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.
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
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
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
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