From Chef Lesley Stiles:
Grilled Asparagus w/ Shaved parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar
2 pounds asparagus ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
A chunk of reggiano parmesana for shaving
(use a vegetable peeler to shave)
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Toss asparagus in a bowl with olive
oil and salt to coat.
Grill on low heat on a gas grill or on
the low temperature end of a charcoal
Grill until the outside skin begins to
blister and turn bright green.
Remove from heat and place on a platter.
Shave cheese on and sprinkle with balsamic
and a little more salt to taste.
Risotto with Green Garlic and
2 stalks spring onion with the red
bulb showing, washed and sliced all the
way up the green
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups Arborio or Carnaroli
rice or you can substitute barley for
more fiber and protein
About 6 cups stock, heated
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound asparagus, sliced in ¼ in
4 stalks of green garlic, cleaned and
sliced all the way up the green
6 ounces of grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly grated pepper
Heat olive oil in a deep, heavy sauce
pan. Add onions and sauté for
about 4 minutes until they begin to caramelize.
Add the rice or barley and sauté for
3 to 4 more minute until the rice becomes
opaque and starts to brown. Add a cup
of stock and let it come to a boil. Stir
well and reduce heat slightly to a simmer.
When stock is almost absorbed add another
cup and let absorb. Add another cup and
keep repeating until risotto is creamy
and almost soft. Turn off heat and in
another sauté pan heat the olive
oil and sauté green garlic and
asparagus until both are bright green.
Stir into rice and season with parsley,
salt and pepper. Serve with grated cheese.
CCCFM Welcomes New
Coming soon in March and April:
Antioch Kabob House
Featuring a delicious mix of Afghan Cusine.
Tracie's Gourmet Specialties
Featuring organic, vegan Granola that is free of wheat, oil and refined sugar.
Pasta Queen/Pappardelles Pasta
Featuring 100 different flavors of dried pasta!
Backyard gardener Dean brings his extensive knowledge and numerous variety of
vegetable plants he grows in Hercules, CA.
|From the General Manager, Jessie
The "New Organic" is
now called "Buy
Local." Learn the truth about the
organic label and the pleasure of direct connections
that "Buying Local" gives you. Read
more about it, in the March 12, 2007 issue of
Time Magazine. Look
for the Big Red Apple on the cover of www.time.com.
On March 31st 1927 Cesar
Chavez was born. He would have been
80 years old this year. He was the co-founder
of the National Farm Workers Association in
1962 with Dolores Huerta. He advocated for the
improved working conditions for farm / agricultural
workers in this country... this included periods
of rest, sanitation facilities, and protection
from pesticides for workers' seemingly basic
conditions. In honor of Cesar Chavez, spend
some time working in a garden this month. Lesley is
looking for much needed help in the local
school gardens CCCFM is sponsoring. Volunteer
NOW. Viva Cesar Chavez!
To learn more about Cesar Chavez, the United
Farm Workers Union, visit www.ufw.org.
Jessie Neu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
3/18 Jump In
3/25 Susan Holland
4/1 Jane Decuir
4/8 CLOSED for EASTER
Manager: Keith Farley. E-mail: email@example.com
Winter hours 9 am to 1 pm
Important note: The market will be closed April 8.
Cooking Demo: Fresh Asparagus with
Chef Lesley Stiles 10am - 12pm.
The Frequent Shopper Card (from Nov. thru April);
Year-Round Parking Validation;
The Veggie Valet booth.
From Keith Farley, Manager:
Lettuce Leafers! For you who missed it in the last
Lettuce Leaf, we have taken the newsletter to a once
a month schedule for the winter. This will save us
time and money and save you the need to read how you should
eat local (you should) and buy local (you should do this
too) every week. So once a week I want you to tell
everyone in your household to eat local and buy local until
we go back to a more frequent publishing schedule. I
will be checking...
And now the big news! CCCFM
and the City of Walnut Creek have nailed down the new site
for the farmers' market. As all of you know by now, the
Walnut Creek Farmers' Market will move to a new location
when the library project gets underway. In a process that
has taken nearly two years we have settled on the new location.
The new location is on North Locust from Giamona running
north to Lacassie. While this location will not have the
ambience and charm of our current location it will afford
us the opportunity to grow and to offer you more choice
when shopping. It will be a street location so we
will be closing the street from the above mentioned intersections.
This will not interfere with the existing businesses on
North Locust since Locust will remain open from Civic to
Giamona and around to North Main. We look forward to working
with our new neighbors, Cheap Pete's , Walnut Creek
Florist, Katys' Kreek, Wooleys’, Walnut Creek
Baking Bijan, Skippolinnis, Walnut Creek Honda and
of course Growers Square. Be sure to let these folks
know how happy you are to have the farmers' market
there on Locust when you visit their establishments.
Why North Locust? Well, a couple of reasons,
1) the historical connection, the Growers Square
area, back in the day, was the produce hub for all of Contra
Costa County. All the food grown in the area came
here and was packed or distributed for shipment. Hence
the name. The ground that TARGET stands on
today was once the Tomato cannery back when Ygnacio Valley
Road was known as Sulfur Springs road, just drive over
the hill to Heather Farms and you'll know where that
name came from. As you can see the location is a natural.
