January 25, 2013 |
Midwinter is peak time for citrus to be eaten fresh, and this year quality has been superb, probably because of the extended heat earlier in the growing season. Here are tips about which varieties to look for now and from which growing areas, including recommended growers, tips for choosing and using, and potential pitfalls. For each type there's also a peek at what the future has to offer. Algerian and some other clementines (from Southern California): At its best, sweet, juicy, rich-flavored, easy to peel and seedless.
May 28, 2010 |
Growing cherries is always a roll of the dice for farmers, because if rain falls when the fruits are ripe on the tree, a large portion of them can split and be ruined. You'd think that by late May the main danger would have passed, but J.P. Barbagelata, who is hoping to bring Bings to the Santa Monica market next Wednesday, had the agonizing experience of driving off last Tuesday just as the rain was starting to fall on his farm in Linden, near Stockton. As he drove he heard that a quarter-inch had fallen, and that more was expected.
August 26, 2011 |
The word "heirloom" is commonly applied to the produce sold at farmers markets, but the concepts behind it frequently are misunderstood or stretched, both by growers and the public. Originally the word was a legal term referring to goods that descended to an heir along with real property; by extension, it came to refer to something of special value handed down from one generation to another. In a horticultural context, the Oxford English Dictionary defines "heirloom" as "a variety of plant or breed of animal which is distinct from the more common varieties associated with commercial agriculture, and has been cultivated or reared using the same traditional methods for a long time, typically on a small scale and often within a particular region or family.
February 5, 2010 |
The Santa Monica Saturday Organic farmers market was originally conceived in 1991 as an all-organic venue, but when this proved impractical, nonorganic vendors were admitted. Nevertheless, it does offer a high percentage of organic vendors, currently about 20 of 46, and more important, it's one of the best markets in the Southland, in good part because Mort Bernstein, the manager since soon after its founding, is a stickler for integrity and quality. Laura Ramirez, who drolly calls her Redlands-based farm J.J.'s Lone Daughter Ranch, brings superb avocados, keeps customers informed about the seasonal progression of varieties, and expertly picks out fruits to the desired ripeness.
July 14, 1994
Many thanks for your article "The Fruits of Home" (June 23). I've been dying for a taste of salak ever since I last visited Indonesia. But how, oh how, could you do an entire article on tropical fruits and not mention mangosteen, the most wonderful tropical fruit of all? And it's available in Mexico. I am mystified. --DIANA K. BRITT Pasadena
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2013 |
Karen Segura dug her hands deep into the soil of an onion patch at Bell Gardens Intermediate School as cars zipped past the nearly empty schoolyard. The 14-year-old was busy uprooting weeds in the school's edible garden, while around her five other students watered, tilled and pruned a lush assortment of fruits and vegetables. There were tomatoes, avocados, apples, pineapples, pumpkins, zucchinis, lavender, lettuce, Swiss chard and artichokes. Every public school in Bell Gardens has just such an urban farm run by members of the Environmental Garden Club, an after-school program that started at the intermediate school and now includes a rotating roster of 8- to 18-year-olds.
February 12, 2010 |
The scores of customers who join the long line at the Alhambra farmers market on Sunday mornings to buy Jerry Dimitman's Wong pummelos all know the drill: Get there early, and be prepared to wait as each shopper scrutinizes the giant pear-shaped citrus fruits, holding them in the hand, one by one, to judge their weight, looking for heavy, shapely specimens. Plenty of pummelos are grown in California, but most are the flat, pink-fleshed Chandler variety. And especially as Chinese New Year approaches -- it will be Sunday, Feb. 14, this year, the Year of the Tiger -- many Chinese Americans seek out the necked, yellow-fleshed fruits they remember from their homeland.
April 19, 2013 |
WEST, Texas - Most every small town in America has a local eatery that embodies its heart and soul - not to mention its stomach - a place where workers know the first names and the orders of customers by heart. In this tiny community of 2,800, devastated by an explosion at a fertilizer factory that left scores injured and a yet-untold number dead, the Czech Stop is the place where locals and passers-through stop for the meat and fruit kolaches, (pronounced koh-law-chee,) a taste of the town's Central European roots.
December 5, 2003
"World Sneezes; U.S. Diners Get Sick" (Opinion, Nov. 30) grossly exaggerated the public health concern associated with consuming fresh fruits and vegetables based on an isolated, rare outbreak linked to only one small produce commodity. We understand the need to educate consumers about the current hepatitis outbreak, but Madeline Drexler's comments about the safety of fresh produce and of possible sources of contamination were irresponsible. Her piece actually poses greater danger to most people's health by deterring them from consuming at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, the No. 1 public health message of federal health authorities today.