Thursday, February 28, 2013

February-March 2013 Newsletter

Know Your Farmer: Bautista Creek Local Produce

 Farmers Ken and Susan Kelley

On the Farm with Ken and Susan Kelley

Did you know your favorite farmers' market (we mean us, of course!) is operated by a small community-minded non-profit? We at Sprouts of Promise Foundation are not only dedicated to bringing you the best locally grown farm products, but we're also committed to helping you make that personal connection with where your food comes from and who grows it. Farmers' Market Manager, Elle Mari, and Sprouts of Promise Executive Director, Mark Anderson, recently made the trek out to Hemet, CA to visit Bautista Creek Local Produce. We're excited to share our farm visit story with you and most importantly, share the story of the Kelley Family behind Bautista Creek Local Produce.

A Brief History

Overlooking the Citrus Orchard
Sampling Mandarins Right Off the Tree
Ken Kelley and his wife Susan are third generation family farmers in Hemet, California. Ken's grandfather purchased hundreds of acres  in the 1920's to start the citrus orchard that the Kelley family still operates today. The citrus orchard sits on over 200 acres of beautiful land, with views of Idyllwild nestled into the San Jacinto Mountains. Ken took over from his father, and grows several varieties of oranges, grapefruits, and lemons for both the commercial citrus industry and a smaller portion for local eateries and farmers' markets. 

Touring the Fields with Ken and Susan
Susan, a long-time avid gardener native to the San Gabriel-area, decided it was time to expand her local garden crops to grow a variety of interesting and beautiful seasonal produce for farmers' markets. On about four acres of land, Susan and Ken, with the help of their daughter Emily and farm staff, grow everything from purple aspragus and romanesco to mandarinquats and boysenberries. 

Q & A 

Q: You have so many interesting crops we don't normally see at the farmers' market. How do you choose what to grow each season? 

Romanesco Broccoli in the Fields
A: Susan is a self-described "seed catalog nerd". She constantly pours over catalogs focusing on heirloom varieties and special seasonal niche crops that will offer Bautista's farmers' market customers something very unique and special. While they do focus on crops that are known successes for them in terms of crop health and customer interest, they're also known to have fun experimenting with new crops each season. You'd be hard pressed to find romanesco broccoli like their's at most markets, and we just can't wait for their black heirloom tomato variety that's coming this summer. 

Bautista Stand at SoCo Farmers' Market
Q: With all your success in California's local citrus industry, why sell at farmers' markets? What makes you want to get out there each and every week year-round? 

A: In speaking with Ken, Susan, and Emily--they all agree that the number one factor that keeps bringing them back to the market is the customers. "It's so gratifying when people buy the food you've grown. It's such a positive feeling," says Susan. They love the great feedback they get from customers and Susan says that farming the way they do it is such a wonderful creative outlet for her. It takes a lot of planning and experimenting, but they find it very rewarding when something new like a colorful floret mix of broccoli romanesco and purple cauliflower works out!

Q: Customers have remarked on how long your lettuces stay fresh at home. What's the secret?
Fresh Lettuce Mix in the Fields
A: The roots! Ken and Susan sell lettuces with the roots still attached and in water at the farmers' market so they'll stay fresh and last at least a week (often 2!) in the fridge for you. Sometimes you can't get to the market the next week, so how nice would it be to still have fresh salad lettuce ready for lunch? 

Q: In addition to the fresh produce, you also set up a fresh squeezed juice bar at the market. Tell us more about that. Any new juice blends coming out this spring? 

Fresh Squeezed Juice at the Market 
A: The Bautista Creek Local Produce Juice Bar is known to be Ken's baby. He loves the opportunity to share his citrus varieties with customers in inventive and healthy ways. All juice is squeezed fresh onsite at the market and is unpasteurized so you don't lose any of the rich antioxidants fresh fruits and veggies offer. Currently you can try fresh mandarin juice, navel OJ, a variety of lemonades, and our farmers' market seasonal favorite, The Green Goddess (come and find out what it is!). Ken has a brand new juice coming out called, "Beet Me Up", featuring what else--beets! This spring we'll see blackberry and boysenberry-infused lemonades too. Yum! 

