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Vendor Spotlight: Aguilar Produce

Located in Kingsburg, California, the Aguilar family has owned and operated Aguilar Produce for 28 years, and has been a member of the Visalia Farmers Market for just about as long!

Jorge Aguilar was one of the very first Visalia Farmers Market vendors, and today, at our Thursday and Saturday markets, you can find Jorge’s son Daniel Aguilar – the youngest of the Aguilar boys – selling the many fruits and veggies that his family farm boasts.

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The Aguilar’s sell a little bit of everything! Depending on the season you will find peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, squash, stone fruit, grapes, cucumber and many more in season fruits and veggies in their dozens of produce bins. One of the unique specialties Aguilar Produce brings to the market that is a Central Valley favorite, is okra!

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Stop by this always-busy booth to get a taste of some authentic Central Valley flavor! Also be sure to check them out on Facebook by clicking here and follow them on instagram @aguilarproduce

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Greek Salad Recipe

You can make this yummy and good for you Greek Salad using all local, in season market ingredients from the Visalia Farmers Market! Give it a try and feel free to add or substitute your own favorite ingredients!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cucumbers
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of feta crumbled cheese
1 cup of pitted and sliced olives

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HOW TO MAKE:

In shallow salad bowl, or on serving platter, combine tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. Sprinkle with oil, lemon juice, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle feta cheese and olives over salad. Serve!

Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share? Let us know at info@visaliafarmersmarket.com!

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Discover Market Fresh at the Visalia Farmers Market!

If you missed our July demos, don’t worry! You can still join in the fun in the months of August and September! Stop by our Discover Market Fresh booth to learn in fun and educational live demos how to vacuum seal your farmers market produce, meats, and cheeses to enjoy year round.
Just be sure to stop by the Market Managers booth at our Saturday Farmers Market after you’ve picked up your fresh fruits and veggies to experience our Food Preservation Education Program, hosted by Jarden, the makers of FoodSaver® Brands.
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About the Food Preservation Education Program
Get hands on experience with the FoodSaver® 2-In-1 Vacuum Sealing System!  The new 2-in-1 system keeps food fresh up to 5x longer and saves up to $2700 per year based on buying in bulk and preventing waste.
Advanced technology automatically senses the bag and food type to create a perfect, air-tight seal. Learn how to keep your farmers market desserts and sweets fresh with a “pulse” function that removes air for sealed storage without crushing delicate baked goods.
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You can also discover tips and fun “food hacks” with this innovative kitchen tool. The canister vacuum marinates meat, fish, vegetables, and more in mere minutes—instead of hours or overnight—using vacuum power to penetrate marinades deep into the food.
Looking for a quick, easy and healthy meal? Combine soy sauce, sherry and garlic in theFoodSaver® Quick Marinator and vacuum marinate your farmers market veggies and grass fed beef for a delicious dinner! In the mood to barbecue? Mix vinegar, olive oil, and a variety of herbs to make a marinade for grilled farmers market veggies… and then vacuums seal the leftovers!
While vacuum sealing your Farmers Market veggies, be sure to enter to WIN your very own vacuum sealing system and pick up a “Seal and Save Me” sticker! And let us know what YOU love to preserve the most!
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Fun Facts about Tomatoes!

Visalia is right in the thermal belt of California’s Central Valley, allowing for a lengthy tomato growing season. Without the use of a hothouse, Visalia’s Farmers Market vendors can grow tomatoes outdoors naturally from late February to early December.
So that means July is smack dab in the middle of tomato season! This is exciting news for tomato lovers and Farmer’s Market goers! Take a moment to check out these fun facts and test YOUR tomato IQ!

DID YOU KNOW…?

– California produces 96% of the tomatoes processed in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there are over 25,000 tomato varieties!
– Botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit, but the United States government classified it as a vegetable in the late 1800s so it could be taxed under custom regulations.
– Tomatoes are the most popular backyard gardener’s favorite foods! A whopping 93% of American gardeners grow tomatoes in their yards.
– Tomatoes are thought to originate in Peru. The name comes from the Aztec “xitomatl,” which means “plump thing with a navel”. However, the scientific name for the tomato is Lycopersicon lycopersicum, which means, “wolf peach.”
– Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is good for the heart and effective against certain cancers.
– Cooked tomatoes are actually better for you than raw ones, as more beneficial chemicals are released. Tomatoes are also packed with vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium.
– Eating cooked tomatoes may act as a kind of internal sunscreen, according to researchers at the Universities of Manchester and Newcastle, England, by helping block UV rays. (But eating tomatoes is only a supplement to using sunscreens, they caution, not a replacement.)

If you haven’t yet, be sure to stop by the Visalia Farmers Market to stock up on some local, fresh, in-season tomatoes!

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Vendor Spotlight: Couture Farms

You can find Couture Farms at our Saturday and Thursday Markets. Based out of Kettleman City, this family run farm has been selling pistachios and asparagus (in season) since 1915, and became certified organic in 2006.
Couture Farms sells raw kernals, roasted and salted and in shell pistachios at great prices, and is very happy to support and be a part of the Visalia Farmers Markets!

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DID YOU KNOW…?

– Pistachios were originally imported to America in the 1880s.
– Pistachio trees were planted experimentally in California beginning in the early 1930s.
– California is the second largest producer of pistachios worldwide, boasting more than 100,000 acres of pistachio orchards and producing in excess of 300 million pounds of pistachios a year.
– California pistachios account for about 98 percent of domestic production of pistachios.
– Pistachios are the “colorful” nut, owing their green and purple hue to antioxidants.
– Pistachios are a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, thiamin, and phosphorus. They’re an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper, and manganese.

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Learn How to Brew Your Own Kombucha at the Saturday Visalia Farmers Market!

Stop by the Visalia Farmers Market this Saturday July 18th to join Frankie Miller of Heritage Home Skills in Tulare at the Community Corner booth, where she will be demonstrating how to brew and flavor your own kombucha, using fresh fruits and herbs from the Market!
This “elixir of life” is one of the hottest trends in health beverages!
Kombucha originated around 5,000 years ago in China, based on Qin dynasty records. It was known as “Divine Che” (Divine Tea) and highly valued as an “energizing” and “detoxifying” drink. Then, according to a reported legend, a Korean doctor named Kombu brought the tea to Japan for Emperor Inkyo in 414 AD as an aid for digestive difficulties. The drink then spread to east Russia at least as early as 1900, and from there, to Europe.
So what IS Kombucha? It’s basically fermented tea! A colony of bacteria and yeast is added to sugar and tea so it can ferment. The end result contains vinegar, B vitamins, and numerous chemical compounds that aid digestion and promote overall health. Interested in learning how to brew and flavor your own? Stop by and check it out!
(Heritage Home Skills is committed to teaching the lost arts that are once again gaining in popularity!)

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