This is the Monthly E-Newsletter of Contra Costa Certified Farmers' Markets for Friday, April 13, 2007
If you have trouble viewing images in this email, add to your Address Book or click here.


Banner Art

From the General Manager, Jessie Neu:

The time is ripe to take the challenge. Find menu models & resources to get active at these two sites to help yourself and your family:

Look for healthy advice and recipes from the USDA and Eat 5 a Day at:

Eat 5 a Day for Better Health and be Active!

The Walnut Creek Market jumps into full swing this week. "Tracys Gourmet Granola" joins us this Sunday!

The Pleasant Hill Farmers' Market will open with a bang on Cinco De Mayo May 5 Celebrating 25 Years of Service!

The relocation of the Orinda Farmers' Market on Orinda Way is going full speed ahead. The market will be more centrally located with very high visibility, in a beautiful location in front of the Rite Aid and the Community Park. The Grand Opening will be on Saturday, May 12.

Joey McNaughtonOur market family is growing and we are happy to welcome our new site manager for the Martinez Sunday Farmers' Market. He's a local guy from MTZ.

The Martinez Market will open on May 6 with a festive post "Cinco de Mayo Celebration" with the help of Main Street Martinez.

CCCFM is participating in 2 Earth Day Events:

Saturday, April 21 - at the John Muir House - Martinez 10-4pm;

Sunday April 22 - at Acalanes High School - Lafayette Earth Day 12-4:30.

And CCCFM is participating in the Heart@Work Health Fair on May 23 at City Hall in Pleasant Hill.

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.

Jessie Neu can be reached at

In this Issue:
Next issue of The Lettuce Leaf Newsletter will be on April 27.
Walnut Creek:
4/15 Flutopia
4/22 Fred McCarty
Manager: Keith Farley. E-mail:
Market Hours: Winter hours 9 am to 1 pm thru April.
The Frequent Shopper Card (from Nov. thru April);
Year-Round Parking Validation;
The Veggie Valet booth.

From Keith Farley, Manager:
Welcome to Spring! I'm excited, are you?

DevotoI had a Sunday off! I missed you folks. Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings. I use Spring as a time to make resolutions that I probably won't keep. Just like New Year's. Seriously, the world is born anew each Spring and with it comes an opportunity to do better, eat better and live better - among other things. Try this - since the strawberries are already in and cherries are on their way - resolve to get out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday (your choice since we are all about choices) and make it down to your local farmers' market every week. This will do two things, 1) make you a healthier person and your family will love that, and 2) extend the life of your mattress since you will spending less time on it and more time in the fresh air. Take you neighbor with you to the market and get them into the habit, make it an event for the kids - there are sufficient things going on to hold their interest and what kid doesn't like a piece of fresh fruit? Try it and see.

The plans for relocating the market to the North Locust location is proceeding smoothly and the city is being very helpful to that end. I will be talking about this ad nauseam until the move date, which is set for the last week in December. I want everyone to get the word and spread the word. Parking will no longer be an issue, OK it will always be an issue in Walnut Creek, but at the market it will be so much better. If you know someone that stopped coming to the market due to parking frustration - and I know there are a few - let them know of the move.

I have big plans for the new location: more and varied growers/vendors, more public service activities and on and on. I would like your ideas as well. Email me at

See you at the market!

More info.

Martinez, Orinda & Pleasant Hill:
Markets closed for the season
FROM OUR MARKETS by Chef Leslie Stiles
DevotoAnticipation can be a visceral feeling when spring starts to descend upon us in this Bay Area we call home. Lingering dusk and balmy evening temperatures can be motivating to say the least. Grills are lit frequently taking the place of an oven to prepare succulent meals outdoors. Asparagus DNA starts to kick in while the battle between fat or thin stalks kicks in and the big argument is between mayonnaise, lemon oil or béarnaise. Sweet, tender carrots and fresh parsley beg to be plucked off farmers' tables to be steamed with butter and stock or alternately shredded into pineapple studded bunny shaped carrot cakes slathered in cream cheese frosting spicy with local spring honey.

It is a time of sensual reawakening, having warm air brushing your vitamin D starved skin while you devour luscious, fat, juicy strawberries from the basket, finishing before reaching your door, giggling all the while, anticipating the other basket sliced into orange liqueur and drizzled over hot biscuit shortcakes dolloped with organic local whipped cream. I love spring.

Spring lettuce is as exciting and special as fall lettuce. Loving moderate temperatures we are rewarded for their happiness being wowed with sweet tender leaves screaming for a little lemon oil, rice vinegar and sea salt. Cheese takes on an herbaceous quality in spring. Sheep and goats are released from a winter diet of grains and hay into the fields rich with different grasses and the milk from this field trip results in an amazing spring taste treat. Good cheese shops will have the new cheeses and you can do a comparison tasting between winter diet and spring abandon.

In my travels lately I am frequently accosted by breathless anticipators begging the lowdown on their farmers' markets long awaited return. We get it, not intending to be mean or cruel when we cut you off for the season in the fall, but it is interesting to see you squirm with anticipation when the openings get close. We do also. We see more than a few adventurous souls coming across the mountains and through the woods to get to the far off Walnut Creek farmers' market. We are collectively well aware of the parking situation and feel confident that our beloved customers are going to be thrilled with all the wonderfully close parking opportunities in our new location on North Locust. Don't fret, it is another year before we move, we are just getting you primed for the change.

The seasonal markets open right around the corner the first of May with huge 25th Anniversary parties in Pleasant Hill on May 5 and Orinda May 12. The Martinez Sunday Downtown farmers' market opens May 6 with a ton of fun stuff and all your beloved growers. These guys know you all too. The 25th party in Martinez will be September 23 coinciding with Festa Italia. Walnut Creek gets to party for the 25th on July 15.

I am overtaken with excitement and might I say anticipation by a trip to Maui this week for spring break. Don't even ask, I have made contact with 3 farmers' markets already, all with different personalities. One full of hippie growers at the community college, one in a yuppie merchant area and one in an elementary school parking lot that also sports a school garden. Can't wait to see their local, seasonal stuff! Envisioning Luke and myself wearily trudging back from diving with the dolphins or from climbing some stunning upcountry waterfall and cracking open a fresh, locally grown coconut while slicing into an organic pineapple or guava. Can you say pina colada? I have also hooked up with a local winemaker and am very interested to see how you grow wine grapes in the tropics and turn them into award winning cabernet. I'll take notes for ya.

Last note: There are so many animal sightings in Briones currently that I do not even know where to begin except to say that you won't see great blue herons plucking fish out of the lagoon or skunks spraying cows fat on grass or baby snakes too young to know that they are supposed to be scared of humans or hawks mating mid air if you don't get out there and do it!


Lesley Stiles can be reached at or on the market hotline 925 431-8361
To sign up for CCCFM's Weekly E-Newsletter, click here!
© Copyright CCCFM 2006.