Q: Can you tell us about the new crops we can look forward to this spring and summer?

Susan Showing New Starts to Go in the Ground Soon
A: Dark red beets and golden beets. Purple asparagus. Rainbow chard. Purple peacock--which is a cross between kale and broccoli (wow!). Multi-colored carrots. English peas. Boysenberries and blackberries. Watermelon radishes. And then of course come summer--zucchini squash and tomatoes will be in full swing. 

Ken in the Fields
Q: What's one thing you really want our local SoCo customers to know about your farm?

A: "When you buy local, you're really getting the best in taste and freshness. And remember, even in California, we still have seasons where certain crops are going to thrive more," says Susan. So true! 
Bautista Stand at SoCo Farmers' Market

Want to Know More?

Visit the Kelleys at the farmers' market every Saturday 9am-2pm. Their stand is closest to the Surfas Culinary District-end of the market and don't forget about the juice bar! 

Where the Free-Range Eggs Come From

Did you know you can visit Bautista Creek Local Produce at the farm in Hemet too? Every Friday from 9am-2pm you can pick up fresh fruits and veggies, free-range eggs, and artisan pickles and jams. If you're lucky, maybe you'll get to see the chickens like we did! Get in touch with Susan Kelley to find out more. Anyone interested in a SoCo Certified Farmers' Market special farm field trip? 


Arriagas Family Flowers

What's New at the Market?

Brand new farmers starting this Saturday, March 2nd! You've been asking for fresh cut flowers for awhile now and we've got 'em! Please come by and welcome new farmer, Arriagas Family Flowers from Riverside. They've got the best local fresh flowers for quite a steal and they'll even arrange a beautiful bouquet to your liking. Don't wait for someone to brighten your day--do it yourself! 
Fat Plant Man Succulents

Keeping with the plant theme, we have a new succulent farmer starting on Saturday. Clifford Meng of The Fat Plant Man Succulents from Fullerton will have beautiful and unique drought resistant plants on sale. Clifford has a mighty busy spring horticultural show schedule ahead of him so be sure to welcome him to the market this Saturday and catch him now! 

See Us in the New York Times?!

It seems the rest of the country is envious of our year-round growing seasons and more so--our amazing SoCo Certified Farmers' Market! Our farmers' market video was featured in the Huffington Post and then picked up by the New York Times! Hey Costa Mesa, betcha didn't know you were that famous (or did you?)?! 

Thanks for your continued support to help us grow the market and support California's family farmers. Want to always get the latest news on farmers and what's in season? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. We'll see you this Saturday, 9am-2pm! 


Thursday, January 31, 2013

January-February 2013 Newsletter


Cold & Flu Season is Here, Fresh Fruits & Veggies to the Rescue! 

It's that time of year again when it seems people are coughing and sneezing everywhere you go. To help keep you healthy this winter (or recover quickly if you've already been knocked out with a bug), we've put together some farmers' market style health tips.  Disclaimer: Always check with your healthcare professional for guidance to best cater to your individual needs. 

Grapefruits and Oranges--Bring 'Em On!

The age old nutrition tip--get plenty of Vitamin C! Citrus, like different varieties of oranges and grapefruit, are excellent sources of Vitamin C, which is essential in helping prevent those winter germs from knocking down your door. Vitamin C also helps your body heal and has been shown to help lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. 

Beautiful fresh seasonal citrus is available from several of our farmers including Atkins Nursery (Fallbrook, CA), Nicholas Organic Farms (Orange Cove, CA), Pedro's Organic Ranch (Fallbrook, CA) and Bautista Creek Local Produce (Hemet, CA). Bautista even has fresh squeezed unpasteurized juice (means all the happy vitamins and minerals are still in it!) available at their juice bar onsite every Saturday. Your family will thank you for the immunity boost with fresh squeezed OJ and orange slice snacks on hand. 