2) The amount of space required to operate a farmers' market
is considerable and the need to remain central in Walnut
Creek was paramount. We had to look at events that
are held in Walnut Creek year round and plan around them
as well as not having a negative impact on any businesses
that may be operating on Sundays. We surveyed locations
all over the downtown area and further out and the Locust
street location kept rising to the top. It will offer
a lot of advantages including MORE
PARKING, sorry didn't
mean to yell, we will finally cure that darn problem of
lack of parking that has plagued us over the last 25 years. With
two, count ‘em two parking garages within a block
of the market, what more could you want except a chicken
in your chicken soup and a horse in your horseradish. Ain't
When will all this happen? We are still working
out the details, but as it stands right now, we will move
over the holiday break in December or we may wait until
the ice rink closes on the 15th of January 2008. In
any case, this coming winter we will pull stakes and hit
the road two blocks west and a block north to our new digs.
This was a collaborative effort on the part of City Council
and city staff who worked tirelessly with us, hosting meeting
after meeting and who patiently educated all involved on
the complexities on such a move. A tip of the old
straw hat to them and a hearty thanks for all the support
during this process. There are still many details
to work out, but the hard part is done, we have a home
to move to.
I have a satellite view of the area in question so feel
free to stop by and a have look this Sunday.
& Pleasant Hill:
Markets closed for the season
OUR MARKETS by
Chef Leslie Stiles
|It may be a week early but it sure feels like spring
has sprung in Contra Costa County. I can always tell when the big,
fat shiny black carpenter bees return for the summer to continue
on their personal journey to destroy my patio awning. They have
been at it for 19 years and it is still standing strong plus I really
like the fat little bees. They are friendly and good tenants for
their stay. The flowers and blossoms are weighing down Stan
Devoto's tables and are a sight to behold. Irresistible in their scent and
beauty and the best benefit is that I don't have to pick mine!
Students are feverishly planting in the Troy Spencer
Memorial Garden at Pleasant Hill Middle School as well as the College
Park High School Organic Garden this week. We are putting in a lot of instant
gratification crops for the students to get them into the gardening
groove. Radishes and lettuce come up pleasantly fast having the
desired effect of firing up even more gardeners at the same time
as feeding them. It is with great pleasure that I introduce kids
to the delicacy of fresh sliced radishes on a slice of baguette
spread with organic butter and sprinkled with fresh snipped chives.
As usual they turn up their nose and give me all kind of lip until
I have it crossing their taste buds and down their throats and then
the smiles and nods come. I love my work.
NEAR received a Very Special
Persons Award from College Park High
School PTSA for the work we have put into the
garden along with Kaiser Permanente employee Eric Nelson.
He is a powerhouse and the garden would not
be the same without his efforts. We are all
extremely grateful for that. We have roped in the art department
at CP to get a mural in the garden and if you are feeling energetic,
you can stroll by Pleasant Hill Middle and
view that garden mural. The poems incorporated into it will blow
your mind. Bring Kleenex.
The Walnut Creek Farmers' Market is already busting at the
seams with an incredible array of late winter and early spring produce.
Green garlic at Mee Vang along with pea shoots and gai lan. The
ever popular and charming Louie Checchini is back with asparagus
too. In a few minutes there will be fava’s and strawberries
with the cherries about an hour behind.
I am grilling asparagus, steaming it with veggie
stock, sautéing it with cremini and scrambling it into eggs
with dry jack cheese.
I will do a cooking demo with fresh asparagus
this Sunday at the Walnut Creek market from 10 to noon. Come down
for some samples and recipes.
CCCFM is celebrating 25 years of farmers markets this season. We
will open with a huge community party in Pleasant Hill on May 5th
and follow with opening Martinez the next day and Orinda on the
12th. We have been busy around here. Activities at all markets will
be posted soon!
NEAR is always looking for Friends. As our programs become more
popular and more students become involved we need more helping hands
to guide these projects along. Please contact us if you are interested
in giving some time to working with middle school and high school
students in a garden atmosphere. Also if you have other related
interests let us know!
Our early time change had the positive effect
of changing the hour in the morning that I hike. I found myself on
Mt. Diablo for the falls walk an hour earlier than last year at the
same time of year. The warm, dry winter with the recent rain and snow
has had the affect of creating amazing wild flowers and cascading
waterfalls. This, my friends, is in our back yard and easily accessible.
If you have not done the falls trail and are able, it is a must see.
The hills in Briones and neighboring areas are equally as exquisite.
Wildflowers and emerald green carpet are everywhere. Get out and move
it or lose it. You can make the time for your health and well
Lesley Stiles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
on the market hotline 925 431-8361
DID YOU KNOW? by
Manager Keith Farley
|The plans for the 25th anniversary are almost complete and we are going to have a ball at all the markets. Whoever came up with the DUNK THE MARKET MANAGER dunking tank please stop by the market table this Sunday, we need to talk.
We could still use a few more volunteers to help out at the
parties drop me a note at email@example.com and
I'll put you to work for a good cause and a lot of fun.
Hill Ranch offers
free horse manure for anyone to use in their
gardens. Some poeple also come to Deer Hill
Ranch for the wonderful manure produced by
their hens which roam around on green grass
all day as well as eat only certified organic
feed. Since Deer Hill Ranch is a small non-profit,
please bring your own container(s) and dig
yourself, although they can lend you a shovel.
Please phone Anne Holding on (925) 283-1197
for more information.