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Market Watch: Five Farmers Market Must-Haves for April

At the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market right now, you’ll find signs of spring everywhere you look. April marks the return of many seasonal favorites, including ripe, juicy strawberries, bright bouquets, and tender baby greens, veggies and shoots. Here’s five not-to-miss items at the market this month:

Peas, including the English, Sugar Snap and Snow varieties, will be in abundance at Iacopi Farm and Everything Under the Sun. Fresh peas can be enjoyed raw and are a perfect addition to salads, soups and pastas. At the Pasta Shop’s stand, you’ll find them in fresh pasta offerings like ravioli with mint and English peas.

Kumquats are typically a late winter and early spring citrus variety. Kumquats can be enjoyed peel, seeds, and all. Snack on them whole, slice them up and add them to salads, or candy them for desserts. The sweet outer rind is a nice contrast to the tangy flesh, which goes well with spring greens. Find kumquats now through the middle of May at Brokaw Nursery.

Baby mustard greens have a spicy and piquant balance that lends itself to pairings with sweet spring veggies like peas and asparagus. While young and tender, I think they are best enjoyed raw in salads with a creamy dollop of fresh goat cheese (see below) and some toasted walnuts. Find mustard greens at their tender peak at Heirloom Organic.

Broccoli di Cicco makes its seasonal debut in the month of April. It has a sweet flavor and the tender stems can be sautéed or added to stir fry or soup. Quickly steamed Broccoli di Cicco is terrific tossed in lemony vinaigrette. It can also be chilled in the vinaigrette, allowing you to use it later for sandwiches, in salads or for a quick and easy dinner tossed with brown rice from Massa Organics and a sprinkle of chili flakes from Allstar Organics. Find Broccoli di Cicco this month at County Line Harvest.

Fresh goat products are back at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this month, including spring goat cheeses at Bodega and Yerba Santa Goat Cheese. We’ll be celebrating kidding season at the fifth annual Goat Festival on Saturday, April 20. Starting at 10 am, join us in the CUESA Classroom for “Goat Gab,” a discussion featuring local goat-based businesses, including our very own Donna Pacheco of Achadinha Cheese Company. There will also be goat-centric cooking demos starting at 11 am, and free samples of goat cheeses, kefir, yogurt and confections. And of course, it wouldn’t be a party without the “kids” from Redwood Hill Farm. Meet the adorable baby goats in the south driveway starting at 10 am. For those who want to get hands-on, we’re also hosting a Goat Butchery Workshop (April 18) and Chevre Making Class (April 25) this month. We aren’t kidding around.