Field Notes: Coastside Farmers Market


By on Fri, August 10, 2007

Erin Tormey is the organizer of the Coastside Farmer’s Market. In Half Moon Bay, the market is at Shoreline Station (at Kelly and Highway 1), Saturdays, 9am to 1pm

Yesterday I had a goofy day. It was loaded with inconveniences, interruptions and petty annoyances. I was cranky for all kinds of good reasons, none of which made me feel very good, but all of which reminded me how good I have it.  And I was also reminded that most of the time when you feel icky it’s because of one of three things.  One-you are not getting enough water.  Two- you are not eating right. Three- you are not getting enough sleep.  All of them were true when I arrived at the Pacifica Market yesterday, but remedies were at hand, as it turns out, so now I am golden, rested and ready.

And you can be too. Because yesterday the Market was loaded with all sorts of new oddities that appeared in the stalls of our local farmers along with a comforting collection of standards.  I went home with a bag full of these unusual delights, given to me by concerned vendors who were hoping I wasn’t cranky at them, or if I was, they figured that feeding me a peach might mellow me out. Many suggested I needed a small vacation.  Which is always a good suggestion, even when you are in the best mood ever.

Anyway, my Farmer Pals are pretty smart, so I took their advice and took a mini-vay-cay that very evening, and now I am feeling like a whole new woman. I highly recommend everyone do the same whenever possible. Try it this weekend!

Here’s what you do.  Plan nothing for Sunday. Nothing. Not one thing.

On Saturday, come to the market and get a piece of local wild salmon, some zucchino lungo bianco - (Eda’s favorite Italian squash), and some white ginger leaves from our new friend Jim, who is Pacifica’s only Certified Organic Farmer, and our newest addition to the Market. You might want to pick up some of his organic apple wine vinegar and and a few of his plums while you are at it. Make sure at least 2 of the plums are hard and a bit under-ripe.  Pick up some of Big Paw’s basil or lemon infused olive oil. Ed’s organic heirloom tomatoes are finally coming on, so nab a carton, and some of his mesclun mix.  Go to Aaron and Kris for organic scallions, herbs and greens. Then get oodles of lovely summer fruit, some insanely good organic bread, and a collection of treats to keep you happy, nourished and hydrated for your homes-stay holiday.

At some point Sunday, after you’ve had a nice, simple breakfast, a glass of water and a nap, make this transporting little dish, which will amaze, delight and take you somewhere exotic and undefinable, if you let it. This is going to sound a lot more complicated than it is, but, you are on vaction, remember?  If the directions confuse or upset you in any way,  don’t worry about it.  Have a glass of water, take a little nap, then come visit me and I’ll show you how it’s done at the Market.

What you do is shred one of Eda’s squash and toss it with a little tiny bit of the oil.  Then take two ginger leaves, lay them on the counter and cross them at the stem end, making an L shape..  Lay the zukes on right in the center where the leaves overlap.  Lay a salmon filet over the zukes.  Chop 2 scallions finely, and 2 of the under-ripe plums. Mix them together, crack some black pepper and a bit of sea salt over them.  Pile half this mixture on each filet, drizzle with another tiny dose of the infused oil.  Then fold up the edges of the ginger leaves in alternating layers, ties with some wet twine and pop in the oven at 350 or so for about 12 minutes while you make a simple salad of local, organic, picked-that-day greens, have another glass of water, or a pot of Gloria’s Jasmine Green Tea.  Take a walk somewhere you have never been before as the sun is setting, come home have a bath with some lovely bit of fragrant delight that you picked up from Jayne or Debbie and go to bed early.  O yes. You will be a whole new person in the morning.

Thanks again to my Pal and long time Market Supporter-cum-Sponsor Kathy Bristol of Personal FX, who never fails to astonish and inspires combinations you never dreamed would actually work, but always do.  I do this dish in her honor.

OH! By the way!  Be sure to be at the Market around 10:30 if you want to learn how to milk a goat.  Or your kids do.  Shawn and Laura from Vida Verde will have some milk goats there and will gladly show you how.  Oh, and Frank Ellis will be performing too.  What a world.

A Sante, one and all,


Erin Tormey
Coastside Farmers Markets

In Half Moon Bay
Shoreline Station ( at Kelly and Highway 1)
Saturdays, 9 am to 1pm

In Pacifica
Rockaway Beach
Wednesdays, 2:30 -6:30pm