Locally-grown California Peaches are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week. Organic and/or pesticide-free early season peaches are available at all three Certified Farmers’ Market locations, and from several local farmers. Varieties vary with the farms, but most of the early peaches are Super Rich, Queencrest or Sugar Time - all yellow peach varieties that develop early enough to be available for harvest in May.
Yellow peaches are generally the first to market, and, when ripe, are a deep yellow color with pink or reddish overtones. The flesh inside is typically deep yellow as well, and either clings to the seed (clingstone), or falls away easily (freestone). Peaches are ready to eat when they yield to gentle palm pressure. Some people prefer peaches when they are slightly firm, and a little tart, but generally the flesh of ripe peaches should give to the touch, and have an equal balance of sweet and tart flavors.
Did you know: California farmers grow more than 600 varieties of peaches, plums and nectarines, and each has its own specific harvest time. The Harvest Season for all of California’s stone fruits begins in early May and runs all the way through November when the last of the late varieties are harvested.
Price: $ 3.00 per pound.
Also in Season: Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
All Certified Farmers’ Markets accept CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Markets also offer Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: (8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) 2300 Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: (8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico).
Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market:(8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) 72-599 Highway 111 (adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce).
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and more than 60% of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.