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Devilish Ideas for Super Bowl Sunday Finger Foods!

Hosting with the home-field advantage this season? The Farmers Market has got you covered for the Big Day! While we know you will be picking up hot pepper jam, fresh avocados and tomatoes for homemade guacamole, salsa and dips (and we don’t blame you!) we have a devilish idea for a simple, delicious and affordable finger food that is sure to make the crowds go wild!

Deviled Eggs are the ultimate retro food and they are coming back into party vogue! If you are looking for quick, easy, healthy, locally sourced finger foods for your Super Bowl Party, then you need to put these little devils on your shopping list for tomorrow’s market!
Why do we call these delicious morsels deviled? You might think its because they are so tempting, but it has nothing to do with their allure! The term originated with the spiciness of the filling!
In the 1930s and 1940s, a food containing mustard was considered spicy and hot, hence the term deviled!
In todays cuisine where heat and spiciness abound, classic deviled eggs seem pretty tame. While there is nothing wrong with the classic deviled egg.. why not try something new for your next party?
Below you will find a recipe for Spicy Asian Deviled Eggs, sharing from our egg vendor Tartaglia Farm, but we want you to flex your creative muscle and try to make something uniquely YOU! Feeling saucy?

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Guidelines For How to Make Your Own Deviled Egg Recipe!

  1. Hard cook your eggs, peel and slice in half. Squeeze gently to pop the yolk out and place into a mixing bowl.
  2. Start with something to moisten and mash the yolks, such as sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, salsa, mayonnaise, salad dressing or barbecue sauce. Use ½ cup to 2/3 cup per one dozen eggs.
  3. Add seasoning, if necessary. Pre blended seasoning mixes like taco or chili seasoning work well. (Keep in mind, some dressings and sauces in step two are flavorful enough that no additional spices may be needed!)
  4. Add an ingredient for a little crunch, if desired. Pickle relish, finely chopped vegetables or panko work well. Use ¼ cup per dozen eggs.
  5. Garnish the eggs with chopped parsley, cilantro, paprika or anything you feel inspired to dress it up with!
No matter how you stuff them, they are sure to be a party favorite!

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To make the Spicy Asian Deviled Eggs pictured above you will need:

12 large eggs
2 green onions, minced
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chile paste
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Hard cook the eggs. Cool and shell. Cut in half and pop out the yolks into a mixing bowl. Mash the yolks and mix with all ingredients. Pipe the mixture back into the eggs and garnish with the cilantro sprigs. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

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Cottage Grove Citrus and Fruits

After serving with the United States Air Force, Jim Van Foeken found himself dairy farming in Washington State. After 15 years of working on the dairy, Jim decided to pack up and move back to California, his home state.

Jim was originally from Cypress in Southern California, but found that the area had grown up too much and was not as hospitable to agricultural efforts. Knowing for a certainty that he wanted to pursue farming, Jim decided to, “Pick a spot on the map, pack our bags and get on a plane!” The lucky spot turned out to be Ivanhoe, California.
Never having visited the town before, Jim and his family started looking for places to buy. Through an acquaintance at church, they finally settled on the 32 acres of land that is now Cottage Grove farm and the rest is history!