Dark Leafy Greens to Heal

Dark green lettuces are an amazing nutritious cool weather California crop to eat more of this season. Salad mixes like this, and other leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chard are excellent sources of Vitamins K and A. Sometimes Vitamin K doesn't get enough props, but it sure does help us when we need it most. Vitamin K not only promotes bone health (combined with calcium of course), but it also helps you heal from minor cuts and scrapes (which is important during flu season when your immune system is tested). One cup of fresh salad mix is about two handfuls and is equal to one veggie serving. Arugula, salad mixes, and bok choy are available from Baustista Creek Local Produce. Menos Organic Farms has chard, lettuces, and kale. Gaytan Family Farms has lettuces and spinach. 

Heart Healthy Avocados

Avocados are in season and it's high time we take them off the "too fat, no thanks" list. Yes, avos are high in fat, but the type of fat really matters here. Avos are rich in healthy fats that promote good cardiovascular health. Research has also pointed to their anti-inflammatory benefits which help when the body is sick. Avos are also an excellent fruit rich in fiber to keep your digestive system healthy. Fuertes are in season now! Come give them a try! Fresh avocados from Bautista Creek Local Produce, Pedro's Organic Ranch, and Atkins Nursery. 

Go Nuts for Almonds
Almonds are known to be the healthy nuts on the block. Almonds pack in a serious nutritional punch to help with inflammation and they also promote heart health. Almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant known to keep your immune system, hair, and skin healthy. And remember, almonds are packed with healthy fats to keep you feeling full longer. You can get a variety of almond products every Saturday from Hopkins Ag including: raw almonds, roasted, flavored, almond butter, and almond meal. 

Raw Honey to Tame Allergies
Our local honeybees work so hard in springtime to do so much more than pollinate our gardens. Raw local honey is one of the best natural methods to help calm the seasonal allergies that tend to arise when the Santa Ana winds get going. Honey is nature's natural sweetener and offers up a sustainable way to support the local ecosystem. Bee Ladies Raw Honey from Placentia offers the best local honey products around including: raw honey (orange blossom, avocado blossom, wildflower), honey comb, bee pollen, raw creamed honey, and of course honey stix for the kids. 

We sure do hope we've given you a few tips to stay healthy this winter. We're proud to provide the best California grown fresh foods for you and your family. 

Join us this Saturday for our local farmers, gourmet food vendors, and our food truck line-up including: Taco Maria, Rancho a Go Go, Barcelona on the Go, and Garlicscapes. See you Saturday!

For regular tips and updates, like us on Facebook. 
-SoCo CFM 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Here's to a Local Farm Fresh Holiday Season!

Celebrate the Holidays with Local Farm Fresh Goodies! 

Support Your Farmers Through the Holidays

Not only is the farmers' market oh-so-lively throughout the holiday season, but our farmers have the best products to get you and your family hooked up with farm fresh goodies just in time for Christmas. Bautista Creek Local Produce has amazing fresh produce to impress your guests with your holiday cooking. They even have the best stocking stuffers around like fresh homemade jams and pickles made with love by Lemon Bird, using Bautista Creek Produce of course! 

Thinking about Christmas morning? Forget the presents and focus on what we really love the most--FOOD! Get your farm fresh goodies to make the most delicious Christmas morning breakfast ever! Fresh applewood smoked bacon from Da-Le Ranch, farm fresh brown eggs from Gaytan Family Farms, fresh berries from Gaytan, fresh baked bread from Homeboy Bakery, all the organic veggies to your hearts' content from Menos Farms, and the best fruit from Nicholas Family Farm and Atkins Nursery! Oh, and don't forget to add some mushrooms from Kane's Family Farm and avocados from Pedro's Organic Avocado Ranch to that breakfast skillet! 

Weekly Fresh Farmers' Basket Free Raffle

Did you know you can sign up each week for your chance at winning our fresh farmers' market basket donated by our wonderful farmers and gourmet food vendors? There's no catch--each week you can sign up onsite at the market in the Information Booth (red tent) and every other week we'll pick a winner! Talk to our previous winners about how good it feels to have your name come up lucky! We love how much you support us each Saturday so we're more than happy to show you the same love right back! You can also play our guess the fruit and veggie game each week by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter --be sure to set us as a favorite so you see our posts each week.

