What's At Your Local Farmers Market? A Look At Fresh Veggies, Fruits, Meats, Nuts and More [Thoughts + Pics]

Given the possible urgency of some folks trying to find various food items for home (after the insane raiding we’ve had on our local supermarkets / Costco, etc.), it might be helpful to surface some nice finds at our local Farmers Markets to help each other out. :slight_smile:

There are some really nice salt of the earth people farming and delivering great produce and meats to us every week at our local farmers markets; for those that are able to, it’s great to show support and purchase food supplies from them for making delicious meals at home.

Hollywood Farmers Market

Today's visit had a lighter crowd, but still various folks stopping by to pick up items for the week and beyond.

The Garden Of

For those that have never stopped by this little stand, The Garden Of… is a Certified Organic Farm out of Santa Ynez, California, run by Shu Takikawa and his family. You’ll oftentimes see generations of family helping out.

The biggest draw of The Garden Of… are the incredible Organic Lettuces that Shu-san and his family grow.

Organic Heirloom Lettuces:

Just look at how beautiful and stunning they are! :blush: And they taste even better: Vibrant, truly bright, super fresh Salads can be made with The Garden Of’s Organic Lettuces. They are so good that many of L.A.'s top restaurants buy from The Garden Of, including Chef Walter Manzke’s fantastic Republique. :slight_smile:

And as always, they are sold for $2 / head, or 3 heads for $5! That’s an incredible bargain for the best Organic Heirloom Lettuces we’ve tried locally.

Organic Chidori Kale:


(Pic from last year, I forgot to snap a photo today.)

And their stunning Organic Chidori Kale is back in season! :blush: For those that haven’t tried it before, besides looking gorgeous, we like to saute them with some Garlic and Olive Oil and the results are some soft, almost “creamy” and lush fragrant Vegetables, tasting better than standard Kale offerings. We love them! :heart: (@foodshutterbug @hanhgry @TheCookie @J_L @Dommy and others)

The Garden Of… (Organic Farm)
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

(Also @ Santa Monica Farmers Market (Wednesday))
155 Arizona Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Day: Wednesday
Hours: 8:00AM - 1:00PM

Autonomy Farms


Out of Bakersfield, California, this is an excellent source for various meats you might be looking for. Speaking with the founder of Autonomy Farms, the animals are humanely raised, Organic, No Hormones, No Antibiotics (@TheCookie) .

Organic Bone-In Pork Loin Chops:

Autonomy Farms has some of the most flavorful Pork Chops we’ve bought locally. We prefer the flavor of these over the Organic ones at Whole Foods and a few other purveyors.

Organic Whole Chicken / Quarters / Ground Chicken:

Autonomy Farms also had plenty of Organic Whole Chickens, Quarters (Leg & Thigh, Breast) and Ground Chicken available. (By comparison many supermarkets are totally sold out of Chicken and other meats currently.)

They also had a nice selection of Organic Beef cuts and Lamb cuts as well.

Autonomy Farms
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

Thao Family Farms


I remember first visiting Thao Family Farms after reading about them in one of the nice Farmers Market Reports in the L.A. Times years ago. Based out of Fresno, California, while not officially Certified Organic, they are Pesticide-Free and grow some excellent Vegetables used in Asian cuisine.

I’ve enjoyed their Bok Choy, Bittermelon and Napa Cabbage offerings over the past few years. For today’s visit…

Yu Choy:

Absolutely pristine and beautiful. I’ll let our Chinese cooking experts like @beefnoguy @J_L @JeetKuneBao comment on cooking methods here, but we’ve tried them poached / boiled before and they are still great. :slight_smile:

Shanghai Bok Choy:

We picked up a bunch of Bok Choy today. From past visits, thanks to a simple recipe from my Taiwanese friend, we saute the Bok Choy with some Green Onions, Salt and Rice Wine and it’s wonderful. :blush:

Purple Russian Kale:

Sprouting Broccoli:

Mustard Greens:

Flowering Napa:

Flowering Broccoli:

Daikon:

I’ve really liked their Daikon Radish from past visits; it’s excellent in Soups! :slight_smile:

Mountain Yam / Yama Imo:

