Santa Monica Farmers Market, Santa Monica, Calif.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Santa Monica farmers market, 03/24/12

This is the time of year when, in this market, if you set out to buy one of each of the varieties of citrus fruit offered for sale, you’d go home with two or three dozen pieces of fruit in your bag.

Santa Monica farmers market, 03/24/12

Everything is in season right now, from the usual oranges and lemons to tangelos and blood oranges, the last of the mandarin varieties, and the full array of grapefruits, from compact cocktails to giant pomelos. Winter root crops are still abundant, and at their prime right now, on the cusp between seasons. Fava beans are today’s main harbingers of spring.

On this springtime trip to Southern California, a sojourn to the Carrizo Plain was at the top of my must-do list. I’ve made the pilgrimage to “California’s Serengeti” regularly for the past dozen or so years. But since I’m now living in New Jersey, I haven’t been able to visit the plain in spring for the past two years. Wildflowers were very sparse this year for my March 23 visit. Sometimes, the plain has been waist-deep in wildflowers at this time of year. The plain is majestic anyway.

– Mark Thompson

Arizona Ave. between 1st and 4th St.
Wed. and Sat., 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m
(310) 458-8712

slide show

What I Bought

artichokes and kale
artichokes and kale
Price: $2.50/lb

romanesco broccoli and fava beans
Romanesco broccoli and fava beans
Price: $2 for Romanesco broccoli
$3.50/lb. for fava beans

sprouting broccoli
purple (left) and dicico sprouting broccoli
Price: $5/lb.

Source: Weiser Family Farms, Tehachapi, Calif.

(left to right) Pinkerton, bacon and zutano avocados
Price: $2/lb. for Pinkerton avocados
$1/lb. for bacon and zutano avocados

Price: $4 small cherimoyas
$5.50 large cherimoyas
$1 for small head of lettuce

Source: Coleman Family Farms, Carpenteria, Calif.

(left to right, top and bottom) tangelo, cara cara pink orange, pomelo, blood orange, aption
Price: $1.50/lb. for pomelo
$2.50/lb. for certifed organic blood oranges
$2/lb. for cara cara pink oranges and tangelos

Source: J.J.’s Lone Daughter Ranch, Bryn Mawr, Calif. (cara cara pink orange, tangelos) Sycamore Hills Ranch, Fillmore, Calif. (blood oranges)