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North Park Farmers' Market Blog

SOMETHING FISHY IN NORTH PARK

June 3, 2011 - 3:15pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

YOU'LL BE HOOKED

No, there's nothing suspicious about the new seafood offerings at the North Park Farmers' Market but you have every reason to get reeled into the excitement!

Poppa's Fresh Fish will now be shucking oysters and serving up fresh sea urchins for your enjoyment every Thursday. You can eat the sea urchins at the market or take them home, served in their shells they make a dramatic and gorgeous presentation. Newcomer Ceviche Shack is serving it up with a smile. Inspired by a lifetime of vacations and trips to Baja, the ceviche here is tangy and fresh with just a little kick. Perfect for topping tostadas, scooping with tortilla chips and enjoying on sunny afternoons. And for something truly decadent, order a crab cake sandwich from the Devilicious truck and find out just how devilishly delightful their food really is.

LEAN GREEN PROTEIN

June 3, 2011 - 2:00pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

GRASS FED BEEF

June 3rd marked the first day of the first annual Grass Fed Beef Week here in San Diego and the North Park Farmers' Market is proud to have a grass fed beef vendor of our own. Da Le Ranch. Though not exclusively grass fed, the beef at Da Le Ranch is pastured and occasionally supplemented with hay when the grass pickings are slim, making for some tasty - and responsibly raised - meat.

Organizers of this week-long event describe it as offering "opportunities for foodies, the health conscious, and beef lovers looking for sustainable options to enjoy the unadulterated flavor that grass fed beef brings to the table, along with the nutritional benefits of lower fat and increased omega-3 fatty acids." With 6 restaurants and Whole Foods Hillcrest all participating you'll find specials featuring the "green" protein around town for you to sample and appreciate.

So after you fill your bags and baskets with fruits, veggies and more from favorites like Suzie's Farm, R&L Farms and JR Organics, Springhill Cheese and Lisko Imports, head down the street a bit to The Linkery or El Take It Easy for deliciously prepared specials featuring grass fed beef. Keeping it local, delicious and sustainable.

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A BERRY GOOD THING

May 27, 2011 - 4:01pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

MULL THIS OVER

Say hello to the newest farmers at the North Park Farmers' Market. At Hillside Family Farms, the berries are ripe and sweet and the avocados are as creamy as can be. There's nothing like a bright sunshiny day to get us in the mood for berries of all shapes and sizes, but Hillside really brings their game when they bring the mulberries. Sweet like raspberries or blackberries but without the tart kick, you won't find mulberries crowding your typical produce isles. Even better? Mulberries contain resveratrol, the same potent, good-for-you antioxidant found in red grapes and red wine.

For a twist on your classic strawberry shortcake, split one of your favorite scones from Belen Bakery in half. Top each side with a mixture of Hillside Family Farms mullberries, Kawano Farms strawberries and Smit Farms blueberries chopped and macerated in a hint of sugar (and a splash of liqueur if you're so inclined). Top with a dollop of Springhill Farms' lemon quark and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint from Suzie's Farm. Breakfast or dessert? That's for you decide.

ANOTHER MAY

May 27, 2011 - 2:58pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS THURSDAY

Whew! Where did that month go? May was a crazy mixed up month of grey mornings and sunshine. It was the beginning of the summer stone fruits and the month of food trucks. We still may not know what the weather has in store from day to day (banish the though of June Gloom), but you can bet every Thursday at the North Park Farmer's Market will be full of delicious bounty.

A salad of JR Organics spicy green mix and cucumbers, avocados from Paradise Valley and thinly sliced flank steak from Da Le Ranch with a creamy dressing using Majestic Garlic's garlic paste is perfect on warm or cool evenings. A side of Cornbread Daddy's jalapeno cheddar cornbread? Oh, yes.

Little fuzzy apricots from R&L Farms perfume the air with their sweetness. Cut them in half, brush them with a little olive oil from Thyme of Essence, a sprinkle of brown sugar and a very small pinch of Salt Farm's espresso infused sea salt and roasted under the broiler for a few minutes. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and finish dessert off right.

Hungry yet?

POSH SQUASH

May 20, 2011 - 1:01pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

LET'S PLAY SQUASH

Zucchini, yellow crookneck, pattypan and 8-ball, oh my! The summer squashes are making their appearance on the scene and at the North Park Farmers' Market. Tender and small, these guys are ripe for the picking, and eating too!

The pattypan and yellow crookneck squash from Kawano Farms are as sweet as can be. Steam them, sautee them or throw them on the grill. Any way you eat it is sure to be delicious. The 8-ball squash from JR Organics is perfect for stuffing with a little pork sausage from Da La Ranch and some wild rice. Or go raw and dip slices of Valdivia Farms' tiny squashes in Lisko Imports' spicy Cascabel Pepper hummus for an afternoon snack.

Farmer's like Valdivia and Suzie's Farm are putting to good use more than just the fruit of the plant, they sell the squash blossom as well. Try them in a quesadilla or omelette, or use this method and impress your family or guests:

Saute a few shrimp from Poppa's Fresh Fish with garlic, then blend with some ricotta or quark from Taste Cheese or Springhill Farm, adding fresh herbs to taste. Stuff 3 or 4 squash blossoms per person with the shrimp mixture. Most recipes call for battering the blossoms and deep frying, but we go a little healthier and easier by dipping them in a little beaten egg and then cornmeal and sauteeing quickly in some good olive oil from Thyme of Essence. Serve on a bed of pea shoots from Suzie's Farm, with a little drizzle of pesto from Lisko Artisan Deli.

