This is the Bi-Monthly E-Newsletter of Contra Costa Certified Farmers' Markets for Friday, July 27, 2007
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From Chef Lesley Stiles:

"American Pie" Recipe

- By Ellen and Alan Osmundson, mother and son

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Suncrest Peach Crisp

- By Marilyn Kushner

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Sour Cherry Pie

- By Deborah Crow and Caroline Crow

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Deborah's Gazpacho

- by Deborah Sandler

6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 sweet red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 T chopped fresh parsley
2 T chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 t sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops Tabasco sauce
1 t Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegetarians, it has anchovies in it)
4 cups tomato juice

Combine all ingredients, blend slightly to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and store overnight to blend flavors.

Some comments about this recipe:
As part of the 6 tomatoes, I put in a couple of yellow and green heirlooms so it looked like a rainbow. I didn't chop them very fine so they showed up. I tripled the garlic (I really like garlic). I didn't have Tabasco sauce or Worcestershire sauce so instead I put in a can of Snap-E-Tom (tomato and chili cocktail mix) which is spicy. I also used a very flavorful olive oil, probably stronger than I would use for regular sauteing. The soup was delicious, but I would probably have preferred it just a little bit spicier. I have never had gazpacho with chives or celery in it, but they both were excellent ingredients for this recipe.

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More recipes
From the General Manager, Jessie Neu:

Alhambra Valley Olive Oil
- in Pleasant Hill, Orinda and Martinez.

It was quite a party at the Creek! Thanks to everyone who coordinated, attended, participated and helped at the Walnut Creek Celebration! Special Thanks to all the Chefs for their cooking demos. Thank you to the Authors.

The dunk tank made a big splash... Thanks to Mr. Keith and Jim Neu for being good sports ... dunkees.

Board member, sales lady, Bonnie Wakeman, Thank you for helping us kick off our "Green Bag" sales promotion.....she sold the heck out of them!

Congratulations to the pie contest winners! The entries were delicious and beautifully decorated ... one with "25 yrs" and another with a US flag. Fabulous creations!

Thank you City of Walnut Creek for the beautiful mention in the Walnut Creek "Nutshell" newsletter. The customer attendance was spectacular!

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2007 Farm Bill Update
The Coalition for Food and Farming continues to battle for the State of California and sustainable programs. The Coalition is asking for everyones help in contacting our elected representatives. Please take a moment to read the letter sent to House Speaker Pelosi regarding her vote on the 2007 Farm Bill proposal. Unfortunately, House majority is supporting the status quo by awarding the biggest payments of farm subsidies with no payment caps to the largest industrial farms in the nation. The bill will remain in place for the next five years. Get informed.

Be Californian, Buy Local.
Buy California Grown.

Jessie Neu can be reached at
In this Issue:
Next issue of The Lettuce Leaf Newsletter will be on August 10.
Music 7/29: Paulette Rene
Music 8/5: Bryan Harrison
Manager: Joey McNaughton.
From Joey McNaughton, Manager:
Ever eaten Chiquita bananas? You may have heard earlier this year about the fruit company Chiquita admitting to have paid about $1.7 million to a paramilitary group considered a terrorist organization by the US State Department. This is just another reason to be wary when we buy from the supermarkets. Do we really know what we're buying from the big chains? Not only do we have to wonder about the farming practices being used but we must also ask ourselves where the money is going. Although I haven't personally asked any of the farmers, I have a feeling there's no paramilitaries involved with the farmers market! The market is a beautiful place to buy good food and feel good about where your money is going. You're supporting the livelihood of some very hard workers! If you'd like to read more about the lawsuit against Chiquita check out Time and Democracy Now.
For more info

Music 7/28: Bill Lombardo
Music 8/4: TBA
Manager: Janice Faust.
From Jan Faust, Manager:
It's going to be another beautiful Saturday morning at the Orinda Farmers' Market so plan to come down and join the fun. The grapes are in and they are fabulous and abundant. Try them at Hamada Farm, Mora Farm, Lone Oak Organic Farm and J and J Orchards. I am partial to the red flame variety but Hamada Farm also has a delicious Concord grape with unbelievable flavor. Be sure to check out the heirloom tomatoes at Smith Farm and Rose Lane Farm. There are so many colors, shapes and patterns that the tables holding them look like a beautiful mosaic. Of course they taste great too! Alhambra Valley Olive Oil will be with us for the first time this week with their locally grown products. Also, Empi will be back this Saturday with those empanadas everyone loves. Holding Ranch will be out of the Market until August 11 due to a combination of prior commitments. I hope to see you at the Market. Please stop by the Manager's booth and say "hi".
For more info

Pleasant Hill:
Music 7/28: Jane Decuir
Music 8/4: Growiser
Manager: Karen Stiles.
From Karen Stiles, Manager:
Thank you all for bringing friends to the market! The more the merrier! This Saturday we will have an old favorite vendor back-Alhambra Valley Farms, operated and owned by Darryl and Judy Pereira and their family and friends. Stop buy and Judy will set you up with Bartlett Pears ready for you to eat the day you buy them or a day in the future. Their farm is in Alhambra Valley and Alhambra Valley Olive Oil is their neighbor. Sounds like a good start for a salad or if your creative I think there is a cake in that mix. We now are selling "green bags". They are made of recycled material and the proceeds of the sales go to support our market. Speaking of supporting the market, we have room on our board for community representatives. If you enjoy the market and have a couple of hours a month to spare and share ideas to help us better the market, stop by and I'll give you the information. We have the new summer issue of The Edible East Bay at the info. table. If you haven't seen this local market magazine you should stop by and pick one up. I look forward to seeing you and your friends Saturday.
For more info

