, Malibu residents celebrated the opening of their own farmers market last Sunday.

It is sponsored by Cornucopia Malibu Agricultural Projects, a community organization that is also establishing organic gardens at local schools to teach students about agriculture. The manager, Debra Bianco, hopes that students and local backyard growers will sell their produce at the market.

Ann Stein of Scarborough Farms, who mostly sells her Oxnard-grown vegetables directly to restaurants, has started selling at farmers markets. On Sunday, shoppers marveled at her amazingly sweet Sunshine yellow carrots, pink-fleshed watermelon radishes and delicate baby lettuces.

Paul and Christina Hartmann of Cahuilla Mountain Farm of Aguanga, east of Temecula, sold organic Candy Cane beets, an old Italian variety. They appear normal on the outside but sport on the inside mesmerizing concentric rings of pink and white flesh. When cooked they lose some color but remain very sweet. The Hartmanns also offered an unusual Asian delicacy: garlic scapes, foot-long young flower shoots that taste like garlic-flavored asparagus. Koreans often stir-fry them and pickle them in kimchi.

Randy Pudwill of Nipomo sold blueberries, bright red Ruby raspberries, blackberries and nectarberries (which, like boysenberries, are blackberry-raspberry hybrids, with some of the flavor of both).

Speaking of hybrids, Kathy Rosendahl had large, slightly fuzzy Honeyrich Apriums, new patented apricot-plum crosses, with an intriguing flavor that's mostly apricot and a bit of plum. When ripe, they're much better than typical early apricots. She also had Snowkist white-fleshed peaches (low acid, little flavor) along with dark Tulare and yellow-fleshed Rainier cherries.

Malibu farmers market, 23555 Civic Center Way, Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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