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North Park Farmers' Market Blog

Pack in the Protein

September 7, 2011 - 10:37am
Britta T


Ever wonder if the food you eat gives you enough of that prized possession, protein? You've got options folks! The North Park Farmers' Market has all of them stacked and ready to go so you can pack your meals with a protein punch.

If you're feeling carnivorous, try something new and grab a lean cut of rabbit from Da Le Ranch- high in protein and low in fat, this is a great addition to any slow cooked stew. If veggies are calling your name, make a fresh summer salad with lima beans and corn, topped with shaved broccoli stems from Maciel and Family. How about snacking on a handful of raw almonds from Hopkins AG to carry you through your day, or try adding fresh walnuts from Nicolau Farm to a pile of Suzie's fresh arugula and roasted beets. There's always your traditional on-the-go meal by smearing some cinnamon infused peanut butter from PB Peanut Butter all over a toasted slice of sunflower flaxseed multigrain baked by Belen Bread. Give your breakfast a boost and smother a good helping of Bitchin' Sauce's pesto over poached eggs and avocado slices from Paradise Valley Ranch or dip fresh carrots and cucumbers from Suzie's Farm in Majestic Garlic's rich, vegan curry hummus. However you do it, you're sure to feel good eating straight from the market! 


Goin' Green

September 7, 2011 - 8:51am
Britta T


We've heard a lot of buzz lately about green drinks, green energy and green washing. If you're aware of the different ways you can practice a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, we're right there with you and the North Park Farmers' Market is a great place to practice "being green". It's easier than Kermit the Frog thought, and here are a few ways you can support sustainable practices at the market too!

1) Buy local, mostly organic products!
Admit it, the food tastes better and you feel good knowing that you're supporting local business owners and farmers. It's great for you and even better for mother nature. Ask your farmer about their farm and their practices and keep buying their products to support them.

2) Recycle!
Vendors like Happy Pantry or Thyme of Essence offer a $1 discount on jars of pickles if you return the jar every week. Refill your egg cartons with Paradise Valley Ranch. Reuse your plastic smoothie bottles or glass gallon jugs when you fill up from Green Fix every week.

4) Reuse canvas bags
Instead of using so many plastic products every week (for everything from your hot food items, beverages, and produce bags), come prepared with reusable bags or beverage containers. Remember, if you forget, we've got insulated reusable bags for sale at the Info booth!

5) Choose two wheels over Four
Not only is it fun and good exercise to ride your beautiful bike to a farmers' market, but you do good for the environment and alsolessen the load of traffic in and around markets. Get a basket and take home your fresh produce while doing something good for the earth!


Savoury Southwestern

September 7, 2011 - 8:37am
Britta T


Let's face it- people in California love Southwestern food. And in our small San Diego corner of the world, that means any fusion of ingredients that Spaniards, cowboys, Native Americans and Mexicans might have gnoshed on. You'll find the stalls bursting at our North Park Farmer's Market with ingredients for you to satiate those spicy cravings create your own style of Southwestern cuisine.

If you haven't already tried a sample, Bitchin' Sauce offers a spicy chipotle sauce that you can smother over just about anything. Make yourself a Southwestern breakfast bowl with fresh black eyed peas from JR Organics and corn kernels from Kawano Farms. Add a couple of sliced jalapenos from Suzie's Farm, diced heirloom tomatoes from Valdivia, and creamy chunks of Reed avocados from John Gilruth. You can add farm fresh poached eggs from Paradise Valley Ranch and top it off with chopped cilantro from Maciel & Family.

When you need a simple afternoon snack, reach for a handful of Smoked Chipotle almonds from Hopkins AG to give you that spicy kick you need to make it to dinner, and if you're still hungry by the time the market comes to and end, be sure to stop by Gourmet Tamales for a savory Sweet Corn and Poblano tamale! 


