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Market Watch: This Week's Cream of the Crop

In collaboration with Urban Kitchen SF, CUESA will host a hands-on kimchee class on October 27th with Todd Champagne from Happy Girl Kitchen. Just in time for the cold season, the class will focus on making this traditional fermented cabbage dish whose wonderful pro-biotic properties are said to boost your body’s immunity. Our hands-on classes sell out fast so get your tickets soon. If you can’t make the class, stop by Happy Girl’s booth on Saturdays to try their spicy version of this Korean staple.

I always know that Fall has officially begun when Flatland Flower Farm brings their beautiful Red Rome apples to market. We’ll be pressing Red Romes and other late season apples for cider at CUESA’s annual Fall Harvest Festival on October 24th. Our outdoor kitchen will be bustling with family friendly Fall activities like butter churning and guest chef, Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen will be whipping up a fall inspired dish. Meanwhile members of the Spinners Guild will demonstrate wool and cotton spinning and the best part is that all events are free and open to the public.

The Green Gulch Farm stand is a popular part of our market with their lovely baskets of greens, fresh herbs, and mixed flower bouquets. Like clockwork they wind down for the season with us in mid-to late-October and from that weekend on the most popular question at our info booth is, “when will Green Gulch return?” This Saturday will be the last day of Green Gulch’s 2009 market season but don’t despair, come next May they will return again to mark the end of Spring and the beginning of another summer.

Our Thursday market is getting a little bit greener this week with the addition of County Line Harvest farm. Farmer David Retsky will be bringing his braising greens, specialty lettuces, fresh herbs and chicories—a favorite of the many chefs that frequent our market—all grown on his 28 acre farm just outside Petaluma to both the Tuesday and Thursday markets. If you work near the Ferry Building, or plan to join us for lunch on a Tuesday or Thursday throughout the Winter, save a little room in your bag for some County Line greens; they weigh next to nothing and you’ll be glad to have them in the fridge for the rest of the week.

At Lucero Farms booth this week I spotted a strange spiky looking fruit that farmer Curtis Lucero called a jelly melon. Also known as a Kiwano or African horned melon, this unusual looking fruit features a bright orange edible skin with small protruding spikes. The flesh of the fruit has a jelly-like consistency—hence its name -- and is deep green with small edible seeds. The jelly melon’s flavor is somewhere between cucumber and lemon with a hint of banana. Curtis told me this is the first year he’s grown this odd looking fruit and he’s very happy with how the crop has turned out but he will only have them for a very limited time. Try some this week before they’re gone.