My friends love Thao Family Farms’ Yama Imo (or Japanese Mountain Yams). We already bought enough produce for this week, so I’ll have to give them a try next week. :wink:

Thao Family Farms
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

Arnett Farms


Arnett Farms (Fresno, California) has some of the best Fruit selections throughout the year (with many misses as well). They have perhaps too many varieties, but if you ever get a chance to try their Flavor King Pluots and Black Mission Figs in season, they are among the best that our local farmers markets have to offer! :slight_smile:

Currently in season is citrus! :slight_smile:

Cara Cara Oranges + Shasta Gold Oranges:

With the coronavirus worries, they didn’t offer any samples this week, but our Cara Cara and Shasta Gold Oranges from last week were aromatic, beautifully sweet and a great portrait of the citrus season. We picked up some more Shasta Gold Oranges this week. :slight_smile:

Shinko Japanese Pears:

Their Shinko variety of Japanese / Asian-style Pears were crisp, juicy and balanced sweetness last week.

When in doubt, speak to any of their workers helping around the stand and they’ll be happy to recommend and pick out the best offerings of the week for you.

Another great aspect of Arnett Farms: They grow a variety of excellent Nuts! Their Pistachios and Almonds are incredible and so fresh! :blush:

It seems a lot of supermarkets have their entire sections of Nuts, Chips all cleaned out, but Arnett Farms (and a few other Nut Farms at the Hollywood Farmers Market) had plenty of fresh (and delicious) Pistachios, Almonds, Walnuts and more available today. FYI.

Almond Butter (Variety):

Arnett Farms’ freshly ground Almond Butter (they have a variety of flavors) are incredible! So fresh and nutty and fragrant. :heart:

Pistachio Butter:

And for all you Pistachio Lovers out there, their Pistachio Butter is really amazing. Totally different from Peanut or Almond Butter. :slight_smile:

They also preserve / dry their unsold Fruit over the course of the year, and you get some really great Dried Fruit offerings (great for a snack or morning Breakfast Cereal / Oatmeal, etc.). :slight_smile:

Arnett Farms
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

Yasutomi Farms


Yasutomi Farms is out of Pico Rivera and Long Beach, California. They always have some nice Japanese Vegetables in pristine condition each week. For today’s visit:

Komatsuna & Mizuna Greens:

I’ve enjoyed Yasutomi Farms’ Mizuna and Komatsuna offerings in the past. Always very fresh and with a good vegetal flavor. :slight_smile:

Shungiku (Chrysanthemum):

Asatsuki Negi (Green Onion Chive):

I’ve never tried cooking Asatsuki Negi or Shungiku before, but if any of our FTC Japanese cuisine cooks want to chime in, please let us know some recipes. :slight_smile: (@foodshutterbug @beefnoguy @J_L and others.)

Yasutomi Farms
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

(Also @ Santa Monica Farmers Market (Wednesday))
155 Arizona Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Day: Wednesday
Hours: 8:00AM - 1:00PM

Seeing the various news reports for this past weekend, it’s been unsettling and a challenging time for many out there. For those that are able to, consider stopping by your local Farmers Markets instead of a mad rush to the supermarket. Not only was there plenty of amazing produce (and many of it used by L.A.'s top restaurants), far better than what’s in your local supermarket, it also helps to support the hardworking California farmers, producing some of the best produce and meats available around the country.

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Great writeup! And that chidori kale looks amazing!

On Friday we went to the Echo Park Farmer’s Market which is small and pretty basic, but we got a bunch of fresh greens and vegetables since I wanted to avoid the bigger grocery stores. (we ended up having to go to Vons the next day anyway to get canned goods :expressionless:)

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We stopped by today at our Tiny West Adams Farmers Market (Corner of Adams and Western) and got some awesome looking Fennel Bulbs, Leeks and Chard. Some Fish and a slice of Banana Bread from Chaupain Bakery. The bunches are CHONKY. I’m guessing they would rather give us more than let it go to waste. The market was lightly attended, but people were buying which is good. This market just turned weekly after a monthly test. Hopefully they will continue as people were being very mindful to not bunch up around each other and were okay waiting or asking for space.

