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Pacific Beach Farmers' Market Blog

Honoring the Honey Bees

September 12, 2011 - 11:51am
Britta T

September just so happens to be national honey month, and we're celebrating at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market. Given the fact that the average American consumes around 1.5 pounds of honey every year, it's time to give those hard working honey bees some well deserved praise. Honey goes well with just about anything - and the farmers' market is just the place to stock up on delicious, local varieties from Mikolich Honey and Produce Stand farm, as well as all the goodies you can imagine to pair with it.

Using Kawano Farms' big, bold eggplants, try drizzling eggplant fritters with an orange blossom honey for a new and interesting appetizer. Or if you're looking for something more sweet and creamy, mix a few tablespoons of lavender honey with the creamy goat chevre from Nicolau Farms and use it as a dip with fresh Gala apples from Smit Orchards or pair it with freshly baked cinammon bread from Belen Bakery. 

If you’re stocked up on fruit, dairy products, and meat that might rapidly go bad in a power outage (funny, didn't that just happen?) use honey as a natural, quick acting food preservative. The high concentration of glucose in honey forces the water out of any yeast or bacteria cells that could otherwise contaminate food. Take those too-ripe-to-eat peaches and plums from Lone Oak Ranch and make your own fruit compote to remind you of summer’s sweetness all year round. Mix your leftover goat cheeses or soft goudas with a tablespoon of honey from Mikolich to prolong it for a few extra days. Cure any uncooked pieces of meat from Son Rise Ranch  in honey to protect it from developing bacteria.

However you use it, be sure to sport your local honey tee- shirt from Locally Grown Clothing and spread the word of the incredible magic of honey. 


Protein for your Go Team

September 7, 2011 - 11:17am
Britta T


Ever wonder if the food you eat gives you enough of that prized possession, protein? You've got options folks! The Pacific Beach Tuesday 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 out a delicious rainbow sushi roll or pick up a filet of just caught fish from Miss Sushi. Maybe meat isn't in your diet? Make a fresh summer salad with lima beans and corn and cilantro, 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! 


Best in the Southwest

September 7, 2011 - 8:07am
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 noshed on. The Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmer's Market is bursting with ingredients for you to satiate those taste buds and get creative with your own 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 diced tomatoes from Kawano Farms. Add a couple of sliced jalapenos from Suzie's Farm, and creamy chunks of Reed avocados from Paradise Valley Ranch. You can add farm fresh poached eggs from The Produce Stand 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. Too hungry to cook when you're done shopping the market? Take a pack of locally-made Gourmet Tamales, have a Salvadorean pupusa, or stop by the Olive Oil Cafe stand to order their incredible Southwestern Sandwich, stacked tall with sliced turkey, pepper jack cheese, spinach, jalapenos and a homemade chipotle aioli. Ole!


Sangria for your Shangri-La

August 29, 2011 - 1:14pm
Britta T

Sangria for the Masses

Doesn't the saying go, "when the universe gives you lemons (and limes, oranges, apples and grapes too), make sangria"? The Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market has all the best ingredients to blend together a personalized, refreshing wine punch. Sangria (from the word sanguine, meaning blood), is a light, sweet drink native to South America. using dry, inexpensive wine and fresh slices of citrus flavored fruits, you can set the mood for your next picnic or party or lazy summer afternoon with any variation of this recipe.

Go ahead and buy a ten pound bag of juicy valencia oranges from Paradise Valley Ranch. Pick up a few Gala apples from Smit Orchards, a box of tender, just plucked raspberries from Kawano Farms, and two or three extra ripe nectarines from Lone Oak Ranch. Slice all the fruit thinly and mix with one or two bottles of red or white wine- nothing too sweet or too expensive. You're making a base for the drink, so don't go overboard. Allow the fruit to soak in the wine for at least a few hours, or overnight if possible. This allows the fruit to infuse the wine with all its sweet, complex flavors, creating the most sumptuous sangria.
Add ice and seltzer if you prefer when ready to serve, and enjoy in the company of close friends and even better sunsets.  


Hey'a Paella!

