What’s Fresh at the Farmers Market This Week

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blog020310 001A chef cart stops to make purchases of mixed cherry tomatoes and snow white baby turnips at the Valdivia Farm stand

blog020310 002Celery and a shot. A celery-toting toddler pauses for a taste of fresh squeezed fruit juice at Apple Sherrill Orchards stand

blog020310 003Radiccio heads, trimmed and ready for salads at Maggie’s Farm.  Recent rains have left a lot of mud on row crops.  Some trimming may be needed, but the sandy soil washes right off.

The Medfly quarantine will be here for awhile, and you can help.  With the discovery of two mated female Mediterranean fruit flies in a Santa Monica backyard last fall, a fruit fly quarantine area has been established that encompasses 16 Los Angeles County farmers markets, including all four Santa Monica markets.  Farmers are required to cover all “host material,” which includes almost all fruit with the exception of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries as well as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, with netting.  Any fruit left on display all day must be donated or destroyed.  Host material that is safeguarded in the truck or under a tarp may be taken out of the quarantine area.  Customers can help with the medfly containment effort by replacing nets after selections have been made.   The quarantine is expected to last until August, providing no more flies are found.  More information about the medfly quarantine here.

Farmers Market Library Panel February 11,  7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Santa Monica Main Library auditorium.

Join farmers, writers and friends for the first Farmers Market Library Panel of 2010.  The topic is “The Immoveable Feast – in search of the perfect fruit.”  After-panel treats will be provided by chef CJ Jacobson of The Yard in Santa Monica.  Free and open to the public on a first arrival basis.