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Fresh From Studio City

Farmers Markets

April 17, 2002|DAVID KARP | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The world of tomatoes was on display Sunday at the Studio City farmers market. David and Colin Irwin, who call the greenhouse in their Silver Lake backyard Ferncroft Farms, offered 16 organic heirloom tomato plants, including black-fruited Tula from Russia, red Marmande from France and Amana Orange from Iowa.

In addition, Virginia Guevara of Santa Maria had an attractive display that included picture-perfect leeks, fava beans, sugar snap peas, tender, sweet carrots and small heads of broccoli. Mario Trevino of Lompoc sold baby artichokes, beets, cilantro and cauliflower the size of basketballs. From Stockton, the Zuckerman stand brought purple and green asparagus, and rose, blue and white potatoes in mesh bags.

Beylik Family Farms of Fillmore had excellent Persian cucumbers, small, thin-skinned, seedless and sweet. Reseda-based Culinary Farms sold purple opal basil, dandelion greens, baby spinach, spicy mix, parsley, dill and mint.

Scarborough Farms, which grows at several locations in Ventura County, had fabulous tiny pea shoots, arugula and bok choy, along with radicchio, frisee and the market's only Chandler strawberries--a bit juicier and sweeter than the prevalent Camarosas.

For California-grown fruit, mid-April can seem like the darkness before the dawn: Much of the citrus from the Central Valley is getting tired and the first stone fruit is still a few weeks off. But in north San Diego County, citrus hangs on the trees in good condition well into the spring. So Brigido Gama of Valley Center Orchards had fine Washington navel oranges, old-crop Valencias, Oroblancos and Palestine Sweet limes--round yellow acidless fruits, which people from the Mideast and Latin America squeeze for refreshing juice.

*

Studio City farmers market, Ventura Place, between Ventura and Laurel Canyon boulevards, Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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