Walnut Creek:
Music 7/29: Diablo Dust
Music 8/5: Jim Caroompas
Manager: Keith Farley.
From Keith Farley, Manager:
It seems I am a bit loquacious in my musings says the editor, so I will keep it brief. With the 25th celebration behind us and if you missed it, you missed a good time and yes I got in the tank and was sent to the deep six about 8 times before I had to get back to work. A special thanks goes out to all the volunteers, you people rock! The party would have been a dud if you and your individual talents had not been there. I took many pictures and will have them up to view soon. It is time to look ahead to the future and our new location and spend another 25 years in that spot. All is proceeding smoothly with the move and it is set to happen late December or mid January. We will saturate you with info when the time gets a little closer.

Please avoid the parking lot if you can and leave it for those who truly need it. More and more I have to close the lot to relive congestion and sometimes gridlock. Let's save the few spots we have for the mobility impaired. Our new location will have enough close in parking for everyone!

See you Sunday!
For more info.
FROM OUR MARKETS by Chef Leslie Stiles
CCCFM's 25th year celebration at the Walnut Creek Farmers' Market was a smashing success and a whole lot of fun. You forget how much it makes you laugh to see someone you know and love get dumped into the dunk tank. It never failed to make me and everyone else in the crowd guffaw as they went down. I know Keith and Jim Neu had fun and stayed cool while they were at it, getting dunked many times over. Thank you fellas!

Our pie contest was awesome. We had 3 contestants, hope to have a lot more competition next year, and they each baked an amazing fruit dessert. Hearty thanks go out to our competitors.

First place
went to Ellen and Alan Osmundson with their American Pie recipe. The pie was decorated with an American flag made out of blueberry jam, strawberry jam and apple slices in the shape of the flag. Second place was tied by Deborah Crow and Caroline Crow with an awesome Sour Cherry Pie and Marilyn Kushner with a delicious Peach Crisp.

Big thanks to Nibblers Eatery and Wine Bar too. Daniel and Tracey were out there at the crack of dawn, helped us set up, did a 4 hour cooking demo and helped break down before going back to their restaurant to cook dinner for the evening. They use all local ingredients in their food and if you have not tried their place you should. Speaking of Nibblers, they will be doing a nice cooking demo at the Pleasant Hill farmers' market Saturday from 10:30 to noon. Come on down and get a treat.

One of our best farmers market customers and frequent recipe contributor, Deborah Sandler has passed along a great Gazpacho recipe using almost all market ingredients. Thanks Deborah for the recipe and the support. Haute Stuff in Martinez is featuring another farmers' market vendor on the menu this week. Big Paw lemon oil will be complementing a great lamb dish. As always the menu would not be complete with out Rose Lane Farm tomatoes and J and J stone fruits to name a few. Hope you are enjoying your summer and getting your fill of all the luscious, juicy stone fruits and berries as well as the amazingly sweet corn, heirloom, basil... I could go on forever! See you at the market.

Lesley Stiles can be reached at or on the market hotline 925 431-8361
WHAT'S BEEN, WHAT'S IN, WHAT'S OUT by Barbara Kobsar
The end of July has typically been the time of year I begin to see a slow but sure change happening at the markets. Summer's tomatoes and stone fruits are still going strong but bunches of grapes and bins of apples are making their way onto the scene, reminding me Fall is fast approaching. No need to panic though - strawberries abound until the first heavy rains arrive sometime in October.

Strawberries are one of the long-season fruits, picked many times over from early spring to late fall. Medina Berry Farms, Mehl Berry Farm and Ortiz Farms bring different varieties of berries from the Watsonville area. I like choices so I check them all out before buying the heaping full baskets or flats of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

The Albion strawberry is the new kid on the block this season. This berry promises a dark red color (internally and externally), a consistent sweet flavor and consistent production (no gaps) during the summer months. There are others to check out as well - Camarosa, Diamante, Seascapes - something to please everyone's taste buds. Remember the size of the berry does not affect its flavor - that's determined by growing conditions, stage of ripeness when harvested and variety of berry. I know I can always find something sweet and delicious at the farmers' market strawberry stands.

Strawberries crush easily under their own weight. If storage is necessary place unwashed berries in a single layer between paper towels. Place in a moisture proof container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Wash just before using.

If I find myself with extra strawberries I pop them into the freezer. Rinse, drain and hull the berries. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze and then place in freezer bags where they'll keep for up to 6 months.

Rhubarb is still my favorite sidekick with strawberries but fresh-picked rhubarb is now finished for the season. Rhubarb does freeze well so I'm sure to get my supply early to make my Strawberry Rhubarb jam - stop by for a sample.

Enjoy and see you at the market!

Barbara Kobsar can be reached at or call (925) 933-2552.
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