- Author: Aleta Barrett
Foothill Farmers Market Association
Nevada City Farmers Market www.ncfarmersmarket.org
Nevada County Certified Growers Market
(Grass Valley) www.thegrowersmarket.com
- Author: Aleta Barrett
This summer I have been enjoying the bustle of harvest season on my farm and working in the afternoons at UCCE in the Small Farms Program. Thinking of what to write about for a blog I can't resist one of my favorite crops now in season, peppers. Sweet peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and South America. Christopher Columbus introduced peppers to Europe when he returned from the New World. I'm sure they were a hit for some of the same reasons I love them now. And I'm not the only one who loves them, in 2012 Bell Pepper use reached a new high of 11 pounds per capita in the United States. Sweet peppers with their crunchy, sugary flesh are irresistible. They come in bell shaped varieties and bull horn shapes, often called Italian roasting peppers. When I go out to our farm stand I often just grab one as a sweet snack, I've been pleased to catch my kids doing the same. Peppers are a beautiful thing. The transition as the peppers ripen from green to red, yellow or orange is such a variable display of color that photographers are asking me at every market if they may take pictures of the peppers. Some varieties even start out purple or white and then ripen through a rainbow of colors on their way to red. I have customers who purchase them to use as a gorgeous edible center piece instead of flowers. Besides being naturally photogenic they are fun to harvest. Walking out of the field with a full tub of peppers, they send up a sweet and savory smell in the summer heat. They are also a super food when it comes to nutrition. Almost one cup of raw red bell pepper has the following USDA daily values:
• 97% of Vitamin C
• 17% of Vitamin B
• 5.1% of Thiamine
• 4% of Potassium
Red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as green peppers and also have the antioxidant lycopene. Green peppers do not contain lycopene so, eat up those red peppers and get your antioxidants!
And then there are hot peppers, commonly called Chili Peppers. They are also very high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. They range from very mild Anaheim peppers used for stuffing all the way to notoriously hot varieties such as Bhut Jolokia (Ghost), Red Scorpian and Carolina Reaper peppers. The heat is found throughout the pepper but most highly concentrated in the seeds and ribs. Many recipes call to have those parts removed before using the pepper. Handle with care and consider wearing rubber gloves when working with hot peppers as the oils can linger on your hands and sting intensely when rubbed on lips or in an eye. The plants have the same delightfully silky leaves, the same toughness, beauty and colorful array as sweet peppers. Chili peppers can be small and tedious but worth the extra time to harvest.
You can find locally grown peppers in Nevada County at the Nevada City Farmers Market, The Nevada County Certified Growers' Market, The Briar Patch and in Placer County at Foothill Farmers Markets, Sierra Fresh Farmers Markets, Newcastle Produce and other local grocery stores. Regardless of whether you like hot or sweet peppers, now is a great time of the year to find them fresh and locally grown, so enjoy while the season is ripe for peppers.
- Author: Jim Muck
Spring is here and the farmers markets are starting to fill up with all sorts of great produce. If you are like me, you can't wait for the return of the sun and the warm weather after all those months of cold wet weather. I admit that I do love kale, cabbage, and citrus but enough is enough already! I need something new and exciting - something that vibrates with the message that says winter is over and summer is coming! Good news - the sun is out and the weather is warming up and that means good things are coming out of the ground and the fruit is starting to ripen on the trees and vines. To get inspired and to find out what our great local farmers have to offer, I took a stroll through the Roseville Fountains farmers' market last Tuesday.
The market itself has more vendors than just two weeks ago and the farmers' tables are really starting to fill up with wonderful stuff. Here is a brief list of what I found:
- Radishes in a rainbow of colors
- Chard enough to sink a battle ship
- Spring onions just begging to be sliced into salads
- Lots and lots of bagged baby lettuce, kale, and arugula
- Cherries! Yes, cherries - only a few baskets and they went fast
- Sugar cane! Folks were lining up for this!
- Raspberries in gold and red
- Strawberries that were so fragrant I could smell them across the parking lot
- Lettuces of all kinds, butter , romaine, and leaf in gorgeous reds and greens
- Carrots and beets in enormous piles of vibrant orange and red
- Green garlic ready for roasting
- Fava Beans - no list of spring veggies is complete without favas
The cooking and eating possibilities are endless. What is a dedicated farmer's market shopper to do? Get out there and do some shopping followed by some cooking. Say good bye to the cold and the wet by cooking up something that makes spring sing in your heart. I might suggest strawberry shortcake or perhaps a wonderful fresh pasta with fava beans and green garlic. Okay, enough with the writing, when do I get to eat?
Click on the links below to get information about farmers markets that are open now in Placer and Nevada counties:
Try this recipe to use some of the great stuff grown by our local farmers:
Spring Salad with Fresh Fruit and Nuts
6 cups mixed greens or lettuces
½ cup seasonal berries and or sliced peaches or other seasonal fruit
3 radishes thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped, toasted walnuts or almonds
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or other vinegar, or lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss greens in a large bowl with 2/3 of the dressing. Divide the salad among six plates and top with berries/fruit, radishes and nuts. Drizzle the remaining dressing over each salad.
If you would like more fresh produce cooking ideas click on the link below where you will find a bunch of great recipes:
- Author: Jim Muck
I know it is December, but that doesn't mean there isn't any great fresh local produce available. Northern California has a climate that allows us to produce crops year-round and we have farmers who work hard to grow and sell crops all year. Just like you and me, farmers have bills to pay all year and you can help them get through the cold months by coming out and buying their products. The Foothill Farmers' Market Association has two year-round farmers' markets in Auburn and Roseville that are chock-full of delicious fruits and vegetables. The Auburn market is Saturday mornings, 8-12 noon and the Roseville market is Tuesday mornings, 8:30 Am -1 PM. For more information, go to: http://www.foothillfarmersmarket.com/
Currently available at these markets are:
In addition to all this delicious fresh produce you will also find fresh baked bread, local milk, fresh local cheese, and a great selection of locally-made food products. With all this amazing food how can you not eat locally? Come on out to one of these local farmers' markets and enjoy the bounty of our region. If you do, you will not only eat well, but you will also be supporting our local farmers and making our local economy stronger. I hope to see you at the market!
- Author: Molly Nakahara
Fall has arrived and with it, the bounty of gorgeous fresh produce from our local growers. Many of our favorite hot weather crops are reaching their peak after a long, hot summer. We took a trip out to the Tuesday Roseville Farmers' Market to see just what is in season. Here are the delicious fruits and vegetables we found:
Ground (husk) cherries
Sweet and hot peppers
Also olive oil, flowers, and sugar cane (!!)
Head to your local farmers' market or nearest farmstand to get your share of the season's bounty. We have some wonderful recipe ideas on our website: http://ucanr.edu/sites/EatLocalPlacerNevada/Recipes/. Give one a try and post a photo to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EatLocalPlacerAndNevada?ref=hl.