|Ventura County Farmer’s Markets|
Camarillo Pleasant Valley
Certified Farmers’ Market & Crafters’ Corner
Camarillo Community Center
1605 E. Burnley St., Camarillo
Wednesdays, 3–7pm (rain or shine)
New Season Opens May 13
Author Archive | ecinet
Oh, How Hard It Is
By Keitha Lowrance
Her initial idea was
to plant the blue agaves,
cooling off the hot space,
an uneven arrangement,
in long rectangles parallel.
At the kitchen table
we look outward
to the cool light blue
punctuated by incandescence.
It is afternoon,
in between meals,
the kitchen silent
nothing to smell.
I’ve always had small breasts
and never thought too much about them
but now that there is only one.
A different kind of hard
than the rocky soil
where orchards of citrus
and avocados flourish,
magical rooms outdoors
running the length of blue agaves
turning right into a big square perpendicular.
Christmas firs from years past stand proud,
succulents, cacti, olive trees mingle,
chickens encaged with red head dresses
like poppy petals, thin,
overlapping, velvety, transparent.
The breeze as continuous as breathing
though nothing here is disturbed,
curvy giant mounds of sandy brown earth
drop into fields where orchards spread,
more interior is this garden
where all is still.
We walk far away in the sun
to a garden of edibles
the worn leather leash handle
dragging behind in the dusty road,
dogs heavily panting.
Nestled against a tree with … Read More
GREEN AND RED CHILE CORNBREAD
By Olivia Chase
⅓ cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch to a teaspoon salt
3–4 tablespoons honey
8 ounces buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 ounces butter, melted but cool
8 medium or 4 large frying peppers, red or green—2 cups after fried, seeded and chopped. (Ask for Friarellos, Melrose, Shishitos, Padrons or Corno de Toros at the farmers’ market.)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Fry the peppers in a small amount of olive oil until lightly browned and soft. Cool enough to handle and split them in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Chop into ½ to 1-inch pieces.
Sift and combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together honey, buttermilk and eggs then add the butter, whisking.
Stir together wet and dry ingredients until well incorporated; stir in the chopped peppers.
Pour batter into a buttered or oiled loaf pan (or vessel of your choice; I recommend cast-iron skillet) and bake about 25–30 minutes. You don’t want these too dry, but also not too wet.
THE NEW CONSUMER REVOLUTION
By Steve Sprinkel
We can begin with the premise that even if you don’t abhor the notion of genetically modified agriculture, you may have heard enough to be wary, doubtful. The novel biology is now so ubiquitous—and, by and large, therefore passively accepted—that most consumers have every reason to be concerned even while consuming GMO products randomly, anonymously.
On the November ballot throughout California, Proposition 37 asks consumers to vote whether genetically modified foods and ingredients should be required to be labeled. The YES on 37 grassroots consumer coalition suggests that the public has a right to know because government has not performed its duty in assuring that such products pose no risk to human health. The NO contingent, chiefly chemical manufacturers and the corporate food galaxy, have arguments that are so deceitful and misleading that they are not worth enumerating. Suffice it to say that one should consider the source. People will have plenty of opportunity to hear those arguments because the NO contingent will be able to outspend the YES coalition better than 10 to one as we head towards the election.
For the past 20 years, a carefully orchestrated strategy designed to … Read More
FROM THE COSMOS TO COMPOST
By Denise deGarmo
Patty Pagaling, the director of the Transition to Organics organization, has a dream: to create an Ojai Valley that is “chemical free.” To inspire a community to work together as we begin to reclaim our soil, our food, our air, our place as stewards of this Earth. She is a beacon of light and a visionary who has tirelessly worked to help anyone who will listen find alternatives to the chemical-laden products they might be using in their daily life. Pagaling and her organization are a valuable resource—providing both inspiration and local solutions for local growers.
Last year, she inspired me and together we brought the movie Queen of the Sun to the Valley with the hopes that this gorgeous and inspired documentary would speak to people’s hearts. And that it did. Over 200 people came, watched, shared and ultimately began a shift. One farm owner listened and with tremendous courage took the leap to not only eliminate chemical farming but to transition to Biodynamics!
