First of the season California Apricots are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the 2014 Summer Certified Farmers’ Market. California is the undisputed leader in Apricot production in the United States, producing 95% of the annual Apricot harvest. Most California Apricots are grown on small, family-owned farms, many of whom produce all organic fruit, and all of whom pride themselves in producing one of the state’s most highly prized fruit crops. These small, delicately-flavored orange fruits have a relatively short peak season, and will likely only be available at the markets through July, so grab them while you can!
Apricots are highly nutritious, with plenty of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, potassium, iron, Vitamin A, copper, and lycopene. They contain some of the highest levels, and the widest variety of carotenoids of any food. Apricots are also very high in fiber, low in saturated fat and sodium, and contain no cholesterol.
Did You Know: Apricots have been cultivated by humans since prehistoric times. Remains of Apricots have been found in archeological sites as old as 5,000 B.C. As a result, their origin is often disputed, although they certainly originated somewhere near Armenia (the Country after which they are named), the Caucasus, the Himalayas, and China.
Price: $2 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.