April is the perfect time to take in the sights, smells, and tastes of spring at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. I get a lot of inspiration by checking out what the chefs are buying, so I was intrigued when I noticed Jonathan Black, Chef de Cuisine at Quince, loading up his cart this week with delicate pea shoots —blossoms still attached — and crates of rhubarb.
Since the first year of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in 1993, Eatwell Farm has been a favorite stop for market shoppers seeking out beautiful organic vegetables, fresh and dried lavender, strawberries and, in the summer months, heirloom tomatoes. They have also become well known for their delicious pastured chicken eggs. So when I spotted goose eggs at Eatwell’s stand on Saturday, I was intrigued to hear more about how they fit into the farm’s ecosystem.
After several months of braising greens, earthy roots, and winter squash, March is finally here, bringing with it the promise of new seasonal treats around every corner of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It’s my favorite month to explore the bright flavors of spring and challenge myself to find a new ingredient to add to my seasonal favorites. My pick for this week — Calçot onions (pronounced “kal-sot”) — comes from farmers Marty Jacobsen and Janet Brown at Allstar Organics.
Though it's only been open for a couple of months, Alta CA, the latest addition to the Daniel Patterson Group of restaurants, seems to have hit its stride. Executive Chef Yoni Levy stopped by the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to tell me about what he and his crew have been up to and what he is most looking forward to as spring approaches.
On Saturday, February 22, Mat Schuster, executive chef and owner of Canela Bistro and Wine Bar, will be in the CUESA Classroom to demonstrate Spanish inspired ways to use winter produce. In addition to demonstrating three of his favorite dishes—a traditional tortilla, clams cooked in Cava, and a winter gazpacho – he’ll also come armed with Spanish pantry items and talk about how to use these ingredients to compliment the seasonal flavors of the late winter market.
From kumquats and blood oranges to sweet, fragrant green garlic, lemony sorrel and punchy dandelion greens, winter at the farmers market is a symphony of bittersweet flavors. This month at CUESA and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market we’ll be celebrating the bitter, the sweet, and everything in between.
In 1999, Dan Lehrer and his wife Joanne Krueger (of Flatland Flower Farm), moved to Sebastopol and took over a small apple orchard. They then converted the land to organic, planted new varieties of heirloom apples and erected three greenhouses on the property to grow plant starts. Their apples are harvested in late summer, and for much of the year they offer edible, native and rare plant starts to market shoppers.
In addition to providing access to fresh, local fruits and veggies to Bay Area residents, CUESA has also been incubating and supporting small artisan food businesses for 20 years through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. This month we are celebrating small food crafters from our market and beyond as we host two events focused on artisanal food producers.
This holiday season, give the gift of good food while supporting local farmers and food artisans.
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