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North Park Farmers' Market Blog

The Little Red Hens Build a Public Market

August 8, 2012 - 11:12am
Author: 
Catt W

LITTLE RED HEN... AND FLOCK

Public Markets like Pike Place in Seattle, Redding Terminal in Pennsylvania and Westside Market in Cleveland used public funds to get started. In San Diego, the City wouldn't do it. The Port said no. No County property donated, or big developers who want to step up.

So we're creating the San Diego Public Market ourselves. But unlike the Little Red Hen in the story, we have a flock of supporters. Ready to join in? Even a few dollars will add to what we need to build this new public gathering place and small business incubator, and we're offering cool rewards to those who help. 

Take a look at our Kickstarter Campaign to see what we're up to, and how you can look back and say you helped build the San Diego Public Market. Whether or not you can donate, you can help by spreading the word. Put the Kickstarter link on your Facebook page (and LIKE ours!), tweet it, email your friends.

Great cities all around the world have vibrant public markets and a network of neighborhood farmers' markets. We want the same for San Diego. A few dollars at a time, we can make a magical place. Thanks for joining our flock!

THURSDAY SALSA PARTY

July 31, 2012 - 12:17pm
Author: 
Chris S.

Spice up your night with salsa fresca made from North Park Thursday Farmers’ Market ingredients, great on grilled meats and veggies, or for dipping.

Start your shopping at Valdivia Farms, where you’ll find tomatoes, green onion and cilantro, then head across the aisle to Proios Family Farm for fresh garlic, sweet bell peppers and spicy chiles including jalapenos and habaneros. JR Organics has red and yellow onions and a dazzling array of heirloom tomatoes, but be sure to ask about tomatillos - they make an excellent salsa verde. Toss in other fresh vegetables like cucumbers, radishes, and banana peppers from African Sisters Farm, or add more complexity to your salsa by including sweet antohi peppers, poblanos or padrons from Suzie’s Farm.

Like sweet salsas? Grab a bunch of grapes from Smit Orchard and try this grape salsa recipe. Diced green tomatoes from Kawano Farm add a little tartness to any salsa, as does a squeeze of fresh lime from Paradise Valley Ranch or R&L Farms. If you don’t have time to make your own, pick up freshly made salsa from Gourmet Tamales. If you’re happier on the dance floor than in the kitchen, spice up your exercise schedule with a salsa dancing lesson at the Queen Bee Art & Cultural Center

MEET THE SWEETS

July 25, 2012 - 10:17am
Author: 
Chris S.

Shop for dinner, stay for dessert at the North Park Thursday Farmers’ Market! Visit Sunnyside Kitchen for freshly baked cookies just like Mom used to make (but even better!) like Chocolate Delight, Peanut Butter and Mama’s Oatmeal. Don’t miss their banana oatmeal muffins and brownie bites too! Under the Crust has apple crumb, blueberry, lemon and pecan pies among their amazing offerings- check out their mini-pies in tiny tins, perfect for single servings! Grab a few as a hostess gift. Keep strolling down Herman Street to Bluespark Baking for sweet and savory pastry pockets, and grab a signature Bluespark iced coffee while you’re there.  Use Meljess Bee's honey instead of sugar in your baking recipes, like this honey cake with stewed strawberries recipe. You can get the eggs and berries from the North Park Market too! Moncai Vegan bakes carrot cake and fudge brownies, both gluten-free, as well as awesome cinnamon rolls and giant salted caramel cupcakes (a market staff favorite!). Stop by Belen Bakery for a classic tollhouse cookie, scones and blueberry bread to satisfy your sweet tooth. Check out the unusual dessert tamales from Gourmet Tamales, including strawberry apple, orange mango and pumpkin spice. Our farmers' friut always makes a healthy sweet ending to your market meal. Life is short, eat dessert first!

NEXT ON OKRA

July 18, 2012 - 12:17pm
Author: 
Chris S.

Fresh okra is here at African Sisters, Proios Farm and JR Organics at the North Park Thursday Farmers’ Market! Try tossing a few lightly with California Olive oil, grill quickly on a hot grill, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and eat! For fans of Cajun and Creole cuisine, okra season means gumbo time. Lucky for you, the North Park Farmers’ Market is loaded with great ingredients for the perfect bowl. Find onion and garlic at Proios Farm, celery and cayenne peppers at Suzie’s Farm, green onion at Valdivia Farm and tomatoes at Kawano Farms. DaLe Ranch has naturally raised chicken and the Meat Men supply spicy fresh and cured sausage. If you’re new to gumbo, learn some technique and check out a recipe, but remember the key is to use great ingredients and have fun! 

AUBERGINE DREAMS

July 11, 2012 - 11:01am
Author: 
Chris S.

Aubergine, or eggplant, is in season at Prois Farm, JR Organics and Suzie’s Farm at the North Park Thursday Farmers’ Market, and it’s one of our favorite summer vegetables. We can’t resist a classic eggplant parmigiana with fresh basil and, of course, real Parmigiano-Reggiano from Taste Cheese. If you have the patience and the need to impress, Japanese eggplant from Suzie’s Farm and summer squashes from Kawano Farms are perfect for this gorgeous ratatouille recipe; yes it’s the one from that movie! Pick up fresh parsley, lemons from Paradise Valley Ranch, and extra virgin olive oil from The California Olive for this baba ghanoush; don’t forget a crusty baguette from Belen Bakery for dipping. What will you make with eggplant? Give us some egg-cellent ideas! 
 

