Archive for December, 2015
If you are like me you are enjoying overindulging during the holiday season. January 1st comes way too fast and then thoughts of being healthier are on everyone’s minds. Juicing is a great way to take a break from all the rich foods. Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting items that look great, are good for your body and great for juicing.
Burdock root, ginger and galangal are all rhizomes, underground stems of a plant that produces roots from which a variety of plants can grow. Burdock root from Winter Green Farm is grown just west of Eugene, Oregon. We are seeing nice clean roots free of dirt. Burdock is also known as gobo and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is a good blood cleanser and detoxifier. The roots are harvested in the first year and the second year it goes to seed and produces burrs. These burrs were the inspiration for Velcro! The season runs from October to January.
Nicely cured ginger from Peru has clean big hands. Ginger is good for fighting inflammation, improving circulation, digestion and immunity and works great to help an upset stomach and nausea. The Hawaiian season is right around the corner and we will see ample supplies on the market.
Just in from Hawaii is sharp looking galangal from Kauai Organic. Galangal helps remove toxins from the body, reduces cramps, aids in healing bruising and swelling and helps reduce gassiness. As a relative of ginger it also helps with upset stomachs and nausea. It is much thicker and harder than ginger and almost replaces ginger entirely in Thai cooking. It has a pungent mustard flavor and is much spicier than ginger. Be careful when juicing, you only need to use a small piece.
The unusual buddha’s hand looks more like a fruit grown in an alien galaxy than on a citrus tree. No two look exactly the same and they are mesmerizing to look at. Our fruit buyer Rodrigo likes to put one in a room or his car and enjoy the intense citrus fragrance. The fruit is all rind with no juice or pulp. It is most commonly made into candied fruit or infused in alcohol. Click here for some great recipe ideas. Earl’s buddha hands are coming from Cunningham Farm, located in a secluded valley next to the Cleveland National Forest between Fallbrook and Temecula in San Diego County.
Heavy sustained rains north of Sacramento and not enough wind between rains to dry out the fruit has led our northern growers to call an early end to the Satsuma Mandarins season. Mature fruit still on the tree is susceptible to damage from the beating of the rain and absorption of water. Side Hill Citrus in Lincoln and Capay Satsuma in Orland will continue to sell at their local farmers markets, but we all agree that fruit not purchased for immediate consumption is prone to break down faster and will have a shorter shelf life.
On the positive side, we have a good inventory of N. California fruit that was picked before the rain and expected to last into next week. We will also continue to see Satsuma Mandarins coming out of Southern California into January.
The Heger Green Swiss Chard is looking great today! Cool nights out of Brawley in the California desert, make the color pop on these healthy greens. Dense cell structure really shows in beautifully bunched crisp greens. Nice large bunches are the perfect retail size. Growers grow different varieties for different reasons and this variety is just stellar!
What is Romanesco and where does it come from? Don’t look at it too long or it might hypnotize you. Grown by Capay Organics in Capay Valley, northwest of Sacramento in Yolo County, Romanesco’s conical spiral shapes look like they come from another world. This sweet and nutty cauliflower is not to be missed!
Cilantro from Lakeside is coming out of Holtville, near El Centro at the southern end of the Imperial Valley. Vibrant plant structure gives us full bunches of herbs. Cilantro doesn’t get any cleaner or more beautiful than this.
Cal-O Bunched Spinach is coming out of the Coachella desert, just north of the Salton Sea. We are seeing beautiful, large and unblemished leaves free of bug pressure. High in iron, Popeye would be proud to eat this spinach!
Even through navels are available as early as Thanksgiving, historically we feel they reach acceptable color and flavor around the first of the year. This year we feel the Twin Girls navels out of the Central San Joaquin Valley have already reached promotable flavor. Think high sugar and good color. The cold nights over the past month brought out the color in the fruit and slowed down the growing process, allowing the tree to pump a higher density of sugar into the fruit. We are finally feeling winter in California! The result is a very sweet orange.
Nacho Sanchez and his wife Cassie bought their first piece of land in 1989 and named their farm after their two twin girls, Christyna and Serena. More than 25 years later they are growing over 50 varieties of organic fruit on 400 plus acres in Fresno and Tulare Counties, about 200 miles South of San Francisco. Mouthwatering Twin Girls navels now available at Earl’s Organic!