I had a lot of fun this week talking to farmers at a Certified Farmer’s Market in Ventura (Pacific View Mall) about “What’s in Season?” Here’s what they told me to expect from February – May! ENJOY!
What’s in season for WINTER? Find out in this Sustainable Ventura News segment. For the filming, I went with our cameras to a local Certified Farmer’s Market at Pacific View Mall in Ventura, CA and spoke to some of the local farmers who offered valuable tips and while the segment was filmed a few years ago, the information still applies.
–By Maryann Ridini Spencer, Author of “Lady in the Window” (May 9, 2017, SelectBooks)
Avoid Foods that are Processed, Preserved, Refined, and Sodium Heavy
When you eat lots of processed, preserved and refined foods loaded with sugar such as store bought cookies, cakes and candy, salty foods like potato chips and pretzels, packaged foods with lists of chemicals you can barely pronounce and drink soft drinks and liquor in excess, how do you usually feel afterwards? Think about it.
While eating these foods may cause momentary bliss while they’re being consumed — which is very tempting when you’re grieving — they can ultimately wreak havoc on your waistline and your mood as well as contribute to serious health consequences if you indulge in excess over time.
In fact, research shows that regular consumption of these types of foods can lead to elevated blood sugar levels (putting offenders at a higher risk for diabetes) and contribute to myriad other negative health effects like an impaired immune system and vulnerability to chronic disease.
Be Good To Yourself and Your Body: It Feeds the Soul!
Healing after the death of a loved one is a time where you need to be extra cognizant of what you consume. While you may feel the need to sooth yourself with those sugary, fatty and ever-so-tempting No-no’s, what you really need to do is to take care of yourself and comfort yourself in a way that will benefit you and heal you — inside and out. This will not only help you, but those you love.
In addition to daily exercise and surrounding yourself with positive people and activities, eating well by upping your intake of lots of USDA Certified Organic fresh fruits and vegetables, hormone free and sustainable meats and fishes, Non-GMO Project Verified grains and whole foods, will make you feel and look better. You have one life to live, so make the most of it — physically, mentally and spiritually.
“Clean Eating” has become a popular term that means eating “whole” or “real” foods. Foods that are minimally processed and handled, in other words — as close to their natural form found in nature as possible, which provides your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs from real sources.
Five Tips for Clean Eating
The Healing Power of Clean Eating
Medical studies are continuing to prove the link between mental health and diet. When we eat more of the “right stuff,” we generally find that we have more balanced moods and feelings of overall well-being.
After a few months of clean eating you’ll most likely make some wonderful finds. Here are some of the things you can anticipate:
The conclusion? When you’re taking conscious, positive action for your body and your overall health, it contributes to a quality of life and peace of mind that just makes sense.
Maryann Ridini Spencer, award-winning screenwriter (“The Lost Valentine”/CBS-TV Hallmark Hall of Fame starring Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt), novelist (“Lady in the Window” in bookstores May 9, 2017 from SelectBooks) and TV/Print lifestyle journalist (“Simply Delicious Living” on PBS-TV and “Sustainable Ventura News” at VenturaCountyStar.com). Visit Maryann at: maryannridinispencer.com
As a little bonus, check out this great recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Winter Beets.
For a recipe print out, visit Maryann’s blog at simplydeliciousliving.com.
A Simply Delicious Living Dining Experience Under the Stars
This past Thursday night, August 15, I attended a simply lovely farm-to-table (or “farm-to-fork”) dinner on a 6500 acre cattle ranch presented by Totally Local VC and hosted by cattleman Mike Williams of Diamond W Cattle Company and Rancho Cañada Larga. Attendees to this special event dined in upscale “cowboy” fashion as beautiful ocean breezes from the Ventura, Ca coast made their way through the rolling canyons.
Chef Gabe Garcia from Tierra Sur top lined this summer event with a stellar menu featuring a host of fresh, locally produced dishes served family style by a superb staff. The featured libations for the evening were provided by Herzog Wine Cellars, Poseidon Brewing and Channel Islands Distillery.