Get your squash on!

A CHERRY ON TOP

May 13, 2011 - 2:42pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

THE NITTY PITTY DETAILS

Can you feel it? The beginning of stone fruit season is upon us. Soon the markets will be full of fruits other than citrus, berries and apples - all delicious wonderful fruits, to be sure, but there's something so alluring about the stone fruits. There will be peaches and apricots and plums; rosy cheeks and fuzzy skins. But right now, right this minute, the cherries are heralding in the season. Stop by Smit Orchards this Thursday at the North Park Farmers Market and check these beauties out.

Burlat and Brooks are some of the early season offerings and each dazzling in their own right. Brooks are sweet, juicy and the perfect shade of red, a true market favorite. Burlats, sometimes called early Bings are quite similar to their counterparts with a softer flesh that ripens quickly into a deep shade of red. Both make for easy snacking, or showcase the fruit in Julia Child's classic clafoutis dessert, a silky custard that envelops embraces the jolly fruit. However you eat them, eat them quick! The season will be over before you know it.

Get excited, we hear this is supposed to be a phenomenal harvest year.

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A NOD TO THE NEW

May 6, 2011 - 3:18pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

YOUR NEW FAVORITES

If you haven't been to the North Park Farmers' Market recently, you're missing out on some great new vendors. And with new vendors comes new inspiration, new ideas and that means we can fulfill more of your shopping needs.

Coffee and tea are back for your afternoon pick-me-up, brought to you by Agora Bean & Leaf. Iced and cool or steamy hot, there's nothing like a little caffeine to perk you up for your stroll around the market. BasilTops will be bringing at least 10 different kinds of pesto, ranging from mild to spicy with a few vegan offerings thrown in; the habanero pesto has a fruity heat that's completely addictive. R&L Farms has citrus aplenty for your daily dose of Vitamin C and Nicolau Farms brings unparalleled chevre - a fresh goat cheese that's tangy and creamy with just a hint of funk - every Thursday.

Tie it all together and make this salad of roasted beets from Suzie's Farm or JR Organics, Nicolau Farms' fresh chevre, segmented oranges from R&L and a sprinkle of chopped almonds from Hopkins Ag. Dress it with an herbaceous vinaigrette using California olive oil from Thyme of Essence and enjoy your new Thursday afternoon bounty.

WHEELING AND DINING

May 6, 2011 - 12:59pm
Author: 
Hillary E.

THE FOOD TRUCKS ARE HERE

They're hip, they're cool and they're the darlings of the food scene right now. The food trucks are rolling into the North Park Farmers' Market during the month of May and so should you. Banish the memories of unappealing greasy food served out of generic trucks parked outside construction sites, these mobile kitchens bring street cred to eating out. They're making food with innovative twists on classic dishes and using farm fresh foods to help them out. We couldn't think of a better way to grab a bite to eat while shopping for your weekly veggies, fruit, meat, cheese and flowers.

Last week it was Chop Soo.ey, MangiaMangia and Two for the Road bringing the mobile eats. Want to see who's coming up next? Do like the food trucks do and follow us on twitter, @SDMarkets to stay up to date with the happenings at the market and stay in the know.

Refresher Course

April 29, 2011 - 1:12pm
Author: 
Hillary E

REFRESHER COURSE

Agua Frescas are a great way to capture the sweet flavors of the season in a pitcher.  Simply puree your farm-fresh fruit (or other fresh produce) with a little water, a squeeze of lime and maybe a dash of sugar in a blender and strain.  A 4:1 ratio of water to fruit works well, but adjusting for your taste is easy. Adding fresh herbs will kick things up even more.

At the Adams Avenue Farmer’s Market, start by choosing Kawano Farms Strawberries and a little basil from Suzie’s Farm.  Guavas from Rancho Mexico Lindo with a little extra lime  from Paradise Valley Ranch will make a sweet-tart mixture that's sure to refresh.

Over at the North Park Farmer’s Market, JR Organics has what you need for the classic cucumber lime rendition or a sweeter strawberry mint batch.  Or squeeze the juice from R&L Farms oranges into the blender with a few sprigs of Suzie’s Farm cilantro for an interesting twist. Serving these in a glass rimmed with ginger infused sea salts from Salt Farm  and a wedge of your favorite citrus will dress your frescas to impress!

 

Cinco de Farm-o

April 29, 2011 - 12:47pm
Author: 
Hillary E

LET THE FIESTA BEGIN!

Whether you’re stopping by for a festive nosh, or picking up some farm fresh finishing touches for your party, make the North Park Farmers’ Market your go-to spot for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Find chils and salsa and fresh tamales full of local ingredients from Gourmet Tamales, and Salvadorean Pupusas ready made and delicious.  For at-home cookin’ Poppa’s got fresh fish for making fish tacos and Ranchwood Deli has pulled pork ready for a carnitas variation; try them on Don Tommy's jalapeno tortillas smeared with a little vegan chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce for a spicy modern Latin kick.  Slice some grilled chicken from Da Le Ranch and lay it over a bed of Suzie’s Farm lettuce, top with avocados from Paradise Valley Ranch, tomatoes from Valdivia Farms, and any other veggies that catch your eye you’ve got a new twist on taco salad.  Olé!

Going for great guacamole? Avocados are ripe and ready from Paradise Valley or R&L Farms. Cut avos into chunks and mash slightly with a squirt of farm-fresh lime, some chopped tomatoes and cilantro from Valdivia Farms, garlic from Suzie's Farm and spring onions from JR Organics. Just add margaritas!