Monday, July 27, 2009

Certified Farmers' Market Newsletter

hey friends,

we'll be at downtown sacramento's farmer's market this sunday--will we see you there? let me know via email or direct message on twitter! (direct message get sent as a text to my mobile. w & 8th st, downtown sac.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Certified Farmers Market <>
Date: Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:46 AM
Subject: Certified Farmers' Market Newsletter

California Fresh Farmers' Market Update
Week of Monday, July 27th

Ready for Market

  • Several varieties of melons are now ready, including red and yellow watermelon, cantaloupe, ambrosia, and honeydew melons. Did you know a 1 cup serving of cantaloupe has only 60 calories, and over 100% your daily value of both vitamins A and C?
  • Peaches and nectarines of all sizes are available at the market. A true taste of summer is the plump and dark Fantasia nectarine. These are expected soon, so make sure you have a paper towel or a sink handy because they are juicy!
  • Plums and pluots of all colors are ready too. Green Gage plums are golden and green with a mellow and sweet taste. Dapple Dandy pluots are a favorite variety named for their signature red spots. Flavor King is a sweet-tart variety of pluot with darker skin. Apricots are reaching the end of their season.
  • Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are still for sale at many markets. Of these, strawberries have the longest season. All of these berries are a good source of dietary fiber.
  • Now is a great time to make a vibrant and appetizing salsa. Finely chopped yellow and red onions and minced garlic are a must. California jalapenos will add plenty of spice. Fresh leaves of cilantro will provide authentic character. And four different colors of tomatoes are just more fun than one.
  • Red and yellow Bartlett pears have arrived. It is the first pick, so if you prefer pears that are soft, you may choose to place them in a closed paper bag to encourage the natural ripening process.
  • There are plenty of grill-friendly vegetables to choose from. Try seasoning thin slices of summer squash and Japanese or Thai eggplant. Huge Walla Walla Onions (also called Hangtown Sweets) are also available at several markets. And of course, don't forget the sweet corn.
  • Grapes are now ready. Seedless Red Flame are a popular and sugary sweet variety.

Tomatoes with History

Chances are, if you shop at the local farmers' market you've picked up an unusual looking tomato. Perhaps it weighed over a pound and had flame-like yellow stripes, and you remarked to yourself, "this is NOT your grandma's tomato!"

This tomato, an heirloom tomato, might not be your grandma's, but its history goes back many generations.

Heirloom varieties are tomato plants that have not been modified. Instead, many heirloom varieties are the same as they were 100 years ago. Their seeds were likely saved and passed down through family members, including grandmothers, through the changing generations. This is how they earned the name heirloom.

Now that heirloom tomatoes have gained popularity, their seeds and plants are more widely available, but their growing methods remain traditional.

Here are some varieties available at the market:

Black Prince: This juicy variety has a thin reddish-brown skin with green flesh in the inside. It is originally from Siberia, and was considered quite rare in the United States until recently.

Cherokee Purple: One of the sweetest tomato varieties. It is medium sized with a mixture of dark green and red on the inside. Many people believe this variety originated with the Cherokee Indians and is more than 100 years old.

Marvel Striped: This variety originated in Oaxaca, Mexico. The Zapotec people who were indigenous to the area over 2500 years ago are likely to have first cultivated this variety, as well as other pleated tomatoes. Marvel striped can be medium sized and round or grow large and pleated. It is always a beautiful warm gold with coral stripes, and has a lovely fruity flavor.

A similar-lookng fruit named Mr. Stripey originates from 19th century Mennonites who farmed in the Appalachian region of Virginia. It has a mild low-acid flavor. Note: some people refer to the hybrid Tigerella as "Mister Stripey," but this is an entirely different tomato.

Brandywine: Most of these tomatoes are very large and dense, and are prone to cracking. Sometimes the cracks and the heft are the best indications of a truly delicious Brandywine. They have bright colorful stripes and come in colors ranging from red and pink to yellow. It is said that the seeds came from the Sudduth family who had kept the variety for 80 years before passing them to an Ohio farmer, Ben Quisenberry. He introduced them to the Seed Savers Exchange in 1982 and the rest is... history.


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Certified Farmers Market | 9656 Sheldon Road | Elk grove | CA | 95624

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