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Front Burner | Farmers Markets

Selling at the Seashore

October 25, 2000|DAVID KARP

Founded in 1997, the Long Beach Marina farmers market has really taken off in the last year. It's in a pleasant harborside location in an upscale neighborhood, so it's no surprise that it's now a flourishing mid-sized affair.

On Sunday, Phillip Shin of Ha's Apple Farm, from Tehachapi, sold unbeatably sweet, crunchy Fujis, along with Winesaps (a classic sweet-tart Northeastern variety) and Granny Smiths. He also had dried Fujis (good for snacking), fresh apple and peach turnovers and newly pressed apple cider vinegar ("unfiltered, unheated and unpasteurized").

Rudy Yanez of Thermal offered "seedless" medjool dates--he had taken the seeds out himself--giant stalks of sugar cane, okra, black-eyed peas and luscious honey-fleshed figs of unknown variety. From Kingsburg, in the Central Valley, Arnulfo Garcia brought the season's first satsuma mandarins, just starting to sweeten and color up. He also had moist, freshly harvested raw peanuts, yellow-fleshed Jewel sweet potatoes and a white-fleshed variety with drier, nutty flesh.

The ABC Rhubarb stand, with growing grounds in Bell Gardens, Carson and Ventura County, sold a fine salad mix, along with arugula, Italian parsley, cilantro, mint and watercress, and fragrant fresh herbs, including oregano, sage and rosemary.

Roland Tamai of Oxnard put in a personal appearance to sell his farm's sprightly Diamante strawberries, gold and green zucchini, sweet, meaty red and yellow peppers and mild Caspian Pink tomatoes.

Paula Smith had giant pumpkins from Irvine, squat green Japanese kabocha squash, basil, pickling cucumbers and flavorful cherry tomatoes. Donnie Larson and Lawrie Byrnes of Black Dog Bakery, local dog lovers who sell only here, offered doggie treats named after their favorite pooches, such as "Stan's Stars," made of whole-wheat flour, eggs and chocolate mints ("good for their breath," said Byrnes, though she allowed that Kola's Cookies, made with yeast and garlic, might be a bit less so).

Long Beach Marina farmers market, Marina Drive just south of 2nd Street, Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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