The Time is Ripe by Debra Morris: Winter rains produce quality, quantity fruit

News On Home, Garden, Parenting Issues

The Time is Ripe by Debra Morris: Winter rains produce quality, quantity fruit

The Time is Ripe by Debra Morris: Winter rains produce quality, quantity fruit

It’s September already — where did the summer go? Not to worry, the early fall crops of fruit and vegetables are now arriving at the farmers market.

With the winter rains of 2016-2017, the quantity and quality of apples, pears, figs and grapes is fabulous. Corn, stone fruit, and tomatoes are staying around for another month, and winter squash is arriving as we speak. Stop by the market because you won’t want to miss any of it!

The farmers market is the place to shop all year for the highest quality, just-picked flavor and best nutrition. There are many varieties of produce you won’t find at the grocery store, not to mention you’re supporting California’s small local farmers who offer the best of everything.

Pick up some fabulous Bartlett pears from Alhambra Beef & Pears. They’re from neighboring Martinez. Need apples? Stop by Rainbow Orchards for gala, pink lady, and other varieties grown in Camino on Apple Hill.

Can’t resist figs? Pick up some at Halog Farms from South San Francisco. Want some grapes for lunches and munches? Visit J&J Ramos Farms of Hughson for Thompson seedless, red flame, and autumn royal varieties. They’re super sweet.

Bautista Ranch will have winter squash like acorn, spaghetti, butternut, delicata, and more. They come to the market from the Stockton area. The fall crop of artichokes is arriving at Rodriguez Farms out of Watsonville. And wonderful little Brussels sprouts will be here from J&M Farms in Reedley.

There are new crops of cauliflower, broccoli, onions, carrots, celery, and lots of lettuce, kale, and spinach, so you’ll have plenty from which to choose for soups, stews and salads.

You’ll still find late summer squash, plums and peaches, heirloom tomatoes, corn and more. September is great at the market because you get a little bit of both seasons. Stock up now, do some canning and freezing, make some pies and casseroles and get ready for fall.

Easy Broiled Figs with Goat Cheese

10 figs
2 ounces soft goat cheese (or mozzarella)
Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Slice figs in half lengthwise. Place figs in single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place a small pinch of softened goat cheese on each fig half. Drizzle all with balsamic vinegar. Broil for about 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Make extra and add to salads.

 — Recipe: PCFMA Staff

Farmers markets are open rain or shine.

* The Concord farmers market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, year-round; and from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, through Oct. 26, at Todos Santos Plaza, at Willow Pass Road and Grant Street.

* The Clayton seasonal farmers market is from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, through Sept. 23, at 6095 Main St.

* The Martinez farmers market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, year-round, at 615 Estudillo Street.

* The Pleasant Hill seasonal farmers market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, through Oct. 28, at 136 Trelany Road.

Visit or call 800-949-FARM (800-949-3276).

The Time is Ripe is a column written by Debra Morris,  promotions coordinator for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association. Contact her at

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Published at Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:31:49 +0000