Fab food, great conversation, a stunning setting, and beautiful music under the stars, set the stage for a simply memorable evening!
What’s in season for spring?
When you eat farm to table, fresh, in season produce from your local certified farmer’s market and/or local farm stands and grocery stores, you get the most nutrients from your foods because they don’t have to be processed, freeze-dried or preserved with chemicals to prevent food spoilage. So, fresh = healthy.
Additionally, because the produce is grown locally, it doesn’t have to be transported over long distances, thus eliminating the associated pollution.
Circulating your spending dollars locally also helps contribute to a thriving local economy.
What’s In Season in Ventura County?
Sustainable Ventura News recently visited the Midtown Ventura Certified Farmer’s Market at Pacific View Mall, (Wednesdays, 9:00am to 1:00pm), and spoke to local farmers and chefs asking, “what’s in season?”
Scratch Food Truck/Chef Tim Kilcoyne
“I make it a point to go to the Certified Farmer’s Markets on Wednesdays (at Pacific View Mall, 9:00am – 1:00pm) and Saturdays ((Downtown, Santa Clara and Palm, 8:30am – 12:00pm), because all the produce is so fresh and tasty, having been picked either that morning or just the day before,” said Scratch Food Truck’s Chef Tim Kilcoyne. “I also enjoy talking to the local farmers about what’s coming up so I can plan the Scratch Food Truck menu.”
Chef Tim found a bounty of blood oranges and tangerines, now at the tail end of their season, in order to make blood orange style lemonade. Also on the menu today is a salad with roasted baby carrots, pistachios, feta cheese with blood orange vinaigrette.
“In April through May, “continued Chef Tim, “depending upon the weather, I like to purchase spring peas, snap peas, cauliflower and broccoli (which you can also get throughout the year).”
F&F Farms/Farmer Fred Ellrott
“We only sell at Certified Farmer’s Markets and one crop we have in abundance right now is our Bacon avocados,” said Farmer Fred Ellrott with F&F Farms out of Moorpark. “In April and May, we’ll have Haas avocados. This time of year we also have artichokes, and they’ll still be in season for a few months. Right now at the farm, we’re also planting a new crop of greens, kale, chard, arugula, sorrel, and specialty greens that will be in full swing by April and May. “
Farmer Fred also sells a variety of specialty mushrooms and beets, and in the summer, figs. He offers customers great tips on how to prepare what’s in season as well as recipe ideas.
Harry’s Berries/Rick and Molly Gean
Passing through the market’s attractive produce isles, one can’t help notice that Harry’s Berries makes a delicious statement with its impressive display of large, delectable fresh, organic strawberries.
“We pick our strawberries almost all year long,” said Molly Gean, family representative for Harry’s Berries. “We started picking this new crop mid-January, and we’ll continue through to September. We pick fresh every day, what we don’t sell that day, winds up either juiced and sold as strawberry juice, or preserves (both of which are sold at the markets), along with our dill beans and salsa.”
About two years ago Harry’s Berries took steps to become Certified Organic, and while that makes their produce a little more expensive than non-certified varieties, customers can rest assured that no fumigants, methyl bromine or methyl iodide are used in cultivating their crops. Harries Berries can be found at a variety of Certified Farmer’s Markets throughout the week, for a schedule visit: harrysberries.com
More of what’s in season for spring thru summer:
|Fennel (fall through early spring)||Avocados|
|Green onions/Scallions||Blood orange|
|Peas (garden, snap, snow, etc.)||Grapefruit|
|Radishes||Kiwis (winter through spring)|
|Asparagus||Lemons (winter to early summer)|
|Broccoli raab||Valencia & Navel oranges|
|Carrots||Kumquats (late winter, early spring)|
For more information, visit: cafarmersmarkets.com
Don’t live in Ventura County, Ca? To find out what’s in season where you live, Google “What’s in season for spring?” or “Your City name and local certified farmer’s markets” to find out!
–Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV