The farm-to-table scene is a refreshing trend in today’s hectic, technology-driven world. The movement brings us back to the basics and encourages us to purchase or grow and enjoy fresh, simple, healthy, and less-processed foods. According to NPR, in 2014, there were 8,268 farmers markets operating in the United States. This figure represents a 180 percent increase since 2006. Not surprisingly, farmers markets have been in Los Angeles since the early 1980s. For many, they are a pivotal aspect of life here. You can buy prepared food from the likes of Corn Maiden Tamales, Cumin Chicken, or Zaiga Kitchens and enjoy something to drink with family and friends.
Farmers markets in Los Angeles are also fun places to see celebrities running errands and stocking up on groceries and flowers. For the best celebrity and chef sightings, visit the Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, or Old Hollywood farmers markets on the weekend.
Thanks in part to the pioneers of the farm-to-table movement––including Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and Dan Barber, chef and owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York, and many others––today’s consumers understand the value of eating local, seasonal food, and they are willing to pay a premium to get it whether at a farmers market, specialty store, or restaurant. If you ever have the chance to eat at either Chez Panisse or Blue Hill at Stone Barns, run, do not walk. You will be treated to one of the best meals ever as we have personally experienced.
Though we love to dine out at least once a week, we’ve long been fans of keeping a vegetable garden at home. Two years ago we expanded our “farm” to include four chickens. Truly nothing can compare to freshly picked produce, herbs, fruit, and a recently hatched egg that is still warm. They are delicious poached, and their bright yellow-orange yolks are a ray of sunshine, even on the grayest days.
Susan recently made some fresh lemon curd with lemons from our Meyer lemon tree and eggs from our chickens. It was delicious and was the perfect complement to our morning yogurt and berries. Rest assured, it was just as yummy straight out of the jar!
If you are inspired to make some of your own, here is a great recipe from Gourmet that is very easy to make!
3-4 Meyer lemons (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure two teaspoons, and squeeze enough juice to measure a half cup. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a metal bowl and add butter. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking, until thickened and smooth and an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit (about five minutes). Force curd through a fine sieve set into another bowl. Serve warm or cover surface of curd with wax paper and cool completely.
Looking for a great farmer’s market in your neighborhood or need tips about where to find the best seedlings and chicks in Southern California? Call us––we are here to help!