Holiday Fun at SoCo Collection this Saturday

Come for the farmers and stay for the kids' activities and live music! After you're done shopping with us and eating from our delicious gourmet food trucks (This weekend: Taco Maria, Seabirds, Piaggio on Wheels, Barcelona On the Go, Ranch A Go Go, Dos Chino, and as always--Front Porch Pops & Pies!), take the kids over to Granola Babies for Winterland. They'll have eco-friendly ornament crafts, letters to Santa, cookies and tea, and free eco-friendly gift wrapping on purchases over $25. After that, head on over to the OC Mart Mix for live music from 4pm-7pm. 

Also, did you know the culinary kitchen mecca otherwise known as Surfas Culinary District, has opened up at SoCo?! If you're DIYing holiday gifts this year (perhaps making your own apple cider?), pop over to Surfas and get your supplies. They've got EVERYTHING! 

Healthy Recipe to Balance Out Holiday Treats

Don't wait until the New Year to start eating healthfully. Start now! Get to the farmers' market this Saturday and pick up enough fresh fruits and veggies to get you through the holiday season. Here's a quick and easy recipe for a yummy kale salad with lemon dressing. 

4 cups finely chopped kale
3 tbsp dried cranberries or cherries 
2 tbsp chopped roasted or raw almonds
freshly shaved parmesan to taste

1tsp dijon mustard
1 small lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, grated (omit if you're not into raw garlic)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

In a small bowl, add dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic and sugar, whisk together. Slowly add in olive oil and whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Store leftovers in an airtight container in fridge. 

Combine kale with a few tablespoons of lemon dressing to taste. Combine well and if time allows, let kale "marinate" in dressing for 10 min to help soften leaves. Stir in dried fruit, almonds, and top with shaved parmesan before serving. Enjoy! 

Wishing you and your family the very merriest of holiday wishes! See you Saturday!
-SoCo Certified Farmers' Market

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Farm to Food Truck Time!

Farm2FoodTruck IV!

On Saturday, November 10th we are hosting a farmers' market feast for you, our friends and fans. 20 local farmers and vendors, 15 gourmet food trucks, 5 challengers and an estimated 2,000 attendees will all come together to celebrate our second birthday and compete in our Farm to Food Truck Challenge IVYou'll be able to taste the market from our challengers and celebrate our two years at SoCo Collection! 

Fifteen gourmet food trucks will serve food during the market, with five of our gourmet food truck chefs competing in an epic challenge. Chefs will source farm fresh ingredients from our certified farmers. A $30.00 donation to our non-profit gets you a sampling plate from each of our five competition trucks! Friends, fans, and previous Top Chop Judges will join together to feast at our long communal tables in the middle of the market to vote with their forks and choose the next Top Chop Truck!

Buy your Tasting Tix now before they're all gone!

Best Of Award-- Best Farmers' Market 2012

Thank you Costa Mesa for making us the BEST farmers' market in Orange County! And special thanks to Dave Leiberman for giving us an honorable mention in the OC Weekly. Your support makes our market great! Our farmers grow fresh certified California produce, our rancher raises grass-fed beef, free range chicken, and pastured pork, and our food trucks and vendors make delicious gourmet foods just for you!  And, of course, we have the very best shoppers--YOU! Vote with your forks and the family and friends on over to eat and shop local with us. Read OC Weekly article

Tools to Sharpen?

With all that cooking you'll be doing for the holidays, you'll definitely need your culinary tools in tip top shape! Strangely we're saying this sentence: Yes, please bring your knives and sharp objects to the market! Arnie will be there to get your tools chef-ready. You can check out his prices here.

Flavor of the Week

Find your perfect pear with Nicholas Family Farms. We've picked a few pear recipes on our Pinterest Board for you to play with, and shared some perfect pear facts from WHFoods that you'll be sure to find interesting. If you're looking for a few creative ideas and love living the farmers' market lifestyle, click through our Pinterest Board for lots of pictures, or leave a post and ask us! Whether it's about recipes, health, or wellness--we have an amazing network of chefs, health and wellness experts, and certified growers and producers on hand to be your resource! 

