Thursday, August 23, 2012

Newsletter 08-24-12

Beat the Heat with Fresh Summer Produce

Get to Know Sweet Tree Farms

What's better than a delicious ripe nectarine on a warm summer day? Or, how about a peach, pluot, or plum?! Sweet Tree Farms has it all and hand selects each piece of organic stone fruit to ensure the freshest and best quality. 

Our newest volunteer, Katy Storch (who lucky for us, happens to be a journalist in training at the Orange County Register), recently got the inside scoop from Sweet Tree Farms seller, Nick Lopez, about his family's farm and what makes their produce so sweet! 

Sweet Tree Farms is located in Dinuba (30 miles southeast of Fresno) and started by former P.E. teacher Annie Florendo (Nick's cousin). It all began in 2002, with organic certification following in 2007. Annie grew up in a farming family and community in Dinuba. Her grandfather had a farm and now her sister has her own farm too. We hear all 18 grandchildren have in some way been involved with farming! Sweet Tree Farms is almost 40 acres of stone fruit orchards and grape vineyards for summertime and citrus, pomegranate, and persimmon for winter.  

Nick, who is known as Mr. Lopez during the school year in his position as a 4th grade teacher, has been selling at farmers' markets for five years. Nick says Sweet Trees' products are so delicious because of the careful planning that goes into farming. Before planting, they taste test different varieties to ensure the amazing flavor that will keep you coming back. Also, everything is hand picked from the farm, then it goes directly into the back of the truck to head off to the farmers' market. Nothing is cold stored.

On why you should shop with Sweet Tree Farms each week, Nick said, "Every week we try to guarantee produce is fresh. We want to provide the produce for the weekly shopper who wants to enjoy fruit all week long, not just that day. We try to make sure the fruit we sell is firm, and thereby cater to the weekly shopper. We do a color pick to ensure just the right amount of ripeness. Customers trust us and come back each week to ask us what is good. If our peaches aren't great one week, I'm going to be honest and let them know. Customers are getting honesty as well." 

You can look forward to the emerald beaut plum from Sweet Tree Farms very soon at the market. This is a green plum, similar to a pluot, but very sweet! Give the emerald beaut a taste and you won't be disappointed!

Bzzz! Honey is Back! 

We are so delighted to announce a brand new farmer to the market and the reintroduction of local delicious honey! Max's Honey House is from Lake Elsinore, CA and Max, the beekeeper himself, will be joining us starting this Sunday.

Look forward to a variety of local honey products including: raw honey, flavored honey, honey stix, honeycomb, and bee pollen. Autumn is just around the corner so it's a good time to give local honey a try to help with those changing-of-the-seasons allergies. Come on by to welcome Max and don't forget to ask him about his prized bees!

Health and Wellness Day is Here! 

We're teaming up with Living Fit OC and Curl Fitness to bring you a day of fun and fitness at the farmers' market the last Sunday of each month. Each Health and Wellness Day will offer you fun fitness and cooking tips as well as the opportunity to get moving and try something new! For the upcoming months we will offer a schedule of chats with wellness coaches, cooking demonstrations, yoga classes, and whole food scavenger hunts for kids. 

Help Us Bring Farmers to Newport Beach

Did you know we're non-profit run? Sprouts of Promise Foundation  runs four certified farmers' markets, including our SoCo Farmers' Market in Costa Mesa. We have a very small staff of dedicated community members and volunteers, committed to bringing you fresh and healthy food each week. Many times we're asked, "Why is Newport Beach Farmers' Market so small? Why don't you add more farmers?" We are working on it and we could do even more with your help! Our farmers are small local family farms that almost exclusively sell at farmers' markets to earn a living. This means we need you, our wonderful local shoppers, each and every week to keep our farmers at the market. We recently lost two farmers which really hurts all the vendors at the market. If you'd like to help us recruit more farmers to grow the market, please choose to donate today. We're a thrifty and creative bunch so a little money goes a long way. :)  DONATE

We'll see you this Sunday 9am-1pm for farmers' market style fitness and farm fresh food! 

-NBFM Staff

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