Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oh, the Glory of it All !

A Crops and Rawbers Guide To Los Angeles Farmers Markets

Oh plentiful California with yr temperate climate and yr bountiful sun food, we hail you! Seriously, our week is a revolving door of farmers markets – each one providing us with different produce pleasures and pals.

South Pas
Thursday night is South Pasadena – where babies obviously reign and weirdos working for the Democratic Party are on the hustle. Obama, kale, gay marriage, pluots, bok choy, etc. The true tip to mastering the So Pass market is a get in- get out mentality that enables you to weave beautifully through the best of stands and steer clear of overwhelming ex- punk rockers singing inane nursery rhymes and the whole front of house mess full of pulled pork or tri tip sammies, whole roasted chickens, the lonely lady who makes the “art quiches” (dear lord), and the always out-of-hand kettle korn fare.
Our faves:
Rad indie friend at the lettuce bag/fresh herb stand – he’ll break yr $50, banter with you about arugula, and has the best “spicy mix” ever
Korean fermented food guy – AMAZING RAW seaweed, kim chee, lotus and burdock root, and pickled ginger but watch out for his soy samples !
Rey’s suger cane stop – dude, she’ll set you up with raw master cleanse drinks, mix you up the avo-cane smoothie, sell you thai coconuts, and you can take a look at her unwieldy sugar cane juicer

Eagle Rock
Friday night lights at the Eagle Rock farmers market is a totally random scene. You could run into bored Occidental College kids looking for free peach samples, cool local business owners like Rainy from Lucy Finch, or even a weird Thai Elvis. Sadly the roasted peanut is king at this market, but friendly faces more than make up for that ! Also probably the rowdiest group of Asian buyers going through long beans and Japanese eggplants this side of downtown. Not to be missed !
Our faves:
Sweet farm girl at the first stand next to the bouncey castle – mangos, papayas, kiwis: are you kidding me?? She’s got giant jicama and oyster mushrooms and tells you when you’ve picked out a yucky dud
Bills Honey peeps – freshest, most delicious raw honeys in orange blossom and almond, and currently my only source of $9 bottles of bee pollen. YES !
Greens Hombres – best dudes ever selling holey arugula, chards, butterleaf lettuce, cucs, dill, celery. It’s my juice bar ! and best of all, they always remember you and give you the best deal every time
Dried Guy – most rad sundried plums, apricots, and raisins I’ve ever tasted with no shitty dyes, hidden sugars, or nasty oils. Also our badass stop for raw almonds, walnuts, and trail mix

Sunday afternoon Atwater Village style is a wacky population. You’d think there’d be more amazing 30-somethings strolling around, trying to be seen in their Sunday best, but with the huge Hollywood market only miles away this is more of a devil-may-care crowd. I saw a few floppy hats, don’t get me wrong, but the vibe is so chill and the fruit and veg so colorful it gets my vote for the best brunch spot on the eastside.
Our faves:
Cheap fig basket Homies - $3.25 for a basket of green, plump figs and you’ve got a fan for life. Don’t even put them in yr bag, just stroll and chomp
Humane Adopt a Pet Stand – don’t have any, but it’s always a tempting offer
Caliente Crews – favorite array of hot chilies I’ve seen yet at the farmers markets, always looking so fresh and hot. So many to choose from, you could seriously jump in and swim in jalepeno

Highland Park
Tuesday after 4 you can hit up the Highland Park farmers markets for yr last minute smoothie needs and for tonight’s special din-din. Not a great selection, and def not a warm scene but an important middle-of-the-week raw rainbow, nonetheless. It’s the short and sweet that rule here, from the are-we-already-done layout to the lack of bustlin’ chatter so indicative of yr local street bazaar. But screw it, I can do my own thang.
Our faves:
Garden Gal – she grows everything in her back yard and has a story for each squash and gourd. She’s got these rustic basket displays and ten cent chilies and probably won’t be getting her pricey organic certification anytime soon
Avo Sample Studs – huge tupperwares full of avocado for sampling. Is this heaven, mom, am I here already? Not to mention they always point me away from the seedless grapes and straight to the potent life-giving ones.
Nectarine queens – the ripest, roundest nectarines and peaches. Apples and asian pears for our green juice, ready-to-eat persimmons and luscious lemons.

Please buy locally, seasonally, and from hard working hardass farmers who love the land, live the land, and bring it all right to yr lucky self. No more store-bought produce, picked early, ripened on a truck, driven from god knows where ! That’s our solemn oath and we’ve never been happier. Bon Appetite !

1 comment:

Kristen's Raw said...

Those markets look amazing!!!