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Pacific Beach Farmers' Market Blog

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Zymurgy, ya heard me?

October 10, 2011 - 11:20am
Britta T


What to do with the incredible bounty of rich, delicious fruits and vegetables from the summer and fall? Preserve! Ferment! Savor! Food fermentation has many benefits:
Fermented food enriches the diet by developing diverse flavors, aromas, and textures in food substrates. Imagine the flavors of spicy kimchi, soy sauce, sauerkraut, fresh yogurt, peppery dill pickles, and crispy pickled turnips, beets, or cauliflower.

Fermentation and canning preserves substantial amounts of food that might otherwise go to waste. (That means it's ok to buy a lot of food at the market every week- you'll have more to pickle!) Biologically, fermentation enriches food substrates with protein, essential amino acids, and vitamins. Plus, it decreases cooking times and fuel requirements for healthy foods. 

Mark and Rebecca Stogsdill, owners of Happy Pantry, have recently changed their whole product line, now offering raw, naturally fermented pickles, kimchis, krauts, and veggies. You can find a smattering of delicious options at their stall every week at our markets.

Visit us this Tuesday at the Pacific Beach Farmers' Market to take home the last of summer's delicate fruits and veggies. Chop up those extra carrots and cucumbers from JR Organics, add some salt, seal them in beautiful glass jars, and enjoy those rich flavors all year round! Take home the sweet remains of yellow and white corn from Kawano Farms, gorgeous red and green sweet peppers from Suzie's, and gorgeous okra from the Produce Stand.

Big Waves and Big Eats

October 3, 2011 - 1:01pm
Britta T

Lack of surf got you down and out lately? No worries, man! If you're searching for swell around Pacific Beach, you'll find waves of food, fun, and people at our Tuesday Farmers' Market.

Before you paddle out, sip on some hot Pacific Coast Mint tea from Agora Bean + Leaf. Snack on a bowl of homemade, toasted granola from Safari Crunch with ripe peaches and plums from Lone Oak Ranch, or pick up fresh baked banana bread from Sugar and Scribe to give you that energy boost you need! On your way back from the beach, you can smack your lips on a bunch of sweet, royal flame grapes from Smit Orchards, raw almonds from Hopkins AG, or fill up with a savory, turkey filled Southwestern sandwich from the folks at Olive Oil Cafe. No matter what the waves are doing, we'll always have great eats, and great treats to keep you fueled up for whenever those big ones roll in! 


Geeks over Greek

September 19, 2011 - 2:15pm
Britta t


Need some quick recipes for dinner? Want something light, refreshing, and easy? Now's the best time to head to the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers Market and stock up on all sorts of fresh Mediterranean ingredients to put together your best Greek family dinner yet.

Greek Saganaki is a savory traditional side dish that brings everyone together before a meal. Try a different twist and pan fry fresh slices of goat-feta cheese from Nicolau Farms. Arrange on a platter with juicy, sweet slices of San Marzano tomatoes from Suzie's Farm and lemon wedges. Or make your own tasty Skardalia dip using one pound of russet potatoes from Produce Stand, a few fresh cloves of garlic from Maciel & Family, and half a cup of raw almonds from Hopkins AG. Cook the potatoes, roast the almonds and blend together with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper, and enjoy with some fresh pita bread from Baba Foods.

You can't go wrong by making a huge Greek salad to share with friends and neighbors. Stop by JR Organics for a few heads of crunchy romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, and red onions. Add a few hungarian hot wax peppers from Suzie's Farm to give it a kick. Crumble in some feta cheese from Nicolau and top it off with some Kalamata olives from Lisko imports. Serve with a chilled glass of white wine, or use coffee from Agora Bean & Leaf to float the traditional three coffee beans in a glass of Sambuca ...the Greeks were always known for their decadence, weren't they?


Tis the Season

September 12, 2011 - 2:03pm
Britta T


Here are a few natural remedies to prevent yourself from catching a cold as we enter into Fall, and to treat the symptoms if one catches you. Nature supplies us with everything we need to fight viruses, and it can all be found at the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers’ Market so there’s no need to spend your time and energy inside a pharmacy loading up on pills.

1) Eat your C’s: Vitamin C is one of the most effective tools to help boost your immunity. Especially during cold season, you should be increasing your intake by eating the right foods. JR Organics has fresh thyme and parsley, the sweetest strawberries, and even broccoli all packed with this vitamin. Suzie's Farm can supply you with crisp, dark, leafy greens and bright bell peppers. Don’t forget to drink your orange juice: Paradise Valley Ranch has you covered with fresh squeezed Valencia orange juice and big bags of oranges to keep you strong and energetic.
2) Sip a glass of lukewarm water and Mikolich Farms honey mixed with cinnamon powder, or a squeeze of lemon from Rainbow Ranchito, to help boost your immune system during the cold season. (Honey should never be boiled- the heat kills its enzymes, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria.)
3) Get outside! Good airflow means less viruses flying around your head and you can absorb some much needed Vitamin D from our friend, the Sun.
4) Lose the stuffy head: Add a cupful of dried chamomile flowers (You can find fresh bouquets at Suzie’s Farm) to a pot of boiling water. Turn off the heat, cover, and let it steep for a few minutes. Then, using a towel over your head, inhale the steam and enjoy the herbal steam bath.
5) Do as grandma says, make chicken soup! The soup's salty broth keeps mucus thin (and taste better than cough syrup). Pick up a free range chicken from SonRise Ranch, carrots and garlic from Maciel & Family, and onions from the Produce Stand. Add fresh herbs to make a tasty, healing soup.  You'll feel great afterwards!


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!!