See you Saturday!
-SoCo Farmers' Market Staff

Friday, September 28, 2012

SoCo Farmers' Market Newsletter 09-28-12

Dragon Fruit
Tis the Season to Eat Farm Fresh!
Fall is creeping up on us, bringing with it a change in our farmers’ market offerings and our farmers. The change in season is bittersweet, as we say good bye to our beloved Sweet Tree Farms, yet say hello to Pedro’s Farms. 

Last Saturday we welcomed our new Certified Organic, local farmer, featuring organic avocados, butternut squash, and dragon fruit. This Saturday you’ll fall for our organic apples and pomegranates from Atkins Nursery and Fruita del Sol, and Blackberries and raspberries from Gaytan Family Farms. Taste the Season, isn’t it yummy?

Best Farmers Market - 3rd place!
We think we are hot stuff after being voted one of The BEST Farmers Market in Orange County! And we are happy to dedicate our win to you, our farmers’ market fans. Read the article by Lou Ponsi. And what does he list as our “Claim to Fame”? ”Open since 2010, the SoCo Farmers Market is a certified farmers market – meaning the farmers grow the produce and sell it directly to consumers”. SoCo is where the foodies go, and where you Shop. Eat. Local.

Family Fitness Day at the Market This Saturday!
As part of our National Family Fit Day, Dr. Linda Clinard returns to the Kiddie Corner with her Family Time Reading Fun! She offers free story time for kids this Saturday at the farmers' market with reading and activities at 11am and 12pm that focus on fitness and action. 

Living Fit OC will also be sharing tips and doing demos on living fit, and the info booth will be sharing recipes! "National Family Fit Days' purpose is to promote family involvement in physical activity and healthy eating habits, one the goals of our non-profit, Sprouts of Promise

Get to Know Menos Farms 
Recently Mark Anderson our Sprouts of Promise Founder, and Elle Mari, the manager of our sister market in Newport Beach headed to the city of Riverside to visit organic farmers, Manuel and Lupe Flores, owners and operators of Menos Farms. Lupe and Manuel grow on a beautiful 4 acre property in a residential area of Riverside with the San Bernardino mountains providing a magnificent backdrop to their rows of organic veggies. 

Menos Farms has been in operation for 4 years and they grow a variety of vegetables including: tomatoes, peppers, several varieties of kale and lettuces, herbs, corn, beets, carrots, strawberries, squash, cucumbers, onions, and so much more. They are certified organic and take great care and pride in choosing only the best organic seeds and starts to grow their delicious fresh food. 

When they asked Manuel and Lupe what influenced them to grow organically, they said health was at the forefront of their minds. They regularly listen to a nutritionist who airs a local program on Spanish radio and took her advice to heart on the benefits of eating a chemical-free, vegetable rich diet. They started juicing their freshly grown fruits and veggies for breakfast each morning and Manuel lost a whopping 20lbs from his new found commitment to healthy eating! They even have all four of their kids drinking some of their favorite juice recipes like: beets, black kale, celery, and pineapple. 

Menos Farms is committed to providing you with fresh and natural produce to help you maintain (or start!) your healthy eating habits just as they do. Trust us, with the planting, picking, and weeding they do by hand each week--there's definitely something to that fresh food to give them so much energy! 

 After walking the fields with Lupe and Manuel and picking a few of our own fresh cherry tomatoes to take home with us, we asked them why you--our loyal Farmers’ Market shoppers, should choose to buy from them. Lupe said, "We grow organic food for health." Enough said! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Celebrate Health & Wellness

Join Living Fit OC every month for "Health & WellnessDay" at the Market; a truly unique experience where we bring together local and organic farmers, fitness trainers, yoga instructors, healthy chefs plus much more. We will be conducting all sorts of cooking demos as well as yoga sessions, kid’s activities and giveaways! We also set up exclusive QR Codes -- the little square bar codes you can scan with your smartphone -- on all the stands, so you can scan and find out unique recipes for your favorite produce, as well as how long that particular whole food will be in season. Rain or shine meet us at SoCo Farmers' Market the first Saturday of the month, and at the Newport BeachFarmers' Market the last Sunday of the month. Want to be a vendor? Click here

