BY DEBRA J. MORRIS
We’re celebrating farmers’ markets this month ! The mission of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) is to empower California farmers to be enormously successful, and with our network of local farmers’ markets we can accomplish this with the help of the local community, the farmers themselves, and you, our farmers’ market customers and patrons. Farmers’ Market Week (August 4-10) is the perfect time to remember why we do what we do and we’re stretching it out for a whole month !
Your Martinez Farmers’ Market is a certified market. A certified farmers’ market assures consumers that their market purchase is brought to the farmers’ market from the farmers who grew, nurtured, and harvested the crops. Certification means the farms have been inspected and certified and regulated by the State of California. Knowing where your food comes from and knowing it is locally-grown is an important factor when consumers make their purchases. Also important is the fact that you can actually speak to the farmers who grew the fruits and vegetables, or baked the bread, or gathered the honey.
This month your favorite farmers will have abundant summer produce. Melons are here to enjoy. You’d be hard pressed to find many of the offered varieties elsewhere. Find Crenshaw, orange honeydew, baby yellow watermelon, Charlene, Santa Claus, and other sweet and juicy varieties.
Grapes will be arriving this month. Check out the green Thompson seedless, your old lunchbox favorite. Or try some delicious red and black varieties like Red Flame, Autumn Royal, Concord, Crimson seedless, Fantasy black, or Red Globes scheduled to arrive.
There is a bounty of stone fruit, big bell and hot peppers, leafy greens, fresh sweet corn, and an abundance of tasty vegetables of all kinds. You won’t find better anywhere!
We appreciate your support of farmers’ markets and will continue to bring you outlets for local fresh produce, grown by the farmers who bring them to the market. Thank you!
Savory Melon Salad
1 cup watermelon cubes, cubes or balls
1 cup cantaloupe, cubes or balls
1 cup cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup black olives, pitted, sliced
6 ounces feta, crumbled
1 shallot, thinly sliced, macerated in vinegar with a pinch of salt
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to taste
Combine watermelon and cantaloupe cubes, olives, sliced cucumber, the crumbled feta and the macerated shallots in a large bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; mix gently with your hands. Recipe: Cookin’ the Market, PCFMA