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Market Report
Santa Monica, Calif.
Saturday Sept. 14, 2002

The Market:
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Santa Monica, Calif.
Arizona & 3rd Street
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Any list of "best buys" at the Santa Monica farmers market is necessarily going to be highly subjective, and that is true at this time of year more than any other.  There are literally hundreds of items to choose from, and which items any given shopper gravitates towards heavily depends on the individual's personal tastes and needs.  For instance, if I didn't have an overwhelming harvest of tomatoes from my backyard garden right now, I'd be loading up on multiple varieties of tomatoes today.  But I don't even glance at the tomatoes, focusing my attention instead on stone fruit, knowing that it's days are numbered.

Market-Goer: Mark Thompson, publisher of this Web site


What I Bought:

Peach, Nectarine and Peach (top row left to right), 'Sweet' Fig, Osborne Fig, Burton Prune Plum (bottom row)

Many fig varieties in market are no names, picked from trees that the grower can't positively identify.  The green one in the lower left corner of the photograph above -- which was labeled "Sweet Fig" -- is an example.  Burton prune plums, lower right corner, were a new discovery for me this year. They will become a regular seasonal purchase from now on.  Following the instructions of the grower from who I bought these, I cut them in half and pitted them before drying them.  But instead of putting them in the sun, I put them in a pan in the oven, which I kept at "warm," the lowest setting, for several hours, then turned it off and let the warmth of the pilot light finish them off.  In a couple of days, I had delicious home-dried prunes. The photo below shows what they looked like about half way through the drying process.

Price: $3/basket for figs; $5/5 pounds of peaches and nectarines

Half-dried Burton Prune Plums

Perilla and Grenoblas Lettuce

These are from the Coleman Family Farm stand, which has at least half a dozen varieties of lettuce year round, along with one or two dozen varieties of herbs and greens.

Price: $1/each for small head

Copyright 2001-2002 In Season