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Archive for April, 2012

Tutti Frutti Zucchini

The first of the California zucchini just arrived from Tutti Frutti. They are grown in hoop houses in Lompoc, CA off HWY 1 between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.

Earth Day Weekend 2012 A Huge Success

Earth Day weekend was a huge success. Saturday I joined Brian Gordon, sales associate from Earl’s and Matt Landi, produce director from New Leaf Community Market at the New Leaf Santa Cruz Earth Day celebration in San Lorenzo Park.  New Leaf Market focuses on offering great local organic produce and solutions for living a greener life.  We had a lot of fun grilling local organic asparagus from Coastal View Produce and talking about the relationship between Earl’s Organic sourcing directly from the farm, and New Leaf providing that delicious organic produce from Earl’s to the customer.

Matt Landi grilling asparagus

 

Brian Gordon, Susan Simitz, Matt Landi

Mesa Landi enjoying face painting at Santa Cruz's Earth Day

Sunday was San Francisco’s Earth Day festival and a group from Earl’s Organic joined business from all over San Francisco, including Rainbow Grocery and Bi-Rite, in celebrating green solutions to environmental issues. The San Francisco Earth Day festival was designed to bring together leading members of the green/sustainability activist movement to co-create a vision of how we address the multitude of environmental issues we face.  The festival almost had a burning man feeling with live music being played on various stages all day long and fun mechanical vehicles being pedaled powered all over the plaza.  I started the day off joining the crowd by the Mother Earth stage singing “This Land Is Your Land” and ended the afternoon dancing Bhangra with my friend Asma to the beat of the Dhol and performance of Non Stop Bhangra on the Deep Green Stage.

Earl’s booth emphasized the top reasons to support organic including protecting water quality, preventing soil erosion, promoting biological diversity, keeping chemicals off your plate, protecting future generations and our planets health and stopping the spread of GMO’s(Genetically Modified Organisms).  The Just Label Itcampaign had a booth near Earl’s encouraging people to sign the petition to label food containing GMO’s.

Earl, Susan, Adria and Randy

Along with educating the public about organics Earls sold strawberries and had a fun game teaching the public about the “dirty dozen”, the 12 fruits and vegetables you definitely want to eat organic with a chance to win an Earl’s cap, mug, bag or a pint of strawberries.   More giveaways included an opportunity to win 2 tickets to a Marin Organic farm tour this summer. Earls is a member of Marin Organic and supports their commitment to promote a sustainable, organic county.  SPUD (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery) uses all organic produce from Earls in their delivery boxes and was giving away the chance to win a $50 harvest produce box delivered right to your door.

Earl and Adria playing the "dirty dozen" game

Earth Day was a great chance for Earl’s Organic to connect with the public and share our passion for organic produce and protecting the earth.  Winners will be announced soon for the Marin Organic farm tour and SPUD $50 harvest box.

Earth Day San Francisco 2012

Join Earl’s Organic Produce this Sunday April 22nd in celebrating Earth Day.  The San Francisco Earth Day celebration is FREE and goes from 10a to 6pm at Civic Center Plaza, an easy walk from the Civic Center Bart station.   Learn about the dirty dozen, where your seasonal organic produce is grown and why it is so important for your health and the environment to eat organic.  Play a fun interactive game and have a chance to win some cool Earl’s schwag!

We will be located near the Chef Demo stage at the entrance to the event off of Larkin Street between McAllister and Grove.  7 chefs will be using Earl’s produce to make all kinds of creative dishes.  Make sure to get a seat at one of the hourly demos and enjoy tasty samples.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the event this Sunday!

 

 

Artichokes

Artichokes, a member of the thistle family, are at their peak in the spring.  California produces almost all commercially grown artichokes in the United States with 90% of those grown on the Central Coast.  Castroville is known as “The Artichoke Center of the World” and the annual artichoke festival is held May 19th and 20th.

Prepare the artichoke by trimming a little of the top and the stem off the bottom.  Pull off any older outer leaves. Using kitchen scissors trim the pointy ends off the leaves. The fastest way to cook the artichoke is to fill a glass measuring cup with a little water. Place the artichoke in the cup and cover with plastic wrap. Using a knife make a few holes in the plastic wrap and microwave for a minimum of 3 minutes for medium artichokes up to 5 or 6 minutes for large artichokes.  Check if it is tender by pulling off a leaf and biting into it.    I like dipping the artichoke leaves into a mixture of mayonnaise and yuzu vinegar.

If you want to impress your guests try serving stuffed artichokes.

 

Melons In Spring

You may be wondering why you are starting to see so many melons in the store when it is only April.  A variety of melons are coming out of Mexico now and we will continue to see them until the domestic melons start up around mid to late May coming from the Imperial Valley in Southern California.  Earl’s is currently carrying the following delicious melons.

The Charentais is a small melon with smooth, hard light green skin.  It is similar to a cantaloupe with deep orange flesh and a smooth, sweet flavor. When ripe, it smells like a tropical fruit and should be enjoyed right away because it has a short shelf life.

Crenshaw Melons are a variety of muskmelon and a cross between the Casaba melon and the Persian melon. They are most easily defined by their teardrop shape with a yellow and green rough skin.  The peach colored flesh is sweet and a little spicy and the skin turns golden yellow at the peak of ripeness. Crenshaws can weigh up to 8-10 pounds. The skin will have a slightly waxy feel when the melon is ripe.

Crenshaw

The Honeydew has a smooth, firm pale colored skin that surrounds sweet, pale green flesh.  Round to oval and somewhat larger than a cantaloupe, the skin turns from green to white to yellow as it matures.  As the honeydew ripens, its skin transforms from very hard and smooth to a velvety texture and often develops a slight stickiness.  If the blossom end yields to gentle pressure, the melon is ready to eat.  Honeydew melons range in weight from four to eight pounds.   Honeydew melons are a hardy winter melon with a long shelf life.

Honeydew

The Seedless Watermelons have the green skin and juicy sweet flesh of the common watermelon.  Although not completely seedless, they have small white seeds that most people consider edible.

Sugar Baby Watermelons have a tough rind with distinct stripes when immature, becoming almost black when ripe. The flesh is red and sweet and the watermelons can grow up to 8 inches in diameter.

All types of Watermelons should be firm, evenly-shaped, heavy for its size and have a deep-pitched tone when slapped with an open palm.  Yellow on one side of the melon is where the fruit contacted the ground and does not affect quality.

Honeydew melons are on special this week at Earls!

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