This week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the Certified Farmers’ Markets is Okra. Okra (also known as gumbo), is a tall-growing, warm-season, annual vegetable from the same family as Hollyhock, Rose of Sharon and Hibiscus. The immature pods are used for soups, canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable. The hibiscus like flowers are usually yellow or white, sometimes with a deep purple center, and the upright plant can be anywhere from 3 to 6 feet or more in height. As a result, Okra offers both culinary and ornamental value to backyard gardeners and small farmers. Both the green and red varieties of Okra are available from Jaime Farms (JF Organic Farms).
Did You Know: The geographical origin of Okra is disputed, with supporters of West African, Ethiopian, and South Asian origins. What is clear, though is that Okra was introduced to the Americas by slaves who first arrived in the Caribbean, and later made their way to mainland America. In various Bantu languages, Okra is called (ki)ngombo. This is likely the origin of the name “gumbo”, used in parts of the United States and the English-speaking Caribbean.
Price $ 3/lb
Also in Season: Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
Palm Desert EVENING Market: NEW HOURS in Palm Desert only (4pm to 8pm). The Market is held each Wednesday at 72-559 Highway 111 (adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce).
Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market is held each Saturday morning from 8am to 12:30pm at 2300 Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market is held held each Sunday morning from 8am to 12:30pm in Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico).
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and many of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
All Certified Farmers’ Markets accept CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Markets also offer Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.