I love shopping at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. I enjoy the new discoveries brought by the changing seasons and interacting with the people directly responsible for my food. Last week’s finds were spectacular.
McGrath Family Farm
I like to start the market at the McGrath Family Farm booth. Last week Carter helped me with my carrots, greens, and Moroccan squash. This is the farm I have partnered with the last three years running the CSA in my community. They are responsible for my current Swiss Chard addiction and my appreciation for more bitter greens like dandelion. Being part of their CSA has also made me a more spontaneous and better cook. Until the CSA season starts again I continue to get their produce at the farmer’s markets.
JJ’s Loned Daughter Ranch
One of my favorite finds in the last few weeks was the California Kiwis from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch. They are perfectly ripe, full of flavor, and better then any you will find in a supermarket (cheaper too). Their avocados and citrus are also top quality, but right now I’m enjoying bringing home pounds of kiwis each week until the season ends.
You can’t go to a farmer’s market without picking up some farm fresh eggs. Most supermarket eggs have diminished nutrition and come from poorly raised chickens. Lily’s Eggs is one of my required stops at the Wednesday market. Tomas is there every week with a smile selling eggs with the most amazing deep golden-orange yolks only found in truly free range eggs. (If you cannot make it to a farmer’s market for farm fresh eggs read how to buy eggs in your supermarket).
As soon as I heard on KCRW’s Good Food that Oregon black and white truffles were available from Clearwater Farms at the market, acquiring them made it to the top of my to do list. These truffles are getting better and more aromatic each week. We’ve been infusing olive oil, and serving them thinly sliced on meats, fish, eggs, and risotto. This decadent treat will only be available until March.
Fat Uncle Farms
Fat Uncle Farms is an exciting new vendor to the market. They sell almond products like, almond flour, raw almond butter, fresh marzipan (almond paste), and almond milk. Last week I bought the blanched almond flour – what I use for most of my baking. I’m looking forward to trying their sprouted almond butter that Nate and Alexa will bring this Wednesday. Nate also told me about a honey sweetened marzipan (instead of the usual sugar) that sounds delicious – hope to see it this week as well.
Some of my other delectable buys last week were Bautista Family Organic dates, Sastuma mandarins from Garcia Organics, dried jujubes from Burkart Farms – a new one for me, and fresh olives – yes, fresh uncured – from Adam’s Ranch – my kids’ current addiction.
Organic Pastures Dairy Company
My last and most important stop is always Organic Pastures Dairy for raw milk, raw butter, and raw cream, though the butter usually sells out before I get there. There are not many places in Los Angeles to get raw dairy but I am so thankful that I can at least get them legally, a right not all Americans have (read why raw milk is a superior product to pasteurized milk). Miele was there as always and I saw a new face – another Real Food Media blogger, Rebecca of Cauldrons and Crockpots. It’s always fun to meet the person behind the blog. I enjoyed chatting with her before heading home with my wonderful farmer’s market finds.
What are some of your favorite farmers market buys?