September 10, 2012 |
Janet Jackson, Jason Biggs and more celebrities stepped out for the grand opening of Dylan's Candy Bar at the Original Farmers Market on Saturday. Owner Dylan Lauren , daughter of designer Ralph Lauren, brought her New York City-based candy institution to Los Angeles, transforming what used to be a Bath & Body Works into a colorful candy wonderland. The opening was a veritable free-for-all for candy lovers. Children and adults stuffed tins with chocolate gummi bears, rainbow sour belts and jelly beans in every imaginable color.
September 7, 2012 |
As farmers markets have proliferated in the past decade, many communities now consider a local venue to be an essential amenity, for social as well as culinary purposes. Such was the feeling in Palms, where the Motor Avenue Improvement Assn. , comprised of business owners and residents, opened a market last Sunday. It's managed by Diana Ionescu, a UCLA graduate student in urban and Latin American studies, who received advice from Pompea Smith , former director of the Hollywood market.
August 24, 2012 |
The Beverly Glen farmers market, which had a soft opening last Saturday at the Glen Centre shopping mall just south of Mulholland Drive, revives an event that debuted 11 years ago. That version folded due to a lack of parking, but the reincarnation offers a new lot and free valet service. The sponsor remains Raw Inspiration a nonprofit that has in the interim grown from 5 to 21 farmers markets in the Los Angeles area, run through an operating affiliate, California Certified Farmers Markets . The Beverly Glen market has 40 stands, 16 of them farmers, with a mix of large and small growers, including veterans and novices.
August 18, 2012 |
If you're at the farmers market and see what looks like a wilting mound of what must once have been beautiful string beans tinted with patterns of cream and crimson, don't pass them by. These are shelling beans: varieties that are normally grown for drying but which can be sold (and cooked) fresh. They have a sweet, subtle flavor that's somewhere between the earthy complexity of dried and the green, vegetal taste of fresh. The season lasts for only two or three weeks, so get them while you can. How to choose: Look for pods that have begun to shrivel and dry, with full-sized beans inside.
August 17, 2012 |
LOMPOC, Calif. - A new beef vendor at the Santa Monica farmers market, Rancho San Julian is very likely the oldest continuously operated family farm in California, dating to 1816, when José de la Guerra began to raise meat for the presidio at Santa Barbara. In 1837, the governor of Alta California granted him title to the ranch, which has remained in his family for nine generations. It currently extends over 13,000 acres of grasslands and oak forest, roamed by cougars, bears and hawks, and home to 500 Angus cows and their calves.
August 14, 2012 |
Three and a half years ago, Rick Nahmias found a use for the untended citrus trees he saw in his Valley neighborhood. He organized volunteers and began harvesting the food for people in need, giving birth to Food Forward with one 85-pound harvest. His idea blossomed, and Food Forward announced that it had picked a million pounds of fruit. This week, it begins “harvesting” at a new location: farmers markets. The Farmers Market Recovery Program begins Wednesday in Santa Monica.
August 3, 2012 |
Among the most lamented casualties of industrial fruit commerce is the Gravenstein apple, whose intense, distinctive aroma, honeyed, floral and fruity, has lodged in the memories of many Californians, emblematic of the careless rapture of childhood. Most plantings in Sonoma, where the variety reaches perfection, have given way to wine grapes and showier, longer-storing and milder-flavored apples, but a few farmers and a Slow Food group have striven to preserve the variety. Still, few Sonoma Gravensteins show up in Southern California, which makes it all the more special that on Aug. 5 and 19, Paul Kolling of Nana Mae's Organics, who tends 75 acres of Gravensteins in Sebastopol, will be selling at the Mar Vista farmers market.
July 31, 2012 |
The nonprofit organization that runs the Hollywood farmers market and six others, Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles , has hired a new executive director. James W. Haydu, who is currently chief development officer of the Mar Vista Family Center and who worked from 2006 to 2011 as director of communications, policy and marketing for Pike Place Market in Seattle, will start Aug. 27, according to a SEE-LA news release. The position became vacant in April when Pompea Smith, who founded the Hollywood market in 1991 and served for many years as SEE-LA's executive director, was fired by the group's board . This came after a tumultuous year in which the organization faced financial difficulties and a struggle over street closures with the neighboring Los Angeles Film School , which threatened to force the Hollywood market to move from its site.
July 27, 2012 |
Of the dozen tomato varieties displayed at Vang Thao's stand last Saturday, one, with purplish black skin over a flaming orange ground color, stood out spectacularly. It's a new variety, Indigo Rose, pigmented by anthocyanins, the same compounds responsible for the dark color in cherries, blood oranges and red cabbages, but not previously significant in cultivated tomatoes. It's noteworthy not so much because of the flavor - it's nice but not memorable - but because of the potential health benefits, and also just because of its sheer oddity.
July 20, 2012 |
Flanked by low-income housing, recently renovated lofts, offices and art galleries, the Historic Downtown Los Angeles farmers market, which opened two weeks ago, is a study in contrasts. Rehabilitated skid row denizens wash away stains in front of a new ballet school, while classically ornamented white buildings loom above tourists, hipsters and longtime residents of diverse ethnicities and incomes. As downtown's population swelled from 18,000 to 50,000 over the last decade, the residents have been "severely underserved in the way of fresh produce and healthy foods," said Blair Besten, executive director of the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Business Improvement District, which responded by sponsoring the new market.