LICENSE TO DILL

July 5, 2012 - 12:09pm
Author: 
Chris S.

Find fresh, fragrant dill at the North Park Farmers’ Market, perfect for lending its flavor to pickled cucumbers, and also delicious on fresh cucumbers, carrots, onions or tomatoes. Pick up potatoes from Proios Farms for a dilled potato salad, or take home pastured eggs from Paradise Valley Ranch and try dill deviled eggs. Buy a big bag of pickling cucumbers from JR Organics. Tatse Cheese has Psychedillic dill pollen-infused chevre today; use it to fill sticks of celery from Suzie’s Farm for a quick appetizer. We used a farm fresh chicken from Da Le Ranch for this lemon dill roast chicken, but you could also kick up a roasted chicken from Rollswisserie before you reheat for 10 minutes in a hot oven. We served ours with a side of summer squash from Kawano Farms sauteed with more dill; it was dillicious! 

NICE AND NAUGHTY

June 27, 2012 - 3:35pm
Author: 
Chris S.

Padron peppers from Suzie’s Farm at the North Park Farmers’ Market are a bit of a gamble; nine out of ten padrons are nice, mild peppers with a slightly snappy taste, but the tenth is a scorcher that will really wake up your taste buds! Toss them in olive oil, sear them in a hot skillet until the skin blisters, and sprinkle with sea salt for a classic Spanish style tapa. If you need reliably hot heat, try their serrano peppers or some mixed hot peppers from Proios Family Farms; mix with tomatoes, cilantro and onion from Valdivia Farms in a summer salsa fresca. If sweet is more your style, try this recipe using pale yellow antohi Hungarian peppers; stuff them with Springhill Cheese goat cheese and spinach from JR Organics, drizzle with serrano chile honey balsamic from The California Olive. Green bells are also in season. Need more ideas on how to use these sweet and spicy treats? Stop by the market and feel free to pepper us with questions!

Fresh and Squeezy!

June 13, 2012 - 8:16pm
Author: 
Chris S

Cool off the summer nights by squeezing fresh citrus from the North Park Farmers’ Market.  Bearss limes (also known as Tahiti Limes) from Paradise Valley Ranch, have a slightly spicy, fragrant aroma that makes a delicious limeade, especially with few crushed mint leaves from Suzie’s Farm. They'd also be great for these Indian Lime Pickles. In fact, if you get these into production, please take our Vendor 101 class and let us help you establish a creative pickle booth at local farmers' markets. But we digress. We were talking about citrus.

Oro blancos from Gilbert Quintos are a hybrid of grapefruits and pomelos that are sweeter, lower in acidity and lack the characteristic bitterness of other grapefruits.  Juice a couple for breakfast. If R&L Farms gives you Eureka lemons, make lemonade!  Sweeten it with orange blossom honey from Meljess Bees for a great flavor; add pureed strawberries from JR Organics or blackberries and blueberries from Smit for a splash of color.  Take it squeezy!

Basil Dazzle

May 17, 2012 - 6:17am
Author: 
Chris S

 

Buy fresh sweet basil from Suzie’s Farm or Valdivia Farm at the North Park Farmers’ Market and lend its lovely aroma to fruit, vegetable, cheese and pasta dishes each Thursday. You’re probably already imagining ripe tomatoes from JR Organics mixed with chopped basil and spread over bruschetta of toasted slices Belen Bakery’s ciabatta rubbed with California Olive new truffle oil. What says summer like simple plates of basil, tomatoes and sinful fresh burrata from Taste Cheese? Try fresh linguine from Lisko Imports topped with homemade basil pesto.

Basil also gets friendly with fresh summer fruits: try a salad of fresh greens from Maciel Farm topped with sliced peaches from Smit Orchards, a little chevre from Nicolau Farms and a healthy handful of freshly chopped basil. Use strawberries from Kawano Farm and Eureka lemons from Paradise Valley Ranch in this strawberry-basil lemonade or add an apple for this summery Sangria. Basil’s in season throughout the summer, so add a little basil-dazzle to dinner tonight!

Nopales? Yes, pa-leese!

April 26, 2012 - 7:29am
Author: 
Chris S

Visit Gilbert Quintos farm at the North Park Farmers’ Market for fresh nopales, the tender, edible shoots of the nopal cactus that are also known as prickly pear.  Look for flat green pads about the size of your hand, and be careful; the sharp spines may still be attached!  If they are, use a vegetable peeler to remove them. Then brush them with a little olive oil and throw them on the  grill, about five minutes on each side; enjoy them in a taco with grilled green onions from Kawano Farm, or serve them with a grass fed strip steak from DaLe Ranch.  

To enjoy nopales in a salad or scrambled into farm fresh eggs form Paradise Valley Ranch, first cut them into strips, cook them in simmering water for about twenty minutes and allow them to cool. They have a little of the slimy quality of okra, so you may want to rinse and add fresh salted water halfway through. Then toss them with any of your favorite vegetables like radishes and tomatoes, from JR Organics or Valdivia Farms, and top with a sliced avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime. Pick up sweet potatoes from Proios Farm and try this lovely salad. Say yes to nopales this Thursday!