Market Scene: Autumn at Ferry Plaza and the Mountain View Farmers' Market
My weekend that was consumed with farms, farmers' markets, and produce, starting with a farm dinner on Friday night at Tierra Vegetables in Santa Rosa, California, a polycultural farm that is known for beans, peppers and greens. It was the last farm dinner of the summer and we ate truly magnificent, refined food from Mateo Granados, a chef who focuses on seasonal Yucatan and Latin American food.
Saturday, I finally canned tomatoes for the season with a friend. We've been canning tomatoes together for about three years, and I found that this year was the first when we were finally in a rhythm of how to can and efficiently process 60 pounds of tomatoes. The tomato season should last another few weeks, but in the Bay Area, you really should can right this minute if you haven't yet put your tomatoes up for the winter. I've found that I'm extremely comfortable using 40 to 50 pounds of tomatoes for the year.
Saturday morning, I attended the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to pick up a few things: Roli Roti porchetta for lunch, avocados from Will Brokaw, and bunches of basil from Dirty Girl Produce. I thought I had missed my window to make pesto, but Dirty Girl's basil was still gorgeous—I brought many bunches home to make and freeze pesto for the year.
Happy Quail Farms was selling dried and fresh tobacco leaves, which were garnering quite a bit of attention. We're eating locally—I guess it's good to smoke locally as well, if that's your wont. This was the first time I'd ever seen tobacco at a farmers market.
I picked up some small, green Sudachi lemons from Hamada Farms. They have quite a bit of acidity, and an extremely fragrant, thin peel. So far, I used them in a cocktail but I look forward to turning them into a relish for rice or fish.
Sunday, I attended the Mountain View farmers' market. This market, located about an hour south of San Francisco, is a bustling, lovely Sunday market. I hadn't attended the market for years, and it's become quite large—the fourth largest in California with approximately 98 vendors. The market features a vast variety of produce (including more Asian produce than we see at the Ferry Plaza), and very good artisan food vendors. I picked up farmstead sheep cheese from Garden Variety Cheese out of Monterey County, the last pimientos de padron of the season, and some romano beans for braising with tomato for dinner.
Seasonal Produce Guide
In Season Right this Minute
It's Time To Put Up
Last of the tomatoes
Pickled Brussels sprouts
About the author: Jennifer Maiser writes about locally and sustainably grown food. She is the founder and editor of the Eat Local Challenge website and writes at Life Begins at 30, her personal weblog.