Think Outside the Lunchbox

August 30, 2011 - 4:14pm
Carolyn K


This year when you send your kids back to school why not think outside the lunch box!  The North Park Farmers market has tons of stuff to replace the usual lunchables.  Make lunch better with fruit kabobs, made with Smit Orchards grapes & apples with chunks of Springhill white cheddar.  Pack up some JR Organics carrots, cucumbers, celery with some hummus from Majestic Garlic and your kids won't be trading their sack.  A  vegetable frittata made from Paradise Valley eggs, even when cold, never gets old.  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which includes Pacific Beach Peanut Butter and Belen bread, will definitely fill the lunch niche!   Replace the peanut butter with a spreadable Nicolau Farms chevre and you'll have a sandwich like no other.   No kid will ever tire of a pasta salad, made from Lisko's fresh pasta, their favorite steamed veggies, and tossed with olive oil by Thyme of Essence.  Get adventuresome and pack some almonds from Hopkins Ag or Suzie's steamed beets instead of other treats. Safari Crunch Granola and raisins from R&L  will add some punch to any yogurt lunch.   Now you got the hang of it, ready, set, go to the North Park Farmers market and make a healthy lunch!


Labor Day in a New Way

August 30, 2011 - 12:19pm
Carolyn K


Labor Day weekend is here and whether you're barbecuing, picnicking or just partying the North Park Farmers market has all the traditional and some of the not-so-traditional holiday food faves. Why not give your favorite summertime lemonade made with lemons from John Gilruth or Paradise Valley Ranch a new twist by adding Hillside Family farms' passion fruit. Try adding a sharp Firehouse Jack from Springhill to your Da-Le Ranch ground beef burger or top your veggie burger with some cool tzatziki from Baba Foods. Kick your "tried and true" salsa to the curb and make some peach salsa with the sweetest  peaches of the season from Smit Orchards or R& L Farms.Tired of your old sides? Dip grilled okra from Suzie's in your favorite Bitchin' Sauce. Layer JR Organics strawberries with fresh goat cheese from Nicolau Farms and Safari Crunch granola. 

Of course there's always room for some traditions and Labor Day would not be the same without corn from Kawano farms and watermelon from the Produce Stand, JR Organics or Valdivia farms.  Whatever you do with your day, the North Park Farmer's market wishes you a happy and delicious holiday!


Soothing Your Savage Sweet Tooth

August 23, 2011 - 8:52am
Carolyn K


Do you have a savage sweet tooth that needs to be soothed?  Then, look no further than the North Park Farmers market.  If you covet cupcakes, then you'll want to make a stop at the iconic hot-pink truck of Cupcakes and Beyond.  Their cupcakes are filled with only the finest natural ingredients and they're baked fresh daily.  If you crave cookies, then our new vendor Sunshine Cookie Company has the cure with their homestyle treats, and Cookie Chew is  featuring  dark chocolate espresso truffles stuffed inside their signature brown sugar cookie this month. They may give you an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast. 

For the vegan sweet tooth, the lemon bars from Mocai Vegan will surely satisfy or try a dark chocolate peanut butter cup from Pacific Beach Peanut Butter. More cures for your sugar blues include the handcrafted cinnamon sticky buns by Belen Artisan Bread, organic and gluten free cheesecake at Liskos, Baklava from Baba Foods and let's not forget the goat cheese popsicles made by Viva Pops and sold by Nicolau Farms.  For the more sophisticated sweet tooth, Taste Cheese never disappoints with a triple creme brie or an aged blue cheese paired with your favorite fruit.  Finish your sweet treat adventure with a stop at the  Original Paw Pleasers to pick up some grain free cookies, treats and doggie ice cream because your furry friend has a sweet tooth too!