I went to the Hollywood Farmers Market just two weeks ago after nearly a year since last attendance. Although rainy that Sunday, it was going on full force! I was there mainly to buy items for a Vegan care package… One MUST buy from Arnett’s are their dried persimmons. I don’t even like Persimmons and these are like my FAVORITE dried fruit. They are pricy, but at the end of the table, they have small containers that you can fill with a good amount of slice and if you ask nicely, they have labels you can put on the containers and they make a REALLY nice gift

I also got some other items from the market and Magees so I was able to make a really nice Made in L.A. gift box…

image

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Great report and wonderful pictures as always. Thank you!

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Hi @hanhgry,

Thanks. :slight_smile: Glad you were able to get a variety of veggies you needed at the Echo Park Farmers Market. If you do get a chance, definitely try the Chidori Kale from The Garden Of, it’s delicious. :slight_smile:

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Santa Monica is apparently keeping the farmers market open because of the supermarket issues. Excited to actually be able to hit up the fabled weekday market while working from home this week.

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Hi @Dommy,

Thanks for the tip! I’ve really enjoyed Arnett Farms’ dried plums, pluots, the dried Black Mission figs and a few other varieties, but never got a chance to try the dried persimmons. I’ll be sure to pick some up next week. :slight_smile:

Not sure if they have samples out anymore, but if you ask they will give you one. :slight_smile: I like the big sliced ones (They look like sliced stars!) than the chipy ones… Mix those chopped up with great walnuts and some yogurt or oatmeal or even some cubes of smoked mozz and you have a great breakfast.

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Those lettuces look amazing! And cheaper than Gelson’s too!

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I will be quite surprised if these markets stay open in the coming weeks, especially since restaurants are such major buyers…

List of Northern CA essential places that made the list. Quite surprised as well.
Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants

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PSA: Murray Family Farms, a Certified Organic Farm from Bakersfield are an excellent farm offering some of the best Organic Grape varietals when in season. They are the ones that the L.A. Times wrote about selling the amazing Candy Snaps, Candy Hearts and Candy Dreams Organic Grapes (which I think taste even better than the Cotton Candy Grapes).

They just confirmed they will still be driving down and will be at these Farmers Markets in L.A. this week:

  • Wednesday - Santa Monica Farmers Market
  • Saturday - Santa Monica Farmers Market
  • Sunday - Mar Vista Farmers Market, Hollywood Farmers Market

What’s Ripe / In Season Now:

Strawberries

Lots of Chandler and Albion strawberries available

Organic Black & Blueberries

LOTS of Organic Frozen Blueberries available Bulk Frozen available on order Frozen Apricots and Frozen Persimmon also available

Citrus

Lots of Buddhas Hands Citron, Key Limes/Costello Lime/Mexican Limes, bumper crop of Meyers Lemon, Lisbon Lemons, Ponderosa Giant Lemon, Fukushu Kumquat, Limited Nagami Kumquats, Cocktail/pineapple grapefruit, Organic Melowgold Grapefruits, Organic Chandler Pomelo, Cara Cara Pink Flesh Orange, Seville Sour Oranges, Mandarins, Pixie, Page, Tahoe Gold, Yosemite Gold, Tango, Gold Nugget, Dancy

Rare fruits/veggies

LOTS of Sugar Cane, Buddhas Hands Citron, Key Limes/Costello Lime/Mexican Limes, Lots Heart of Palm, Barrel Cactus Fruit/little pineapples, Rose Hips, Wild dates, Jojoba nuts, California native fan palm fruits.

Limited Harvests

Pink Mushrooms, Nagami Kumquats, Calamasi, Variegated Kumquats, Hoja Santa rootbeer flavored peppercorns

Valley Pickleweed/Valley Sea Bean

(salty wild vegetable/salt replacement with a nice Umami flavor) for preorder.
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As of last week’s market no one was handing out samples. There are hand washing stations along with hand sanitizer. Let’s not make it complicated for the market or the clients. The vendors need this market and compliance is the only way it can stay open.

Beautiful pix @Chowseeker1999 I still haven’t been to the H-wood farmer’s market yet.

I tend to go to the farmer’s markets in SaMo near the 3rd St. Promenade or Virginia Park. Yasutomi and the Garden of … also have booths at the Wed. SaMo market.

About shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves) - I use this in Japanese casserole dishes like sukiyaki (beef, tofu and veggies braised in a soy sake based sauce) or mizutaki (dashi based stew with chicken, tofu, vegetables, etc.) or shabu shabu hotpot. Shungiku has a very distinctive and strong taste. It can also be blanched, water wrung out and topped with a sesame and/or miso based dressing.

RE: Mizuna
I also use this type of Japanese green in mizutaki (dashi based stew with chicken, tofu, vegetables, etc.). Some people like to use it raw in salads with a citrus soy based vinaigrette.

RE: Asatsuki (green onion chive)
I don’t buy this green because it’s expensive and mostly used as a garnish. A summer sashimi/raw fish dish such as katsuo/bonito tataki might have chopped asatsuki sprinkled on top. I’ve also had other types of sashimi dishes in restaurants with asatsuki as a garnish. I think it’s best used raw than cooked.

PS: I don’t want to be accused of promoting certain websites so I’m not posting any recipe links, but a Duck-Duck or Google search should bring up some decent recipes.

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Hi @foodshutterbug,

Thanks for the great ideas! :slight_smile: (And that’s great to know that Shu-san and The Garden Of are at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market (I usually only go to the Sunday Santa Monica but generally head to Hollywood instead for a bigger variety). I’ll update the OP.)

I’ll try Googling some of the dish recipes you’ve mentioned. :slight_smile:

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Looks like Autonomy Farms (and their excellent pork, beef, chicken and lamb offerings) will continue to show up at the Hollywood Farmers Market, Santa Monica Farmers Market (Wed) and La Canada Farmers Market this week as well. :slight_smile:

FYI: You can also order cuts from their website and have it shipped directly to you, or pick it up, ready to go at their farmers market stand.

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Update:

This week’s report from the Hollywood Farmers Market.

Lily’s Eggs


Lily’s Eggs has been a mainstay at various local Farmers Market for years now. For this week, they still had plenty of Eggs, and there were 3 other vendors that had plenty of Eggs as well. :slight_smile:

Lily’s Eggs
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

Harry’s Berries


The legendary Organic Strawberry producer, Harry’s Berries had plenty of their wonderful Organic Gaviota Strawberries today. :blush: They smelled incredible. Can’t wait to taste them this week. If you’ve never had them, they are in another class compared to all of our local Strawberries from other farms. So fragrant, deeply flavored and incredibly sweet when they are in prime season (which should be in another month or two).

Harry’s Berries
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

(Also @ Santa Monica Farmers Market (Wednesday & Sunday))
155 Arizona Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Day: Wednesday & Sunday
Hours: 8:00AM - 1:00PM

Weiser Family Farms


farmersmarket2_007

Based out of Tehachapi, California (and Lucerne Valley), Weiser Family Farms produce some outstanding Potato varietals (usually on the smaller Fingerling size). They have such good flavor that many of L.A.'s top restaurants use them throughout the year.

I had read that Potatoes were in seemingly high demand in some supermarkets, but there were plenty to be had here.

Fat Uncle Farms


Based out of Wasco, California, Fat Uncle Farms produces some excellent Almonds straight up, sliced and also in some delicious flavors. :slight_smile:

My favorite is their Rosemary Almonds, beautifully aromatic with just the right amount of Rosemary with the Roasted Almonds.

Thao Family Farms


Mustard Greens:

Thao’s had some absolutely beautiful Mustard Greens this week. :slight_smile:

Spinach:

Baby Bok Choy:

We picked up some Baby Bok Choy for this week. My Taiwanese friend gave me a simple recipe years ago to enjoy these, with a simple saute with Oil, Green Onions, Salt and a bit of Rice Wine. :slight_smile:

Thao Family Farms
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

Arnett Farms


Last week’s Golden Nugget Mandarins were super sweet and so aromatic. :slight_smile:

This week based on the farmer’s recommendation, we picked up some Tango Tangerines (which generally, in previous years, have been excellent).

As before, Arnett Farms also grows a variety of Nuts and makes fresh-ground Almond and Pistachio Butters. We’ve heard many supermarkets are sold out of Nuts (panic buying), but there were multiple vendors today that had a nice assortment of Nuts.

