Friday, July 27, 2007

Local Food: Farmer's Market jewels!

I am a sucker for compliments, so when 75-year old Robert Shay, business partner of Jackie Anderson of Jackie's Jams, told me that my smile lights up everything around me, I was charmed to the bottom of my toes. So charmed that I probably would have purchased some jam regardless of how he answered my questions! But I went ahead and dutifully asked "Where are the fruits you use grown?" and "Are they organic?" Thankfully, his answers were exactly what I wanted to hear. Yes, they're all local, and yes, he uses organic fruit. Not all his jams are made from organic fruit, but many are. I purchased a jar of strawbarb (strawberry and rhubarb). Ingredients used? Strawberries, rhubarb, lemon juice, sugar, and pectin. Good old fashioned jam.

Here are some other diamonds in the ruff from the local farmers markets I've visited in the last week.

J.R. Organics (North Park Farmer's Market): This small family farm in Escondido is about to begin its own CSA program and, from what they told me, they are going to be offering a great selection. They will be guaranteeing eleven different items in every week's box, including at least one herb. They plan on publishing a newsletter and offering farm tours.

Budwood Organic Farm (North Park Farmer's Market): Budwood Farm of Fallbrook grows numerous types of produce, but their speciality is fruit - especially citrus. They will be working with J.R. Organics to make sure each of the CSA boxes includes at least one kind of fruit. I've read online that they have partnered with Rodriguez Farm in Valley Center to contribute to the the Garden of Eden CSA.

If you are searching for a farmer's market in your area, start at the USDA website. If, like me, you found some of the listings out of date, you may also find Local Harvest helpful. For the San Diego area, be sure to visit the San Diego Farm Bureau website.


Diane said...

Congratulations on finding so many farmers that meet your specifications! How will you decide which CSA(s) to join?

Josie said...

Sounds like you are really winning the battle! Congrats Mel! ;)