Locally-grown organic Kale is this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week at all four Coachella Valley Certified Farmers’ Markets. Kale is a dark green (and sometimes purple) leafy vegetable that is filled with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients - beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Sulforaphane, lutein, calcium, manganese, carotenoids, flavonoids and fiber, to name a few.
Kale is actually a form of cabbage although it does not form a head like modern forms of cabbage. It is also, like cabbage, closely related to Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collard Greens and Brussels Sprouts, and contains many of the same cancer-fighting nutrients and cholesterol-lowering abilities as its cousins. In Kale, though, they are found in a much greater supply. In fact, it’s fair to say that when it comes to vegetables, Kale is quite a nutritional powerhouse. Move over, Spinach. Popeye may be choosing Kale from now on!
Kale has been cultivated on multiple continents, and for thousands of years. Although its actual origin is unknown, it is believed to have originated in ancient Asia (where it is still a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines). Kale was eaten regularly by the Greeks, and later by the Romans as well. Wandering bands of Celts, who prized Kale as a food source, introduced it into Europe, and European immigrants later brought it with them them to North America. Today, Kale exists (in one variety or another) pretty much throughout the world (except in Antarctica), and is considered one of the world’s most important vegetables. It can be eaten raw (in salads), steamed (which actually increases its cholesterol-lowering abilities), sauteed or boiled. Recently, chefs have even begun baking Kale leaves into crispy and nutritious Kale Chips!
Did You Know: Many of the more colorful varieties of Kale have become popular as ornamental plants, both for their vivid colors, and for their ability to withstand Winter’s freezing temperatures. Garden Shops often market these Kale varieties as Ornamental Cabbage. They look great in flower beds, but the best part is that all of these ornamental varieties are edible, tasty and nutritious. Moreover, their leaves are said to be even sweeter when gathered after a frost!
Price: $2/Bunch or bag
Also in Season, and available now at all locations: 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.
The Certified Farmers Market is sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center. It operates in four locations, and on three different days of the week, as follows:
- On Saturdays in Palm Springs, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, adjacent to the Camelot Theatres in the Palm Springs Mall parking lot at 2300 E. Baristo Road at Farrell.
- On Saturdays in Coachella, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, In front of City Hall on Sixth Street.
- On Sundays in Old Town La Quinta, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at 78100 Main Street, just a few blocks west of La Quinta City Hall off Calle Tampico.
- On Wednesdays in Palm Desert, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce, 72-567 Highway 111.
Contact the Certified Farmers Market at 760.898.5250, 760-285-2630 (se habla Espanol), or visit us online at www.certifiedfarmersmarket.org.
The Palm Springs Cultural Center is 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.