For those of you who are unclear about the term “Biodynamics” and where it fits with organics and Permaculture, here is what New Zealand farmer Peter Proctor, says: “Biodynamics makes organics work.” Rudolf Steiner, the creator of Biodynamics, spoke about this system as … Read More
Thought for Food
By Quin Shakra
I grew a lot of obscure crops during my heyday as a farmer in 2010 (and yes, this heyday is still ongoing). Among those crops was the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), which has large oblong white roots that most of us have never seen, because the beets are grown primarily for their sucrose content, which is transformed into beet sugar. This sugar comprises 20% of the global sugar market, so chances are you’ve eaten it.
The roots also yield large succulent greens that are typically less thick-veined than a lot of Swiss chard varieties (although I do admit the leaf veins can be a bit more fibrous). We’ve grown them every summer at Mano Farm, and there is a bit of a historical resonance, as sugar beets used to be a major cash crop in Ventura County, with the first plantings on the Oxnard Plain as early as 1896.
The sugar beet is related to Swiss chard and all other forms of table beets, and this relationship is partly why it has become such a politicized crop in the battle over genetically modified (GM) food. Beets are wind-pollinated, so the … Read More
A STORY OF A TOMATO AND A TART
By Jennifer Zide
Some food gives us a feeling—whether that be the ooey-gooey, cuddly feeling of a midnight grilled cheese, or the bright, heart-shaped cherry feeling of fresh homemade pie, or the sweet, free feeling of corn in the field under an open blue sky, a dirt road stretching as far as birds can fly.
Food is always a place of ideas, of smiles, of stories floating in quietly discovered time, where we find more than we think we seek. Food is a place that draws us together for the first time or for many years after and, no matter how far we travel, brings us back again like the softest laughter in eyes that pause to see, who is that person sitting across the table from me?
Like a true friend who sees you with their heart, we see in food what we want to be, from Thanksgiving dinners, to picnics by the sea, to that moment when seeing a heart carelessly left on top of your coffee in a cup by someone you had never even met became a small, random act of love that made your day. Some say … Read More
REBEL CHEF WITH A CAUSE
By Jane Handel
“Know where your food comes from!” has been a mantra of the locally grown movement over the past decade. My first encounter with the phrase was on page one of the first issue of Edible Ojai in the spring of 2002, where co-founder Tracey Ryder quoted Alice Waters, “Knowing where your food comes from is a powerful thing.”
During my initial conversation with Chad Minton, executive chef of the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa for the past year, he used a variation of the phrase and its meaning clearly had deep, personal resonance—it was not trendy rhetoric. As we talked, I learned to what extent he’s a man on a mission.
It’s probably an understatement to say that many, if not most, people who see the movie Jaws react strongly. Since 1975, its imagery, music and drama have been embedded in viewer’s imaginations. Some respond by developing a phobia about swimming in the ocean; others, a deep reverence for marine ecosystems. Chad Minton is in the latter group.
Starting as a young boy, he became a zealous advocate for the protection of the world’s oceans. Sadly, great white sharks, featured … Read More
Community awareness best defense against
bug that could devastate local orchards!
By Emily Thacher Ayala
There is a tiny insect entrenched in the greater Los Angeles area that scares the heck out of those of us who try to make money by growing citrus. Many of you have heard of “that bug”—you tell me so at the farmers’ market and in the social circles I run in. I bring up “the bug” often in conversation and try to keep the public thinking about it.
The bug I am referring to is the Asian Citrus Psyllid (SIL-lid). Some call it ACP for short. It is a tiny creature, about the size of an aphid. I like to tell people that the adults look like aphids sticking their fanny up in the air, although to be honest I have never seen one except preserved in a jar and on YouTube videos (look at these videos yourself so you know what to look for). Nymphs are immobile and secrete a waxy, white substance as they feed. If you take a gander at your citrus plants look for psyllids on the newest growth, which is where they prefer to feed.
Citrus has a primary … Read More