Tis the season to eat rainbows

August 23, 2011 - 6:21am
Carolyn K

Despite no rain for many weeks, rainbows can be spotted all throughout the North Park Farmers market!  Stop by JR Organics, The Produce Stand, Valdivia  or Kawano Farms and your eyes will be treated to multi-colored melons and tomatoes.  Suzie's farm has peppers of every color;  R&L Farms has vibrant yellow & orange stone fruit;   John Gilruth's avocados are emeralds in the rough;  Smit Orchards' deep purple blueberries shimmer in the sunlight and Hillside has exotically colored passionfruit. 
Those colors mesmerize the eyes, but we suggest that you do more than gaze at the colors! Take a bunch of big bites because those colors, scientists and clinical nutritionists agree,contain essential health components that can help you stay healthy.   We found these recipes that  serve up a big slice of the rainbow and are delicious:   A Tomato, Watermelon and Nicolau Farms Feta Salad  or a  watermelon, peach, tomato and avocado salad .  After trying them you'll be clicking your heels and repeating that familiar phrase "there's no place like the North Park Farmers market!"


No More Sufferin' Succotash

August 17, 2011 - 10:42am
Carolyn K

Tomatoes, corn,  green beans, okra, oh my!   So many choices for delicious produce at the North Park Farmer's market, how can one decide what to buy?   Not to worry-succotash to the rescue! 
At the heart of succotash is corn and beans and the dish resembles a stew in texture.   However, there are as many recipes for succotash as there are imitations of Sylvester the Cat  lisping over the syllables..  Our version of succotash  starts by  sauteing Da-Le Ranch bacon and removing it from the pan.  In that same pan, saute Valdivia farms zucchini, Suzie's purple okra, onions from the Produce Stand,  Kawano farms corn,  green beans and cherry tomatoes from JR Organics.  Finish by adding back the bacon and season with Salt Farm's roasted garlic infused salt.  The result is no more sufferin' succotash!


Pick up a basket full of love

August 16, 2011 - 8:00am
Carolyn K

Romance is always in the air at North Park Farmers market!  So gather up your partner and dosey doe through the aisles because they're chocked full of aphrodisiacs sure to make your date night a success! Sure, there's the familiar foods that chemically make us more amorous, like oysters and chocolate.  But did you know that your gardens are also filled with these beacons of love?.  Your first stop should be at Valdivia to pick up some tomatoes. Tomatoes, also known as "love apples", were were banned by the Catholic Church in the 19th century due to concerns about the fruit’s “morality.”  We dare you to try to control yourself after biting into the red,  juicy, fleshy forbidden fruit!

Next stop on your love journey should be Suzie's farms to pick up some Armenian cucumbers.  Researchers have found a link between the smell of cucumbers and sexual arousal. Don't let yourself get too carried away...and be sure to stop by John Gilruth's and pick up an avocado or two. Just by looking at the shape of avocado, you will see the reason why it was associated with sensual creativity.  What's that delightful aroma wafting JR Organics? Their fresh bunches of basil are sure to arouse you, and while you're moseying through the stalls, take a taste of Hopkins Ag almonds. These nuts are known throughout the ages to be a symbol of fertility. Finish up your shopping with some delicious cheese from Taste that you can spread softly over a warm baguette from Belen. And don't forget to tempt your beloved with a chocolatey Almond Joy cookie from the Chewy Cookie. Last but not least, get some flowers from Maldonado and you're almost guaranteed to get some tonight!

Hummus- a Recipe for ChickPeas of Mind

August 12, 2011 - 11:24am
Carolyn K


North Park Farmers Market shoppers love hummus!  Whether it's the sundried tomato sprouted hummus from Majestic Garlic, Lisko's Curry or Peanut Butter hummus, or Kalamata Olive or Cilantro Jalapeno hummus from Baba Foods, we scoop it up with slices of fresh cucumber from JR Organics and ask for more.

So, what makes hummus, a paste of mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic, so additive and  appealing?  The answer is the chickpeas!  Chickpeas, like other legumes, are full of Tryptophan, an amino acid which lifts your mood and create a calming effect. In fact,  chickpeas were originally cultivated for their mood lifting properties. So, next time you're at the North Park Farmers Market, pick up a tub of humus or a handful of Suzie's Farm's fresh chickpeas, munch away and you're sure to have a great day!