I got a half pound of their Salted Roasted Pistachios, which are so fresh, fragrant and nutty. :blush:

Dried Persimmons:

@Dommy just making sure, were you recommending the flattened Persimmons (above)? Because both of the packages they have now are Whole Persimmons, one is just flattened. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Arnett Farms
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

Kandarian Organic Farms

Posting this up for any folks interested in getting Organic Beans. A few local supermarkets were sold out of Beans, so it was good to see some options for Organic Beans here at the farmers market.

The Garden Of


Farmer Shu Takikawa and his family were offering something different this week: They were still selling individual heads of their beautiful Heirloom Lettuces, but they were selling the rest of their produce this week in “Produce Boxes” for $35:

There was a ton of beautiful looking produce in this box, and at first it seemed overwhelming, but thinking about it, considering most folks have to stay in and eat at home throughout the week, it’s definitely doable to finish up this amazing produce by the end of the week or so.

In addition, it was a way for Shu-san and his farm to keep the finances going in these tough times (I’d imagine he probably lost a lot of business when restaurants have had to go Takeout Only or Delivery). We buy Gift Cards for restaurants to try and support them, why wouldn’t we support the actual farmers that grow the very produce that powers many of our great restaurants? :slight_smile:

Produce Box Unveiling:

Look at how pristine and gorgeous all of The Garden Of’s Organic Produce looks! :blush:

Organic Heirloom Lettuces (x 5):

We got 5 heads of Organic Heirloom Lettuces (all in pristine condition). That’s normally $9.

Organic Red Spring Onions:

If anyone has ideas on how to best use these Red Spring Onions, let me know. Thanks! (@TheCookie @foodshutterbug @hanhgry @J_L and others.)

Organic Spinach:

Large bag of Organic Spinach. I’ve had The Garden Of’s Organic Spinach a few times in the past and it’s always been very good. Can’t wait. :slight_smile:

Organic Chidori Kale:

Yes! We missed buying their incredible Organic Chidori Kale last week, and it was included in every Produce Box this week. (I usually saute it with some Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt and either Mirin or Rice Wine. Delicious!) :heart:

Organic Baby Romanesco:

Organic Carrots (Orange):

There was a large bag of their crisp Organic Carrots (Orange variety). At least 10 - 12 Carrots.

Organic Leeks:

Organic Japanese Baby Turnips:

I cooked them in an Organic Chicken Soup tonight. So tender, delicate flavor. They were excellent! :blush:

Organic Radishes:

Organic Parsnip (or Turnip)?:

I haven’t figured out whether these are Red Parsnips or Turnips. I’ll find out later this week, but if anyone knows please chime in. :slight_smile:

Organic Heirloom Carrots:

And a beautiful set of multi-colored Heirloom Carrots. I also cooked these up in the Chicken Soup tonight (they were delicious). :slight_smile:

The Garden Of… (Organic Farm)
(@ Hollywood Farmers Market (Sunday)) (North of the Arclight Cinemas)
1600 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Day: Sunday
Hours: 8:30AM - 1:00PM

(Also @ Santa Monica Farmers Market (Wednesday))
155 Arizona Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Day: Wednesday
Hours: 8:00AM - 1:00PM

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The ones you want are the ones that look like thick slicies. In your first picture, the ones in the plastic container to the right. Those are them.

How were the crowds? I saw a picture of the Mar Vista Farmers Market and it look crazy busy with very little mindfulness to the Social Distancing going on. UGH. I went to my tiny West Adams farmers market, mostly to be able to walk to it, but the market manager was keeping an eye on the entrance and had sanitizer and wipes out. I sent him a little love note about it. :slight_smile:

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Hi @Dommy,

Thanks! Can’t wait to get them next week. :slight_smile:

The crowds? It was maybe 40% of the normal crowds, but Hollywood was very good about controlling crowds: They had security guards with signs hanging on themselves “Social Distancing Please: Stay 6 feet away from each other.”

In addition, almost every booth had a makeshift “lineup” area, where you enter 1 way into the booth and exit another way, and they were mindful of how many people could enter a booth at once. It was nice.

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I went to the Alhambra market today. Not crowded at all, but there were still some older customers completely disregarding the new social norms. So frustrating. I’d be all alone at a stall then somebody would be a foot away from me. Ugh :expressionless:

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