Valentine’s Day at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market – Part II

Feb 19, 2009 by Lisa Newton

As I wrote in yesterday’s blog entry, I’m a big fan of fresh fruits and veggies. Over the years, I tried to get my kids interested in eating them, too, and for the most part, I succeeded.

One way I was able to accomplish this feat was to take them to pick-your-own farms. Living on the East Coast, the season is a little limited, but we managed to find blueberries, apples, strawberries, cherries, and even a few raspberries.

Picking our own was cheaper, but more importantly, by the time we left the farms or orchards, the kids didn’t need any lunch because their stomachs were full of the food we were picking. We’d take our bounty home, and then we’d sometimes freeze it, make pies, or keep it in the basement for as long as possible before spoilage. Often times though, we gave much of it away so it wouldn’t go to waste.

There isn’t anything like the taste of freshly picked food. Even during winter time, we are fortunate here in Southern California, we can patronize the luscious, bountiful, and select harvest of often enough local produce and other foods.

The fresh taste of apples, which still have the leaves attached to the stem, evoke and stir memories of past ventures and wonderful other times I had at other Farmer’s Markets on the other side of the coast.

Here’s a close up view of some of the various food items that were available at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market:

If you enjoy sweet potatoes—especially if you know how to cook a sweet potato pie, there was a stunning display of vegetables for purchase. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin A, C, B6 and beta carotene.

This was the first time I had seen purple potatoes, so my need to conquer my curiosity was satiated—I went, I found, and I learned more about them.

Potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron; however, colored varieties may contain additional antioxidants.

The oranges on top of the crates were to die for. They were fresh, sweet, and juicy. I bought a bag full and brought them home. I’ll definitely be returning for some more in a couple of weeks. Plus, who can beat the vitamin C in oranges, especially during the flu season?

As I’ll be starting my own herb garden soon this picture from the Farmer’s Market was prescient. There isn’t anything like the taste of fresh herbs added to a rice dish, chicken dish, soup, or pasta.

One more important tidbit about herbs is that they add flavor without adding any calories. So, if you’re interested in adding to the flavors of your next pasta or rice dish, try adding a few herbs instead of butter or oil. You’ll love the taste and your heart will thank you. Here are a few ideas for you to try: Herb & Spice Chart.

Having an indoor garden is possible all year round. If you need or want some help in growing one, this is a good resource to use: How to grow an indoor herb garden.

Its part science, part art, and all fun, when you’re Travelin’ Local to find those neighborhoods to augment and add to your culinary and food palate.

Today was one of those days. Until next time, Bon Appétit.

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Beach Towns, Farmers's Market, Food, Go Green, Santa Monica

7 Responses to “Valentine’s Day at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market – Part II”

  1. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the link!
    Our house is too small for that, but maybe one day we get our own house that’s then big enough to have a herb garden inside :)

    I love to pick stuff myself!
    Made a lot of Blackberry and sour cherry jam last year :)
    I was so proud of my tomatoes last year. We came back from Kuwait way too late to actually plant them. But I got them growing and we had our first green tomatoes ever ;)
    I always have Parsley and Schnittlauch (whatever that is in English) outside. My parsley even survived winter ;)
    This year I’ll be planting more stuff, seeds are already here :)

    Nicole’s last blog post..Too cold


  2. dc says:

    As we say up here — holy wah! I dream of having a year-round farmer’s market (or even one that lasts more than three months and has more than… potatoes and apples). What a treat that would be. You are very lucky indeed!

    dc’s last blog post..News: Updated Website Addresses


  3. Mike Foster says:

    There are few things I enjoy doing on a sunny weekend day than visit a farmer’s market; and that one looks awesome. I am officially jealous. Thanks for the excellent post, Lisa.


    Mike Foster’s last blog post..I Smell Asparagus!


  4. Matthew says:

    I really wanted to start a garden last year, but since we were going to be leaving to study abroad after only a few months, I didn’t want to make someone care for my plants while we were gone. When we get back, though, there will definitely be plants growing inside!

    Matthew’s last blog post..3 Paths to Culinary Adventure


  5. LisaNewton says:

    @Nicole Oh, I love sour cherry jam. When I was a kid, we had an orchard close by that sold sour cherries in 20lb tubs. We’d get them, make jam, pies, bread, and then freeze the rest. I love sour cherries.

    @dc I do feel lucky……………….:)

    @Mike You must have some great farmer’s markets in your area, too.

    @Matthew I look forward to seeing pictures of your garden when you get it up.


  6. Nicole says:

    The good thing in the sour cherry case: Our neighbours have planted trees. Nobody picks the cherries ;)
    A bunch of plums for free too :)
    I still have plum jam and plum schnaps ;)


  7. LisaNewton says:

    @Nicole Getting the fruit for free is even better. Oh, and I love plum jam, too…………:)


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