Certified Farmers' Market

December 28, 2008

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the week: Swiss Chard

Eating greens on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring the promise of wealth and prosperity in the coming year. So if you’ve never had it, now’s a great time to discover Swiss Chard. Similar to spinach and beet greens, Swiss Chard “greens” are delicious when sautéed, slightly blanched, or added into soups or stews. The leaves of Swiss Chard are leafy and green, but the veins and thick, crunchy stalks come in white, red or yellow.

All varieties (rainbow, red, and golden) of Swiss Chard are currently available at both locations of the Certified Farmers Market. They are grown by the Jaime Farms, and are sustainable, as well as chemical and pesticide free. The cost is $2.00 per bunch

Did you know: Swiss Chard is actually a type of beet, but does not have the edible beet root that most beets are grown for. It is popular among Mediterranean cooks, and the first varieties of Swiss Chard (despite the name) have actually been traced back to Sicily.

December 21, 2008

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the week: Cherimoyas

If you’ve never had a Cherimoya, you’re in for a treat. These delicious, although not widely known fruits, were once described by Mark Twain as “the most delicious fruit known to men.”

Also known as a custard apple, Cherimoyas have a green to brown outer skin – not the most attractive of fruits. But inside, the flesh is white, soft and sweet, with an almost sherbet-like texture. The flavor varies a bit, but has most often been described as similar to a blend of banana, pineapple, strawberry, and even bubblegum. The dark Brown seeds are easily removed (don’t eat them), and the flesh can be spooned out of the skin. Cherimoyas are delicious eaten fresh, in fruit salads, in mixed drinks, as well as in custards or soufflés.

Cherimoyas are currently available at both locations of the Certified Farmers Market. They are grown by the Ramirez Family/Gonzalez Farms in Fallbrook CA. The cost is $4.00 per pound

Did you know: Cherimoyas grow on trees that, although sensitive to frost, require periods of cold weather in order to produce fruit. Natives of the Andes say that although the Cherimoya trees cannot stand snow, they do like to see it in the distance.

December 15, 2008

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the week: Certified Organic Dates

Seven different varieties of fresh California Certified Organic Dates are currently available at both locations of the Certified Farmers Market. All varieties are grown here in the Coachella Valley by the Bautista Family Organic Date Farm in Mecca, CA.

They include:

Medjool Dates – The variety of dates with which consumers are most familiar; Medjool Dates are large, sweet and succulent. They originated in Morocco, but are now grown throughout the Middle East and in California.

Halawy Dates – Halawy Dates are medium sized, and are light amber in color. They are sweet and soft.

Khadrawi Dates -Khadrawi (Khadrawy) Dates are soft and very dark in color. Many people describe their taste as similar to brown sugar and maple syrup.
Honey Dates - Soft, sweet and creamy, Honey Dates have one of the highest sugar contents – more than 85% of its total weight.

Deglet Noor Dates - Deglet Noor Dates are firm in texture, sweet in flavor, and are ideal for baking or stuffing.

Mactoom Dates – Mactoom Dates are large, red-brown dates. They are thick-skinned, soft, and medium-sweet.

Bahri Dates - Bahri Dates are amber to dark brown in color when dried. They are also one of the few dates that can be eaten fresh, when they are smooth and creamy yellow in color.

Did you know: Dates are one of the world’s oldest cultivated foods. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in the Middle East as early as 6000 BCE.

December 8, 2008

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the week: California Grown Mushrooms

Two varieties of fresh California mushrooms are currently available at both locations of the Certified Farmers Market. They are:

Oyster Mushrooms. First cultivated in Asia, Oyster Mushrooms are now cultivated around the world. They naturally grow on trees, but can also be cultivated in a prepared medium made from chemical free oats, corn and cedar pines. They have a mild flavor, and a slight scent of anise.

Shitake Mushrooms were also first cultivated in Asia (well over one thousand years ago!). They generally grow on dead logs in the wild, but can also be cultivated in a prepared growing medium. Fresh and dried Shitake Mushrooms are popular in a variety of cuisines.

Did you know: Mushrooms have a wide variety of pharmacological uses. Oyster mushrooms are a natural source of statin drugs, and can assist in reducing cholesterol. Shitake Mushrooms have been employed for their anti-viral properties, anti-tumor properties, and in treatments for severe allergies and arthritis.

Our Fresh California Mushrooms are grown by: Rivadeneira/Martinez Farms

November 24, 2008

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the week: PERSIMMONS

Two varieties of locally grown persimmons are currently available at both locations of the Certified Farmers Market. They are:

Fuyu Persimmons, which are flat and firm to the touch. They are crisp and sweet, and can be eaten raw. Skins are edible so there’s no need to peel them. Fuyu persimmons are great for a snack, mixed into a fruit or fresh lettuce salad, with cheese, or baked in breads or cakes. Use just as you would other cut fruits such as apples or pears.

Hachiya Persimmons are more like the domestic persimmons many of us grew up with. They are large, peach-shaped fruits that should be eaten after fully ripening, and when the skin is very soft to the touch. (If the skin is firm, this persimmon is not ready to eat. It is highly astringent, and full of tannins that will make you pucker!). Buy when the skin is firm and let them ripen in a window like a tomato, or buy ripe (when very soft and beginning to turn brown). Ripe Hachiya persimmons can be eaten raw, but are also great when used to flavor ice cream or in a persimmon pie.

Did you know: Persimmons are actually “true berries” that grow on trees in the Ebony Wood family. The fruit is generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species, and may be spherical, acorn, or pumpkin-shaped.

Music at the Markets:
Palm Springs: The Dave Silver Band 9 am – noon
Old Town La Quinta: Hector Vargas, 9am – 12:30

Chef Booths:
Palm Springs:
Tony Thomas, personal chef, 9am – 11am

Free Dog sitting 9am to noon - both markets.

Canned food drive – every weekend
Palm Springs benefits Well in the Desert
Old Town La Quinta benefits Coachella Valley Rescue Mission

New Farms at the Market:
Old Town La Quinta: Sage Mountain Organics – Specialty Produce- certified organic
Old Town La Quinta: Rivadeneira Farms – Potatoes, Mushrooms, Quail eggs, produce

Seasonal Farm Fresh Food available NOW: Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions Herbs, Eggs, Yams, Dates, Walnuts, Almonds, Kiwis, Oranges, Pomegranates, Grapefruit, Kale, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Cantaloupe, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Melons, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Figs, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Peas, Radishes, Leeks, Corn, Brussel Sprouts, Pears, Oranges, Asparagus, and whatever else is FRESH.

PLUS, incredible artisan breads, raw Gouda cheese, fresh raw honey and California olives/olive oil/vinegars

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