Updated 2009-05-16 16:16:23 ID=392:3

© 2009 The Romantic Table

Farmers Market Report May 16, 2009


Our first hot weekend, which is also the Paso Robles Wine Festival weekend, brought out more shoppers this morning to the Templeton Farmers Market where there was lots of fresh produce to tantalize.

I knew it was going to be a hot day, so I went earlier than usual to the Templeton Farmers Market where I wasn't disappointed with its offerings. Though it was early-just a little passed nine- there were more than the usual number of shoppers, but parking places were available.

Wanting some more of Ralph Johnson's Dandelion Greens, I headed straight away to his booth first. I couldn't believe it! He only had three bunches left! He was surprised too at today's early demand for the greens. He told me that when he came, he had brought a big bin full! Wow! I never knew Dandelion greens were so popular! I purchased two of the Italian variety for tonight's dinner. (At a dollar a bunch.) See my recipe for Dandelion Greens with Toasted Walnuts and Pasta.

Between customers, I asked Mr. Johnson where he actually grows his unusual crops. He has land in San Luis Obispo where he grows "warmer climate" crops, and also land in Los Osos where he grows his "cooler crops." If you'd like to contact him to see what he's planning on bringing to market, you can call him at: 805 544-4740.

Just next to Ralph Johnson's booth, I was surprised to see Gary Billington'Sunrise Desert Tropical booth! I thought he had finished his "Date season" when I didn't see him a couple of weeks ago. -MY mistake! He was just out of town and the only thing he's finished with for the season are his Barhi dates. He still has the Dayri, Neglet Noor, Date nut rolls and then of course, Medjools. He also has breath-taking tropical flowers!

On my way around the market, I saw lots of beautiful greens, salads, herbs, LOTS of strawberries (at least four different vendors and the strawberries are really at their prime now!), citrus, early variety peaches and asparagus.

Going passed Stoltey's Honey booth I noticed that they only had alfalfa honey right now, but they were well stocked with fresh Bee Pollen. Their four ounce size sells for four dollars. Their eight ounce size sells for seven dollars- and people were snapping them up!

Down just a bit was Peacock Family Farm where shoppers were standing in line for their hot house tomatoes and basil.

Down from there was Mike Broadhurst's Dragon Spring Farm booth where he had gorgeous organic blueberries at $4.50 a half pint and citrus and then of course his farm fresh fruit preserves.

I continued on, stopping to say hello to Tim French at Oak Hill Mushrooms booth. He had some beautiful organically grown "wild mushrooms" for sale.

Then down a little further was Debbie Paver at her Charter Oak Style booth. She had a line of people waiting to buy her beef, pork and lamb.-It's worth waiting for!

With the sun bearing down, I could start to feel the "promised" heat. I thought I'd better get home before my greens wilt. I'm looking forward to tonight's dinner --and a dessert of fresh strawberries!

As I was getting near my car, I noticed the traffic was getting busier so I better "get" and leave a nice shady parking place for someone. I was so glad I shopped early!

Hope to see you next week!




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A tip from Sue!

Beware cooking wine!

Never use a "so-called cooking wine" that's marketed specifically as a cooking wine for your sauce. Only use a wine that would not be objectionable to drink by itself. In lighter sauces a good one to use is a nice Fume' Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc. In stronger red sauces, use a decent red wine such as a Barolo, Zinfandel or Cabernet.