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Jim is fascinated with the history of citrus farming in California, and was kind enough to share some of the history of his favorite citrus to grow: Navel Oranges! Jim shared that navel orange trees are all clones of one another and all originate from a single tree in Brazil.
In 1820, a mutation occurred in a group of sweet orange trees growing on the grounds of a monastery in Bahia, Brazil. The mutation created a seedless orange that was much sweeter than the original citrus fruit. In addition, the new species had an underdeveloped twin orange growing within the same skin of each fully developed orange. From the outside, this growth looked like a human belly button, which resulted in the naming of the newly grown citrus variety: navel oranges.
Since navel oranges are seedless, farmers couldn’t simply grow another tree from the seeds to get more of the fruit. The only way to grow more navel oranges is to amputate a blossoming bud from an existing navel orange tree and unite it with another compatible fruit tree’s trunk or root. This process is called grafting and is only successful if the grafted fruit trees are compatible with one another. Since navel oranges belong to the same species as grapefruits, lemons, and limes, they can be grafted with any of these.
Two years after the discovery of the navel orange tree, Brazil sent a dozen navel orange seedlings to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington DC. Five years later, a woman named Eliza Tibbets planted one of these seedlings at her home in Riverside, California and it started producing fruit. Mrs. Tibbets success growing this fruit spread, and other California orange growers decided to take buds from her tree to grow as well, since the California climate proved perfect for navel oranges.
The spread of navel oranges in California began in 1910 – with one of the original groves being planted right here in Tulare County!

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In addition to the ever popular navel orange, Jim currently grows multiple citrus varieties, along with tangerines, apples, cherries, pluots, apricots, tangelos, lemons, and pomegranates. He also sells some specialty varieties, including mellow gold grapefruit and pomelos.
Jim has a genuine love for his work, having a hand in all aspect of farming at Cottage Grove at one point or another – from picking to packaging to growing and selling. But his favorite part of the job is meeting his happy customers and regulars at the Farmers Market.
Cottage Grove can be found in the Los Angeles and Central California area, selling citrus and fruits at 8-9 markets in the state, but Jims favorite market is the one in his own back yard. Jim has been a vendor with Visalia Farmers Market for close to 20 years now, and he says that his days at the market remain his favorite.
“With farming it’s all work work work, worry worry worry. But here at the Market, it’s all fun!”

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You can find Cottage Grove at our Saturday morning markets in the Sears Parking Lot from 8am to 11:30am. Be sure to stop by, say hi, and try some of the yummy samples of these locally grown fruits!

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Rancho Padre – Fresh Seasonal Juices at the Farmers Market!

Bobby Todd is the owner of this family run business, inspired from the cirtus farm Rancho Madre that his grandfather owned in Exeter in the 1950s.
In 1999 Bobby was working as a high school teacher at Orosi High School. The principal at the time was Jene Etheridge, who worked a number of Farmers Markets on the side with his family farms. One day after school, Bobby and Jene got to talking about selling at Farmers Markets, and Bobby decided to join Jene one weekend to see what its all about. After watching the interactions with customers, and the simplicity of farmer to consumer sales, Bobby caught the farming and Farmers Market bug!
Shortly after, Bobby and his wife bought 10 acres, and set to work planting 50 to 60 different varieties of fruit to experiment with and learn on. Now, they farm and lease over 40 acres of fruit and citrus trees, with certified organic summer fruits, own all of their own juicing and bottling equipment, and farm year round while visiting Farmers Markets across California!

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Yellow peaches are Bobbys favorite to grow, however he is partial to the taste of blood orange and tangerine juices.
Rancho Padre juices are always fresh. The Todd family juices twice a week, and sometime up to four times a week in peak fruit seasons! You can find pomegranate, apple, watermelon and citrus juices at Rancho Padre, depending on the time of year.
Keep an eye out for some of the fruit juice blends and specialty mixes that sometime show up in the Market, like the popular Rancho Padre Tangelo Juice – a mix of tangerine and pomelo fruits!
Rancho Padre remains, at its heart, a family effort born out of a genuine love of Farmers Markets and the people who frequent them. Bobbys kids will often come out to assist with sells and managing the booth, but more often than not you will find Bobby hard at work on what is to him a labor of love.
Stop by and spent a moment (or two!) chatting with Bobby, sampling some of his exquisite fresh juices, and learning more about his passion for farming in the Central Valley. As a former high school teacher, its hard NOT to learn something new and fascinating from this born educator!

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What is the Difference Between a Certified Farmers Market and a Non-Certified One?

What is the difference between a Certified Farmers Market (CFM) and a non-certified one? As a CFM, we get this question a lot at the Visalia Farmers Market!

The biggest difference: All of the produce vendors at a Certified Market are California farmers and ranchers who practice the Agricultural Arts!
While the look and feel of Certified Farmers Markets throughout the state varies greatly from county to county (and even within counties!) the one thing they all have in common is the selling of certified products from those engaged in the Agricultural Arts in California.
A practitioner of the Agricultural Arts is someone who controls the land and is personally involved in and makes decisions regarding all phases of bringing an agricultural product to the Farmers Market. These phases include, but are not limited to:
– Planting
– Growing
– Fertilizing
– Irrigating
– Cultivating
– Controlling pests
– Harvesting
At the Visalia Farmers Market, when you visit a fresh produce booth, the people behind the table have been directly involved in one or ALL of the above phases of farming.

So to break it down further:

At a Certified Farmers Market:
In order to sell in a Certified Farmers Market, farmers and ranchers must have a producer’s certificate. The producer’s certificate, issued by the Agriculture Commissioner and displayed in each stall, is the buyer’s guarantee that the produce was grown by the vendor, right here in California!
At a Non-Certified Market:
In non-certified markets, vendors are not usually farmers and typically resell produce grown out of state (or even out of the country!) that they receive from distributors, or even as culls from packing houses.
At a Certified Farmers Market:
Certified Farmers Markets must be authorized by the County Agricultural Commissioner and abide by current legislation and regulations. This ensures that when you shop at a CFM, you can shop with confidence, knowing that your market is being held to high standards of health, cleanliness and business practices.
At a Non-Certified Market:
In non-certified markets, the market may only abide by their own rules and regulations. It is up to the buyer to inquire as to what those standard may or may not be regarding health, cleanliness and business practices.
At Certified Farmers Markets like the Visalia Farmers Market, small and large scale local family farms have an avenue to sell their goods, and the community has a set location and time where it can buy direct from the farmers with confidence!
This arrangement is beneficial for the farmer AND for you, the buyer! With the middle man cut out (the cost of shipping, storing, processing and distributing food is eliminated) locally grown crops are fresher, more affordable, and everyone benefits!

There are numerous ways to support the Agricultural Arts in your community. You can:

– Shop at your local Certified Farmers Market, and bring your friends!
– Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all the latest news, deals and specials at the Market.
– Connect with your local farmers, and let them know you appreciate their hard work!
– Volunteer at the weekly Market, or for special community events with the Market.
– Become an individual or community sponsor. (More information on our upcoming Friends of the Market program coming soon!)

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Five Tricks to Eat Healthier in 2016

We all want to eat healthier in the New Year, but sometimes the thought of extra cooking, food prep and diet changes can seem daunting! But don’t let the details stop you before you get started! You CAN eat healthy while keeping your meals stress free and super simple. Here are some basic strategies for eating healthier in 2016!

1. Organize Your Kitchen and Sharpen Your Knives

Clear clutter from your counter tops and keep your most used tools easy to reach and accessible. Cooking is so much more enjoyable with clean, organized drawers and tools! Get rid of useless gadgets and make your cooking space as enjoyable and easy to manage as possible.
While pulling out all your kitchen goodies, be sure to inspect your knives carefully. Keeping your knives sharpened makes food prep a snap AND prevents kitchen mishaps and injuries – dull knives can be dangerous! Haven’t sharpened your knives in awhile? Come by the Visalia Farmers Market and get your cutlery sharped from Central Valley Knife Sharpening!

2. Stock Up Weekly Groceries at the Visalia Farmers Market

Do the bulk of your grocery shopping at our Saturday Farmers Market (year round) or Thursday Night Farmers Market (in the spring and summer), and buy enough produce to cook ahead and prep on your days off.
Eating healthy is so much simpler and enjoyable when you are not making frequent trips to replenish your pantry. Working fresh, local produce into a one stop weekly routine is easy, fun and a great outing for the family!

3. Prep Your Meals in Advance Immediately After Purchasing

Chop vegetables and fruits to store in airtight containers in the fridge as soon as you get them home, this way your busy work days will be ready to go with premade healthy bites to grab. Cook up recipes that keep well (soups, stews are stir fried are great!), and refrigerate or freeze; you can reheat them or steam them during the week for a meal in minutes.
You can also pre-prep smoothie ingredients! Wash, dry and tear leafy greens and combine with berries or other ingredients in air-tight containers or plastic baggies. This makes the morning easier when you can just dump the ingredients into the blender.
Crave snacks? Stock your refrigerator with easy to eat seasonal fruit, cut up carrot sticks chilling in clean water, or keep some freshly mixed guacamole on hand. When you have pre-cut and cleaned veggies or melon cubes in sight, you’re more likely to munch on the healthy stuff when a craving pops up.

4. Make Your Meals Super Simple

Cut up veggies sticks and scoop out some hummus from Baba Foods, wrap leftover wild salmon in romaine leaves from Oak Patch Farms and top with pepper jelly from Top of the Hill Farms.
Or enjoy a breakfast of scrambled free-range eggs from Terry Ranch or Tartaglia Farms, tossed greens with sliced avocado from Stearns Foothill Farms and cut up raw carrots from KMK Farms. All of our local farmers offer foods that can be turned into simple, yummy, and fast meals! The possibilities in keeping it fresh, delicious and EASY are endless!

5. Make Your Healthiest Foods Easy To Reach

If you see it, you will most likely eat it! Pile whole fruits in a fruit bowl on the table, where they are easy to reach for a quick snack. And instead of stuffing your healthy leafy greens in the drawers where they’ll be forgotten, place them on the top shelf where they’re easy to reach. Every time you open the fridge, you’ll be reminded to make a quick salad!

We hope this tips help make your New Year the healthiest yet! See you at the Market!

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The Barkers Dozen – Fresh Baked Treats For Your Pets!

A little over 7 years ago, Tracey Hemme was helping her 8 year old son Jake with a dog walking summer job. While taking a friends dogs out for their walks, Jake felt that he should buy the dogs treats.

So Tracey took Jake to one of the local big box pet stores in Visalia and started browsing the many dog treats crowding the shelves. Looking for the very best for the pups, Jake asked the clerks about the ingredients in the treats. From name brand treats to the upscale scoopable treats in barrels, Jake and Tracey were surprised to find that the ingredients were either not disclosed, or if disclosed, the ingredients were all unnatural!
They left the store unhappy with the lack of transparency and lack of options for real, natural dog treats in Visalia. But undaunted by the scarcity of real, natural pet treats, the pair went home and decided to research how to make healthy, freshly baked, delicious dog treats themselves!
They spoke to their veterinarian, looked up health facts and recipes online, experimented with different techniques, and before they knew it, they were making the healthiest dog treats in town and sharing with friends!
After the treats took off among friends, and demand increased, Tracey talked to her friend Cathy Shuklian, and the two decided to go into business together. While brainstorming names, they settled on The Barkers Dozen and officially joined the Visalia Farmers Market in 2008.

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Attending every Saturday morning market, The Barkers Dozen has weekly regulars that stock up on the unique real food varieties of freshly baked treats. Their three top sellers are the Peanut Butter Bones, Pepperoni Sticks and Barkin Bacon, made with real bacon.
The treats sell individually or in ½ pound bags, with all ingredients fully disclosed. Barkers Dozen even offers wheat free options for wheat sensitive canines!
In addition to dog treats, Barkers Dozen is happy to offer handcrafted, all natural dog soap made by SoapsPlus (click here to view SoapsPlus vendor spotlight) and hand sewn dog scarves made by J+D Crafts (click here to view J+Ds vendor spotlight).

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Barkers Dozen accepts cash, credit card and checks. Next time you are in the market, be sure to stop by and grab your pet a treat!

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