Friday, August 29, 2008

Lincoln Farmers Market

Today is Friday. That means that the Foothill Farmers Market takes place at the corner of McBean Park and "A" street from 8am - 12pm. Being that I am now right down the street I take advantage of the "cooler" morning market. I had not been in a few weeks but today I felt encouraged to check it out. I also wanted to get a feel for what was in season for next weeks class and dinner.

I was very surprised to find a few less booths than normal. Perhaps the heat is keeping everyone indoors for the week. Hopefully so. I was amazed at what I did find though!

The first booth I passed was packed so I passed it by and headed to Beauty Ranch's booth. It was great, they had fabulous Asian pears just picked, 2 varieties of apples, 3 varieties of plums, peaches, jams, all kinds of wonderful stuff. I did grab a bag of apples, plums and pears. I spoke with the owners and they informed me they did not spray this year and used minimal fertilization! The fruit looks amazing and they even threw in some extra fruit, so I ended up with almost all the varieties they had!

Next we headed to the Spice Grills food booth. I love this guys food. Anytime a new person walks to the booth to observe the crowd that is gathering, they immediately get drawn closer for a sample. One sample turns into a second, followed by a series of tastings. I think today was eight total! What a treat! I joked that if he kept feeding his people like this they would fill up and not by food to go! But they all do! And I was no exception.

I settled on the chicken and the potato filled samosas, as the spinach and the lentil ones were already sold out by 10am! Guess I need to come earlier! He tops these with a wonderful cilantro pesto sauce and a sweet and lil' bit spicy mango chutney, the sauces are to die for! He also offers fire grilled naan bread, traditional north African spices and sauces and much more!

Unfortunately I was not able to stop at all the booths today, but I did manage to cross back to the first booth I had passed. And I am so thankful that I did. They grow all organic produce at The Natural Trading company. And it is good and they have a variety of the not so common ingredients. That is why I love them. And today I found a new reason to love these guys! They grow the best arugula this side of the Atlantic? I don't know but it is the only locally grown arugula I have ever seen, and it is delicious! It is absolutely like nothing I have ever tasted in any store, so full of smoky and pepper flavors, absolutely amazing. I grabbed a bunch and was raving. Quickly 2 or 3 more people followed with intrigue to purchase and I offered them a hint, try it in a salad with peaches! Viola! Hopefully they take my advise because that is one great combination and my secret! Oh a little fennel would be great too!

I also grabbed some hot peppers that look amazing at .25 cents each. They had red baby beets, baby carrots, heirloom tomatoes, all kinds of great looking greens.. you name it, this place is great! Stop in and check them out!

Lastly I stopped in and spoke to Dan Macon of Highland Farms or Flying Mule Farm. He is the most amazing farmer of grass fed lambs. I am telling you, I have been eating lamb for my entire life and his is the best. You can truly taste the difference, the flavor is amazing and it is really a healthy meat, and locally raised in Auburn. You have to go talk to him, he is a great guy! Get more information from his website and learn about what he is doing, but most importantly, taste him lamb! I would even offer a recipe for those in need, shoot me an email!

A great way to support our local farmers, community and eat healthy! Give it a try, the vendors are amazing at this market! And they are not at Thursday nights market... so don't try and find them there!

Lincoln Farmers Market
in Persimmon's Cafe parking lot
corner of McBean and "A" street
Friday mornings, 8-12

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