August 22, 2011 - 2:19pm
Britta T


If you haven't the time or the means to travel all the way to Spain this fall to visit one of many Paella festivals, don't despair: visit the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market for the fresh ingredients to make a paella yourself.

Paella can be served year round, for any celebration! This is a mouth watering Spanish dish, traditionally cooked in a large, flat pan with two handles. Paella is usually personalized, so feel free to substitute your favorite ingredients for any that are hard to find. With our long growing season and wonderful farmers' markets in San Diego you shouldn't have a problem finding all the freshest ingredients!

Heat olive oil from Thyme of Essence and braise chopped yellow onions from JR Organics and summer tomatoes from your favorite farmer. Strain out the juices and toss the veggies into your paella pan. In another pot, lightly cook your choice of shrimp (visit Miss Sushi at the market this week for all your seafood needs) mussels and other seafood. We like the finger-food action of playing with the shells, but you can remove tails and shells for more refined dining. Save some of the broth for later. Heat up your paella pan, and when it's good and hot, toss in roughly chopped red and green bell peppers (have you tasted the big ones from Produce Stand??), and your rice. Let this cook down in an appropriate amount of broth/water, keeping sure not to burn the rice. Mash garlic, parsley and a few threads of saffron with a little bit of Salt Farms' sea salt. Wet it with a couple spoonfuls of temperate broth, and spill this mixture into your paella pan. Add all the seafood and vegetables and  cook together gently for about 20 minutes. Garnish your beautiful offering with big clusters of thinly sliced lemons and ribboned bell peppers. Ah, passion in a pan.


Magellan's Melons

August 22, 2011 - 1:36pm
Britta T

Watermelon Gazpacho

JR Organics is impressing us at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market with ripe golden yellow melons and Kawano Farms offers some super sweet baby reds.You can make a watermelon salad, serve it up in standard, succulent slices, or use it as a canteen for your favorite mixed beverage! (Even early world explorers like Magellan used melons this way, come on!)

It's time to try on watermelon gazpacho this week and dazzle your friends at your next dinner gathering. Ready? GO! There are nearly 1,200 varieties of watermelon, so this dish could always have new flavors. Grab one or two sweet watermelons to start. Dice the melon (sans rind) and one medium sized Armenian cucumber from Suzie's Farm. Add freshly chopped red bell peppers, mint, and parsley from your favorite farmers, a dash of aged balsamic vinegar from Gianni's and one minced shallot. Drizzle with olive oil from Bari, and a hint of sea salt from Salt Farm.

PS: Go ahead and make yourself a double batch- seems to run out quickly on these hot days!!


August 18, 2011 - 2:24pm
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 Pacific BEach Tuesday Farmers' Market is a great place to practice "being green". It's easier than Kermit the Frog thought, and these are just a few of the ways that our vendors and our shoppers support sustainable practices.

1) Offering 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.

2) Recycle!
Vendors like Happy Pantry offer a $1 discount on jars of pickles if you return the jar every week. Paradise Valley Ranch will refill your empty egg cartons or your plastic sacks for oranges. The guys from Green Fix love if you can reuse your plastic smoothie bottles or glass gallon jugs every week.

Even better than recycling containers, many of our vendors go above and beyond to get the most use out of their crops. Lone Oak Ranch takes all the grapes that they don't sell at the market, dries them and sells the sweet, sun baked raisins. And Suzie's Farm encourages shoppers to bring back their CSA boxes every week to be re-filled with fresh veggies or to compost the greens they don't cook with to feed their chickens!

3) Speaking of "Green Fix"- If you haven't already joined the viral "green smoothie a day keeps the doctor away" movement, check out the award winning documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead". You'll be aching to stop by the Green Fix booth every week to get your drink on!

4) Reuse Canvas Bags
Instead of using so many plastic products every week (for everything from your hot food items, beverages, and produce bags), we encourage our vendors to use more eco friendly packaging products and our shoppers to 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) Choosing Two wheels over Four
Not only is it fun and good exercise to ride your beautiful bike to a farmers' market, but you limit the amount of gas you consume every week and lessen the load of traffic in and around markets. Get a basket and take home your fresh produce while doing something good for the earth!


