“I love it here at this market. There are a lot of special people here—a good energy.”
Javier was a guest staffer at the Atkins Nursery booth this week, one of a rotating group of stand-ins picking up shifts as regular vendor Robin continues working toward a nursing degree. He was happy to be here, he told me, and it showed: Every person that walked up was immediately engaged, jokes being tossed around as smiling faces perused his produce.
“I didn’t know we had movie stars here,” he kidded as a tall blonde woman ducked under his tent. In answer to her query, he showed her how to eat a kumquat, rolling the small, orange fruit between his forefinger and thumb to release the essential oils before popping it in his mouth whole like a grape.
“Look at you, you got it!” he encouraged her as she rolled the fruit between her own fingers, watching the oils release in little spurts of mist. “I knew it—only the celebs can eat those like that on the first try."
I agreed with Javier: there was a good energy at the market last Tuesday. The blue sky overhead was spotted with windblown clouds and the sunshine was bright and sharp like it can only be on a chilly, clear day.
To me, there seemed to be a decent crowd at the market, with all the usual suspects—the mothers in yoga clothes, nannies with strollers, lunch breakers and bikers and retirees—cruising around with their reusable bags and free gerbera daisies. Apparently, however, it had been a slow afternoon.
“I can’t believe how quiet it’s been today,” J.R. Organics vendor Amado told me during our regular Tuesday chat. “I have no idea why; it’s really weird.”
Raw Cane SuperJuice’s Lindsy agreed. “I haven’t seen it like this since I started,” she told me.
I don’t know where you were today. If you weren’t at the farmers market, Manhattan Beach, you missed quite the spread.
At Atkins Nursery, Pinkerton avocados and Alergian tangerines took their place next to the regular assortment of hazelnuts, cherimoya, and citrus. Jaime Farms had Red Russian kale and Greensborg kale side by side in their stand, along with some fresh herbs and a surprise box of shiitake mushrooms resting in the shade.
The Minneola tangelos at Arnett Farm—large, bell-shaped fruit that came into being as a cross between a Duncan grapefruit and a Dancy tangerine—were practically calling my name. Hard, green tomatoes at J.R. Organics, this week’s featured ingredient in Farmers’ Formula: Recipes from the Market, are a treat not often come across in this part of the country. Add Schreiner’s smoked ham hock to the mix and it was a regular cornucopia.
See you next week at the market, Tuesday, March 8.