Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Saturday mornings at the Alemany Farmer’s Market in San Francisco is an experience not to be missed.... The farmers are from a broad range of backgrounds: Houmong, Italian, Armenian, Russian, Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Laotian, Vietnamese, German, and of course the Anglos. The fruits + vegetables reflect the diversity of the growers + the prices are reasonable. As the fall approaches certain fruits are offered at their peak of perfection … which means they are harvested at their exquisite ripe moment ... delivered in vans + trucks to farmer’s markets throughout the United States. Transportation is the key word here.... Relatively short distances from the farm to market create an opportunity to taste the essence of REALLY FRESH PRODUCE!!

Speaking of transportation ... The public transportation there is abysmal, so be prepared to troll for parking + arrive early by 9 a.m.

My particular interest other than the habanera peppers + okra was the purchase of Vaccinium corymbosum or, in plain English, Blueberries…a wonderful “multitasker” and contrary to most of us who multitask + seem to spill the coffee on our lap, dial the wrong number + oh oops hit the car in front of us all at the same time…the blueberry is fabulous at 1. Being a beautiful ornamental shrub with diminutive leaves which can amplify the form + texture of a garden space... + 2. YES offers wonderful fruit which can simply be eaten standing right there in the garden ... or if you have a number of bushes then the culinary imagination is in play. A balance of ornamental + edible.

"California's Blueberry Boom"
For all of us who are enthusiasts of the edible garden: This is a terrific article written by David Karp for the LA Times, May 27, 2009, which discusses the history of growing blueberries in California

What to select
Dr. Chlorophyll of Berkeley Horticultural Nursery recommends this website as a spectacular resource for the selection of blueberries. If you have read, as I have read Dr. Chlorophyll for all these years, you know that his prescriptions never fail, and that is unusual!

How to store
This article defies our intuition of how to preserve. Basically, heat it up to cool it down.