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Market Watch: Mandarins, Cherimoyas And Perfect Wreaths

Despite the scattered rain and bitter cold, the December market is bustling. It’s that time of year when Cypress Flower Farms’ Saturday stand is brimming with wreathes and holiday swag made from Eucalyptus, heather, fir, cypress, and redwood branches and leaves. They smell fantastic and they’re so bright and beautiful they’ll inspire even the biggest holiday scrooge to brighten their homes with a touch of the natural world.

Page mandarins have also returned for the season and you’ll find baskets of these bright fragrant mandarins — perfect for juicing, eating, or making one hell of a cocktail — at Tory Farms on Thursdays and Saturdays.

This Saturday Brokaw Nursery will return from a brief Fall hiatus with kiwi, creamy white-fleshed cherimoyas and a few citrus varieties. If you haven’t had a cherimoya, they’re worth the adventure; Mark Twain called them "the most delicious fruit known to men. Will Brokaw is quite famous for his Hass, Pinkerton and Reed Avocados and expects to harvest the first of next year’s crop in late February. In the mean time he has been sending me photos of his winter fruit ripening on the vine and it looks amazing.

I get a craving for greens this time of year and at Heirloom Organics this week I found bunches of Komatsuna. A Japanese vegetable somewhere between mustard and spinach greens, the Komatsuna has crisp thick stalks that can be diced and sautéed as you would celery The leaves are mildly bitter and wonderful stir fried.