10:00 Sprouts Demo by Heinz from Around the World Herbs
10:30 Yoga Demo by CorePower- Various yoga techniques to strengthen and relax the mind, body, and spirit. 
11:00 Cooking Demo by Dave Lieberman food writer of OC Weekly
12:00 Cooking Demo by Anais Tangie of Anais+Raya at Picnics Kitchen
1:00 Fitness Demo by Stroller Stride-Various strength training exercises using the stroller and resistance bands. 

Live Music

On November 10th we will be 2 years old, and we have quite the surprise waiting for you. So mark that day in your calendar, as we would love nothing more than having you to celebrate with us. We love the way you make us feel and we love this video by Rebel Studios who capture the magic of our market. Take a moment to watch this Farmers' Market Video then share with a friend, and help our market grow!

Mash it up with our Mashed Millet and Cauliflower Cake! Millet is an ancient grain, full of protein, nutrients, and fiber too. Add to it cauliflower from Jeronimo at Gaytan Farms, coconut oil, and Alderwood Sea Salt form Savory Spice. This is a kid tested recipe with similar flavors like mashed potatoes, that can be made in advance. There’s 100 and 1 ways for you to mash it up and add SoCo Farmers Market toppings, including an almond meal crust from Hopkins AG. Come to the market to see Anais Tangie demo this dish at 12:00 this Saturday. We will give you a recipe. You just get the veggies.

We always encourage you to ask questions and know where your food is coming from. When you get produce and meats at our market you know that it is Certified California Grown produce, and that it is clearly labeled Certified Organic when appropriate. This November California voters will make a decision that could have broad implications for food producers throughout the country: whether or not to require labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.  Ask questions when it involves what you put in your body, you can choose.  Learn more about Proposition 37.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Newsletter 08-22-12

Taste the Season
Preserve that farm fresh flavor in a jar so you can taste the Season past its peak. Get a preserving cookbook, or ask Master Food Preservers about pickling, preserving, fermenting, and even dehydrating too! You can also stop by Bautista Creek to find striped green zucchini pickles, heirloom sun dried tomatoes & specialty jams.

Peakaboo, I see new!
The Kadota Fig light, with a green color and delicate skin and flesh can be found at Nicholas Family Farms now. You’ll also find its darker counterpart, the Mission Fig snuggled up beside it. Both varieties are deep, dark wells of flavor that can be enjoyed tossed in salads made with red leaf romaine from Menos Farms, served with cheese from The Cheese shop in The Mix, and honeycomb from Bee Ladies Honey, with almonds from Hopkins AG.
Add did you know Bautista Creek has rainbow colored beans?

Guess who's back? 
Heinz from Around the World Herbs returns after a two week absence because of lost crops from the hot heat of Hemet. They and all our farmers are taking a hit due to the heat, with lost crops and wilted produce. Your purchase supports their livelihood, it makes a difference. We appreciate all you do for our farmers.

Anais+Raya feature farmers!
Come Farmers Market Feast with Anais+Raya as we feature SoCo and Newport Beach Farmers Market vendors, with a Community style, five course feast based on seasonal ingredients. Unpretentious, home cooked meals says the OC Weekly.

Will work for food? Come volunteer!
Spend the day volunteering at our farmers' stand for the day. You’ll be getting to know our farmers, learning about their produce, and helping them share their produce with your fellow shoppers. Or you can come volunteer at our kiddie corner and help host a fun activity. We will give you a bag of fresh fruits & veggies as our way of saying thank you. For more info, email us at

Let Us Lunchbox!
Back to school typically means the lunchbox laments as you try to keep your little one nourished. This Satur
day we will have print out's with some tricks of the trade, a lunchbox menu, shopping list, and a snack pack guide that’ll save even the hungriest bellies. The SoCo Farmers’ Market has got you covered Supermom.