Field Notes: Coastside Farmers Market, Saturday


By on Fri, August 13, 2010

These record-breaking chill days of this particular "summer" continue to inspire fantastic outfits of many layers, and have me thinking that looking to  traditional summer comforts like refreshing sorbets or rich, cool gazpacho for relief from the weather’s insults may not be the best course of action if recovery from chill-blains is my goal.  Which it is.

As most all of us have surely noticed there is not much of a need to cool off these days, but the tomatoes are coming on anyway, albeit slower than in years past, spinach has had little reason or opportunity to bolt and so is lush and plentiful as are the summer squashes, eggplants and multi-hued potatoes.  Access to that spectacular palate of flavors and colors (and a v-blade slicer from Toque Blanche)  make for quite colorful way to layer up a fresh lasagne,  serious bucket of ratatouille or a tricolor potato gratin topped with slow-roasted heirloom tomatoes.  

Now, in normal years I’d be waiting to make dishes like these until fall when the days are shorter,  the nights a bit cooler but the tag ends of later tomatoes are still coming to Market; full-hipped, ripe and tasty, but a bit blowsily past their prime, kinda like your hostess. But in a year like this when most folks can’t seem to coax their zucchini to blossom let alone overproduce, it seems like a good idea to move the comfort food season into what one Mr Clemens referred to as the Coldest Winter he ever spent anywhere. 




But take heart,  our true summer is just around the corner, Marketeers!   I used to bemoan the earlier and earlier return of the school year, but I have noticed that the sun seems to come out the day school gets back in session, so I say bring on Algebra1!  AND -  drumroll, please:  Left Coast Grass-Fed beef from Pescadero is joining the Market this week  just in time for your back to school Bar-b-que extravaganza!  So yes, there will be time to fire up the grill, Virginia, and snarf up a supper in shirtsleeves in your yard before the frost sets on the pumpkins. A belief that keeps me upright lately. 

SCOOP! Save the Date of Saturday September 11, 2010  for a pre-screening of the movie FRESH!  and a First-time-ever Farmer’s Market Community Potluck!  We will be working with the Visionary Edge to screen this film in in Half Moon Bay (prior to its major SFO theatre premier in Ocotober)  - and we want to have some fun with it - and you! 

We hope to start the evening off with a potluck of foods created with all locally grown and bought at the Farmer’s Market goodies ( and a little contest to determine the favorite concoction of the evening)  followed by the film and a panel discussion with some very interesting people that are actively at work in this community to affect positive changes in our local food system - The evening will benefit The HEAL Project. Details will follow!

So, Marketeers and Friends of the Farmer’s Market, start thinking about what you would make for a dozen folks to sample  if you were handed a casaba melon, a red onion, a few jalepenos, a bunch of mint, a tub o’ goat cheese and a nice piece of Pescadero beef, or a slab of locally caught halibut.  Find me at the Market and I’ll fill you in on the details - and will send them in a separate salvo later, when I’ve defrosted my screen.

Meanwhile, a Big Ol’ Thanks to our fab-o sponsors from Sam’s Chowder House and Huck Finn for making it possible to present  local music legends  Frank Ellis and the Don Rowell Trio this coming week, and to the Friends of the Farmers’ Market for making it possible to host the Pacifica Education Foundation, the Elkus Ranch Spinners, and the Half Moon Bay Library.

Erin Tormey
Founder, Manager
Coastside Farmers’ Markets
 May - December

Half Moon Bay @ Shoreline Station•Saturdays - 9 to 1
Pacifica @ Rockaway Beach•Wednesdays - 2:30 - 6:30