August 15, 2011 - 2:12pm
Britta T


Summer vegetables are in their peak, and we have to admit we're up to our cheeks in heirloom tomatoes. So let's all take a night off from the fish tacos and craft brews and shop  the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market to revisit the real flavors of mediterranean cuisine. Do as the Romans do this week and set yourself up for a delectable and carbohydrate loaded Italian feast.

We're giving you the freedom to be creative here and let the produce inspire you. Be brave, and be colorful! (We won't blame you if you stop by Enoteca Adriano on Cass Street on the way home, to enjoy a nice class of red wine before cooking up a rich, sensational meal.

Start with "antipasto", or appetizers. Toasted bruschetta always pleases crowds and can be served hot or cold as you linger in good conversations. Pick up a fresh baguette from Bread & Cie, rub the slices with garlic, freshly chopped basil from Maciel & Family, and drizzle with organic olive oil from our new vendor, Bari Olive Oil. Now, move on to the first course, "primo". Nicolau Farms has a superb goat cheese gnocchi that you could serve in small portions, just after you've whet your appetite with the antipasto.

Take home a few pounds of heirloom tomatoes from Kawano Farms or JR Organics to make a homemade, spicy red sauce and create something tantalizing with those voluptuous eggplants from Suzie's Farm, or their emerald skinned zucchini.

There are so many options, you might try braising some grass fed beef or pork from SonRise Ranch and serving that over a steamy, buttery squash ravioli pasta from Lisko Imports to combine the secondo (main dish) and contorno (side dish).

Every meal must end with dolce, or sweets, and a juciy nectarine from Smit Orchards, a handful of almonds from Hopkins AG with a scoop of rich, creamy gelato from Gelato Busstop will end your meal in a sugarplum dream…


August 11, 2011 - 12:08pm
Britta T


Aesop might have been mistaken when he boasted about sour grapes, because we have tasted and we have seen their sweetness at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market. Lone Oak Ranch and Smit Orchards are now offering some of the finest grapes of the first harvest.

If you're bored with plain jane grape salads and cheap grade grape popsicles, try your luck at making this surprisingly delightful concord grape and nectarine butter. It will surely turn any sour faces into smiles! Spread on a whole grain slice from Bread & Cie and enjoy.

Here's how you make it: Put 7-8 ripe nectarines, diced coarsely (no need to remove skins) and 4 cups of concord grapes in a large pan. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until the fruit gets soft. Strain seeds through a food mill (or mash and press through a fine strainers). Return remaining pulp to the pan. Boil gently, stirring constantly until reduced by half. Turn off the heat, add 1/4 cup of raw honey from Mikolich and mix well. Pour fruit butter into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace. Make sure to follow instructions for proper sealing/canning methods.




August 11, 2011 - 11:55am
Britta T


What's that feeling in the air at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers' Market? The Costa Rican phrase meaning "the full life", has made it way to our Tuesday markets. What better way to honor the Latin American way of life through a celebration of colorful food and flavors?

One of the national dishes in Costa Rica is "gallo pinto", (which means spotted rooster, though no rooster finds its way to the plate in this case). To make a simple version, toss together a tantalizing combination of cooked black beans, white rice, fresh chopped cilantro and a special, fermented condiment called "chilero". Make your own In a quart jar: combine a few cups of grated carrots (try the purple ones from Suzie's Farm), one sliced yellow onion, one chopped sweet red pepper, 1-2 chopped jalapenos, some minced garlic, a few tablespoons of sea salt (Salt Farm has a smattering variety) and filtered water. FIll the jar with water, leaving an inch or so for air. Cover the jar tightly and store it at room temperature for a few days to let it ferment.

If you don't have time to make your own chilero, Happy Pantry sells an equally amazing kimchi that would substitute. This zesty blend also pairs wonderfully with fresh ceviche from La Isla Ceviche. Sounds like a full meal! To life!  

Want a reminder of that happy feeling? Stop by our neighbor Pangea Outpost and pick up a colorful Pura Vida bracelet.