Brandon and I have a farmers market ritual. We haul our asses out of bed at 8 am on Sunday morning, no matter how late we’ve stayed up the night before. Then we drive to the Hollywood farmers market at Selma and Ivar (between Amoeba Music/the Arclight and the Pantages Theater) to get our weekly produce for food and juicing. Note: If it’s crowded or it’s the summer, park at the Arclight and bring your ticket to the market manager for validation. $3 is much better than frustration finding street parking or an unfathomably hot car. It’s funny because if we somehow miss the farmers market, then I am completely uninspired to cook that week. Anyway, I have been asked multiple times about who I get my produce from at the market since I regularly interrogate the farmers about their farming practices. So here is my partial list… I’m still in summer mode so I can’t remember everything but I’ll add to this as the seasons change. Everyone’s organic or sustainable (or close enough to it) on my list.
- Burkart Farm – Amazing seasonal fruit. In the summer, great red flame grapes and autumn royale grapes, peaches, French plums, nectarines, blackberries. In the fall, my life revolves around Fuyu persimmons.
- Tutti Frutti Farm – They’re my go-to farm for my juicing veggies like fennel and purple carrots. They have the best heirloom tomatoes in the whole market during the summer.
- Lily’s Eggs – We love their fertile eggs. These chickens get to run around the fields, have fun with roosters, eat bugs and grubs. In my opinion, these taste amazing in comparison to other organic eggs that you might find at Whole Paycheck Market or Trader Joe’s. I also get freshly killed organic chicken here but only if you arrive relatively early. Tomas sells out around 10 or 10:30 am and if I don’t arrive in time, I don’t make chicken that whole week. These chickens are so tasty and you don’t have to do anything to them to make them taste good. On Wednesdays he sells fresh duck.
- Healthy Family Farms – Get your heritage turkey for Thanksgiving here. Rather than getting a free turkey at Vons for spending $100, you actually have to pay for this one and it’s comparable in price to the better turkeys at WFM. They also have excellent pastured eggs here that are actually looking better than Lily’s Eggs these days.
- Weiser Farm – When it’s in season, grab as much Bloomsdale spinach as you can! This is the best spinach in the world. It’s thick, juicy and sweet. Definitely not your ordinary crappy bagged Trader Joe’s spinach. Crosnes are really interesting. They remind me of Jerusalem artichokes but look like tiny long shells that you find at the beach. Sauteed with some garlic and butter, these are super. Speaking of Jerusalem artichokes, Weiser has these as well and they are delicious when roasted. In the winter they have amazing cauliflower varieties like the romanesca as well as bright purple cauliflower heads. The purple cauliflower makes a visually stunning pureed soup. They also have a variety of heirloom carrots in a rainbow of colors and I especially like the flavor of their purple Nante carrots when juiced.
- McGrath Farm – During certain times of the year, their strawberries are almost crack-laden. I have actually eaten an entire flat by myself in a few days. They are so fragrant and sweet. McGrath also has fantastic purple carrots, heirloom varieties of beets, shell beans, rapini and wild arugula.
- Ha’s Apples – In the fall, they have several varieties of apples and I love the Gravenstein’s and Arkansas Black. They also make simple apple turnovers that are made without sugar! They’re really good. The only problem I have with them is that their pears are NOT organic. DARNIT!
- Flora Bella Farm – James Birch is such a nice, friendly farmer who loves acupuncture. He has the best arugula ever but only if you like really bitter arugula. I buy his purple radishes, stinging nettles, collard greens and yellow plums. The fresh garbanzo beans are very intimidating but I’m sure I’ll buy them at some point in time.
- The mushroom guys – This stand is not on the main strip where all of the produce is but it’s on the intersecting street where all of the prepared food stands are. When chanterelle mushrooms are in season, it’s the only time of the year I make rice in the form of risotto.
- Rocky Canyon farm – They boast the “farmer to you beef” and “farmer to you pork” signs. I’ve never tried their pork but they have many different cuts of grassfed beef to choose from. I’ve made a mean standing rib roast and home cured corned beef with their product.
If anyone has anything to add, let me know. This is my one stop shop. I don’t have to go to any other supermarket if I come here once a week.