Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Autry Farmers' Market

Those who like both Western history and fresh produce are in luck, a new farmers' market is opening this weekend (Saturday, April 28) at the Autry National Center in Griffith Park. 

It will feature both conventional and organic produce and lots of yummy prepared foods. Some of my favorite growers and foodies will be selling there including Underwood Family Farms from Moorpark, and Tutti Frutti Farms from Lompoc. Homeboy Bakery and Heirloom LA will be selling prepared foods.
(image courtesy of LA City Farm)

Here's the Details: 

Day/Time: Every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to Noon

Location: The Autry in Griffith Park 

Admission: Free Admission / Autry Members Receive a 10 percent Discount on Purchase

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Help Pierce College Farm: Go to Farm Walk April 22nd!!!

Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills is the last agriculture college in the City of Los Angeles (actually in the City of LA) not LA County.

Right in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles, next to the San Fernando Valley’s largest business district, lies a 200-acre teaching farm, part of Los Angeles Pierce College’s agriculture department. 

A goat resident at Pierce College Farm, from Farm Walk 2003

Pierce College is one of the nine colleges of the Los Angeles Community College District, and the only one that still features an agriculture focus. The preservation and use of the farm’s tillable area and rangeland represents the last farmland left in this suburban area. 

Its agricultural roots run deep; when the campus was established in 1947, it was founded as the Clarence W. Pierce School of Agriculture and its entire faculty was dedicated to teaching production agriculture. Today, there are less than a dozen teachers in the department.

The college is probably best known for its two-year Pre-Veterinary Sciences Program and this year, the college nearly lost all of the large animals at the farm that are critical to this program because they could not afford to care for and feed them.

You can help by attending the college's Annual Farm Walk, a community open house that lets the public see all that the farm has to offer. The event offers activities for all ages and gives city residents a chance to see a farm up close. 

Here's Details On The Event:

Location: Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 

Sunday, April 22, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission: $5, and free for children under 12  

Activities: Petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, sheep shearing, cow-milking, and gourmet food trucks will be there to feed hungry visitors!

If you can't make it to Farm Walk, you can still help the farm by donating to its Adopt a Cow program or by making donations online to the Pierce College Foundation, just designate that you want your donation to go to the Friends of the Pierce College Farm when prompted to provide more information.

Pierce College Farm

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I Love Farmers' Markets

There doesn't seem to be as much time as I'd like to write on this blog. I always think about things to write after something has happened, or, after I have gone to some event. And of course, by then it is too late.

So, I thought if I just posted something, it would get me back in the habit of writing here. I seem to write everywhere else, especially on my personal blog, so let's see if this trick helps.

I was just thinking about how lucky I am to live in southern California. I know there are many reasons that this is true: the weather, the beach, the arts and culture (yes, we do have lots of culture here) and because most of my family is here.

But, while those are all true, one of the biggest reasons I feel this way is because living here in LA County, I can go to a different farmers' market every day of the week, choosing from one of at least 100 certified farmers' markets.

As I have written about before, aside from the fresh, in-season produce, each has something unique to offer, Hollywood is well...Hollywood, you can't describe it, it is like a carnival and a produce market combined. Santa Monica is trendy, and it is big and bold.

Being a South Bay local and native, I also like to support my South Bay farmers' markets so that I can be really supportive of the local economy while eating as locally as possible.

A January haul from the Torrance Certified Farmers' Market 

One of the most beautiful farmers' markets around is the Thursday Morning Redondo Beach Certified Farmers' Market alongside Veteran's Park/The Pier/The Beach. If you are in the South Bay, check it out. If you are not and are looking for a farmers' market near you, search for one here.

Redondo Beach Certified Farmers' Market

View from Redondo Beach Certified Farmers' Market

Friday, April 6, 2012

Taste of History At Torrance Farmers' Market, Sat. April 7

The City of Torrance is celebrating its Centennial this year. And, I am excited to have been invited to come to the Torrance Certified Farmers' Market to share some stories about our farm history and to sign books.
Family farmers, throughout the early years, contributed to the City’s economy by raising cattle, pigs, turkeys, sugar beets, alfalfa, beans, hay, oats, barley and flowers.
Threshing lima beans at Weston Ranch (Photo Courtesy Torrance Historical Society & Museum)
Come and hear the stories of our farm history including:
  • The streets in Torrance named for farmers or ranchers
  • The common, every-day nursery product invented by local growers
  • The name of one of the world’s biggest seed companies that got its start in Gardena
  • Torrance's first post Rancho-era farmer, where he farmed, and what he grew
  • The name of the last "traditional" farmer in Torrance, where he farmed, and what he grew
  • When the Torrance Certified Farmers' Market opened
  • Where people are farming in Torrance today
Here's the details:
Where: Torrance Certified Farmers' Market, 2200 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance CA
When: Saturday, April 7, 9 a.m. to Noon  
The Torrance Certified Farmers' Market is the 3rd largest farmers' market in LA County and is a great place to get all of your fresh produce and to meet some of the people who grow your food.