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Oct 16, 2011 07:10 PM

Fall 2011 Farmers Market Watch

We were at Heart of the City today, and picked up all kinds of incredible bargains in produce.

It was 2 p.m., and unlike Alemany, Heart of the City is still in full swing mid-afternoon on a Sunday. Everyone was in a great mood thanks to the weather, and it's that perfect time of year when summer fruit and autumn vegetables collide. This really is a market that serves the community.

3 berry pints for $5. We got mixed raspberries and strawberries. I've rarely had better raspberries. My friend claims they were organic too; I didn't notice.

Lion's mane mushrooms ($3 a small basket) and chanterelles ($5) from Far West. They were out of shiitakes, although the portabellas looked good. Kudos to Far West for charging the same prices at all the local markets.

Fuyu persimmons $1 a pound.

Beautiful late season peaches and pluots $1 a pound; 50 cents a pound for plums. $1 cantaloupes. I got a canary melon for $2 that I haven't tried yet. $1 for a big bag of early girls (at least two pounds).

Pomegranates at all price points, from 50 cents to $2 each. Lots of nice apples spotted (mostly $2 a pound), along with watercress, chives, and purple shiso, but our arms were full. My friend did get eggs for $2.50 a dozen.

The largest golden beets I've ever seen for $2 a bunch; will report back on whether they're edible. Also very attractive yellow carrots for $2 a bunch that went right into a pot with chicken.

What are you buying this fall?

Heart of the City Market
1182 Market St # 415, San Francisco, CA

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  1. There was a booth at Thursday's Berkeley market selling organic peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and...I think something else... all for 1.99 a pound. I only bought peppers, but it seemed like a good chance to mix and match.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Glencora

      lucero farms, i believe - also at the Tuesday and Saturday markets.

    2. Root vegetables are becoming more prevalent - celeriac, radishes, turnips, rutabagas.

      I've always considered apples to be a winter fruit, but that's largely because i ignore them till the grape season completely ends. But, I never miss out on pears - especially the asian varieties.

      1. The Richmond farmers market has pomegranates for $1.50 lb. If you go after noon, sometimes the prices drop to $1.

        There's nothing really organic at this market, but the prices are good and you cn get lots of Asian veggies and stuff like fresh black eye peas. Sometimes they have live chickens early in the morning.

        Anyway, pomegranates aren't really an item that I care is organic from a health standpoint.

        I'm starting to get impressed with one vendor. I'll need to find out the name. There is zero lettuce at this market and when I asked he said that this time of year there are too many bugs and they'd have to spray to control them, so they just wait till the weather cools.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          The best lettuce I've had recently was labeled "Artisan... Red and Green Oak" from Trader Joe's. It's hydroponic lettuce in a bag with two "trees" for $1.99.

        2. Gorgeous day at Alemany. I was late but still spent every dollar I had:

          namekos from Far West $3.50 a basket along with shiitakes $9.85 a pound

          red walnuts $8 a pound shelled

          blood limes $3 pound and chocolate persimmons $2 a pound from the great citrus people with the Buddha's hand

          4 pink grapefruits for a $1 and medjools for $3 a pound from the date man

          shallots $1.50 a pound, leeks for $1 a bunch

          great looking dino kale, dandelion greens $2 each, and $1 a pound green beans

          Love this time of year at the market.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Windy

            Yeah, the citrus is coming in -- a bit early, I think. I bought some mandarins at the 50 Fremont market last week that were greenish but still sweet-tart on the inside. Still a few plums, pluots and lots of grapes.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I didn't see any plums or pluots. They must have sold out before I got there,

              Yes, grapes everywhere and apples.

              1. re: Windy

                And persimmons, finally good ones that are pumpkin orange ... ditto on better, deeper red pommegranites.

                I saw one sign warning the oranges were early season and more on the tart side.

                How were the blood limes? First I've heard of them ... Yeah, I'll bet they would make nice drinks ... depending on the flavor. How did you use them?

                This is new to me so I started a thread on home cooking

                Using blood limes?


                And how were the red walnuts?


                I finally got back into the vegan thing (had to satisfy the McRib craving) so I'm looking out for different types of nuts and seeds.

                1. re: rworange

                  I love red walnuts (from Ferrari Farms). No trace of bitterness. I first had them from susancinsf, who got them in Merced. The guy I bought them from said they were developed at UC Davis.


                  They had blood lime samples so I got to try first. They're very sweet--almost as a sweet at a Meyer lemon, but distinctly lime like. Also quite pretty--some were green, others yellow. Flesh is yellow, sometimes with a hint of red/pink, like a grapefruit. So far I'm just squeezing them in water.

                  I'm stil doling out hazelnut butter I brought back from Portland. Not low cal, but seriously delicious with a pippin or Granny Smith.

          2. If you have persimmons and pomegranates, I'd recommend a salad of the two (got the recipe in an Alice Waters cookbook and really enjoyed it - basically just those two things with a red wine or sherry vinegagrette).

            Leafy vegetables are good now - nice spinach and chard.

            Apples are also good, though our apple guy told us that the Fuji apple season is already ending so I have to figure out what other varietals to get.