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North Park Farmers' Market Blog

Avo 'Nother

June 21, 2011 - 11:33am
Catt W


RIpe avocados are plentiful at the North Park Farmers' Market, with R&L Farms and Paradise Valley Ranch providing the fragile varieties with shorter seasons rarely seen in grocery stores. Peel and slice, then stack with tomatoes from Kawano Farms, crisp lettuce from JR Organics and bacon from Da Le Ranch for the best version yet of a BL(A)T. Toast a slice of sunflower flax bread from Belen Bakery and spread with mashed avocado, then add a coarse grind of Smoked Applewood Sea Salt from Salt Farm for a simple breakfast. 

Our newest way to love avocados? Grilled! Drizzle a halved avocado with a little good olive oil, place cut side down on the grill for just about a minute, and taste the transformation. Grilled avos take guacamole to a whole new level, mixed gently with chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro from Valdivia Farms, a squirt of farm fresh lime, and jalapenos from Suzie's Farm. Or pick up shrimp from Poppa's Fresh Fish and check out this old but great recipe from San Diego's own Food Blogga. You'll definitely want to avo 'nother serving!





June 17, 2011 - 2:22pm
Hillary E.


The Summer solstice is celebrated all around the world. The Swedes call it Midsommer; a celebration of the summer solstice and the longest day of sunlight all year long . A traditional event that revolves mostly around friends and food, Midsommer can easily be translated into a good time anywhere.

The basic idea is to celebrate the flavors of summer and the bounty of the markets at this time of year and the North Park Farmer's Market has plenty to share. Start your own midsummer tradition and toss some of Kawano Farm's sweet white corn in a salad with some chopped dill from Suzie's Farm and tomatoes from Valdivia. Grill halved avocados from Paradise Valley Ranch and made a smokier version of guacamole. While you're at it, add some bacon from Da Le Ranch and cilantro and lime too. A fruit salad of Smit Orchard's peaches and berries from Hillside and you've got summer in San Diego fully represented.

We may not spend our winters in almost perpetual darkness and snow, but we still love a good celebration of the sun. Why not start with the Summer Solstice Social at Suzie's Farm this Saturday?


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


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.


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


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.



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


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.


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


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?


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


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!


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


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.



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


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.


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


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.