July 16, 2010 |
Table grapes are readily available year-round at supermarkets, and if you're just looking for a juicy, healthy snack, you can do perfectly well there. But if you're looking for grapes with flavor, the best source is farmers markets, where the season for table grapes from the earliest part of the main growing area, the southern San Joaquin Valley, has just started, and vendors increasingly are offering specialty varieties to appeal to diverse tastes. PHOTOS: At the farmers market.
February 23, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - California farmers markets want to get tough with interlopers who don't sell what they grow. They're backing a bill to crack down on vendors who falsely claim to offer pesticide-free or locally grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. "Californians are fortunate to have the highest concentration of farmers markets in the nation," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento). The bill, AB 1871, he said, would "increase consumer protections and accountability at our certified farmers markets, protect local farmers and help this growing sector of the economy continue to thrive.
April 28, 1999 |
The Westchester farmers market, held Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on West 87th Street at Sepulveda Eastway, may be overshadowed by the concurrent Santa Monica market, but it has a small-town charm of its own. Steel drums resound and Pacific breezes cool the 1950s street-scape while jets from LAX roar overhead. The vendors are mostly familiar from other farmers markets; the local customers are pleased to have them.
June 7, 2013 |
This week may be the best of the year for high-flavored fruit that's worth a special trip to local farmers markets, because it's almost never available elsewhere. Start with boysenberries, whose rich, complex, sweet-tart flavor reflects their ancestry, part raspberry, part trailing blackberry. To be at their best, they must be picked dead-ripe, when they're too soft and perishable for supermarkets, and even at farmers market just a few vendors take the trouble. Look for containers in which all or most of the berries are deep purple, indicating full ripeness; less ripe berries are better for baking or making preserves.
May 17, 2013 |
Among the most intriguing May peaches are three patented by Alan and Lori Asdoorian of Kingsburg, whose century-old Island Farms lies between two branches of the Kings River, southeast of Fresno. Because of the short period from bloom to harvest, May peaches naturally tend to be small, with only moderately sweet, clingstone flesh and a susceptibility to split pits. But early-season varieties can be lucrative for breeders and farmers, who have striven to find improved selections.
February 9, 2013 |
As part of a great California olive oil boom, now at least a dozen olive oil vendors are selling at local farmers markets, up from only a couple a decade ago. Most offer a good product, but there are few who, like Michael O'Brien of Paso Gold , provide local, fresh, high-quality, certified organic oil, sold by the farmer himself in the agricultural section of the market. The combination of new varieties from Europe, high-density systems and mechanized harvest led to a surge in plantings of olives for oil, from a few hundred acres two decades ago to about 30,000 today, said Paul Vossen , a University of California farm advisor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 1998 |
Despite objections from several merchants, a farmers market on Ventura Place is scheduled to debut Sept. 20, officials announced this week. The market will operate on Sundays on Ventura Place between Laurel Canyon and Ventura boulevards from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., said Tony Lucente, president of the Studio City Residents Assn. and a member of the committee.
December 14, 2012 |
The great advantage of Southern California farmers markets - year-round availability of fresh, local produce - can sometimes backfire by obscuring the seasonal rhythm of crops and growing areas. For example, carrots, grapefruits, nuts and avocados are always available from somewhere but not always at their best; it's up to shoppers to learn the difference. Grown from the Mexico to the Oregon borders, carrots often look good but are starchy and vegetal in summer; the tenderest, crispest, sweetest ones come in winter, when the roots naturally accumulate nutrients.
December 21, 2012 |
Mandarins at their best are the noblest of citrus, with intense, complex aromatics and fascinating varietal identities. Two clementine-tangelo crosses prized for their rich flavor, Page and Lee, are now in peak season and well worth searching out. Page long been a favorite at farmers markets, and recently commercial growers have caught on and planted them on a larger scale. Its half-sister, Lee, is rare in California but arguably has even more extraordinary flavor. Page originated in Florida in 1942 as a cross of Algerian clementine and Minneola tangelo and was introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1963.
April 5, 2013 |
April is generally the least abundant month for locally grown fruits, with nothing like the profusion of stone fruits in summer, apples in autumn and citrus in winter. But there's still plenty of great choices at farmers markets, particularly for shoppers alert to the rhythm of seasons and growing areas. Strawberries , near peak now from San Diego to Santa Maria, are the dominant spring fruit in their ubiquity and mass appeal. Experienced shoppers look for berries red all the way to the top and richly perfumed.