Blog | Mission Community Market

Spotlight on Crystal Eyes

By now, many of you know that Mission Community Market is no ordinary farmers market. Besides fostering community, promoting family health, and engaging local youth, our market helps local businesses thrive. MCM diversifies our vendors, reducing competition and providing Read more

Mercado Kitchen: California Marinated Artichokes

Spring weather is here which means it's time to drag out that barbecue, wipe it off, and heat it up! At MCM you can now find Blue House Farm, Tomatero Farm, and Zuckerman's Farm offering an array of seasonal, local veggies Read more

Spotlight on Papi Chulo Salsa

Love in every bite There is never a dull moment at Mission Community Market and thanks to Roberto Biggs at the Papi Chulo Salsa stall, the vibrancy radiates from 4-8pm each week without fail. Inspired by the salsa at a Read more

Mercado Kitchen: Quince Ratafia Two Ways

Posted on by EmilyN in Arata Farm, Blog, Hale Apple Farm, Mercado Kitchen, Recipes | Leave a comment

Ah Quince, you perplexing fruit with a storied past. It looks like an apple or a pear, but don’t you dare take one bite of it raw! Supposedly, 17th Century cookbooks contain more recipes for quince than any other orchard fruit, so I wonder what cooks living hundreds of years ago knew that I don’t! But both Arata Farms and Hale’s Apple Farm have gorgeous quince right now at MCM so I decided to go ahead and give a new recipe a whirl.

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Tired of the usual jam and preserve recipes, I decided to try something that’s not for you teetotalers out there–an old-timey infused liqueur known as “ratafia” which is a name given to cordials made of different fruit, one varietal including quince. The recipe I adapted called for two quinces, but by the time I was finished grating the first one I had almost filled up an entire quart-sized jar. So I I decided to try two slight variations on the same recipe, using one fruit per jar. The main difference is that one recipe contains raw grated quince and the other contains chopped quince that I cooked down slightly. I’ll share the results with you in a few weeks when the infusion process is complete–though I feel confident both will probably be mighty tasty. The ingredients I used were the same for both recipes – these quantities will make you enough ratafia for about one quart-sized jar.  Read more

New Vendor: Rhizome Urban Gardens

Posted on by EmilyN in Blog, Vendor of the Week | Leave a comment

photo 4We’re thrilled to introduce a new vendor to the market: Rhizome Urban Gardens!  Rhizome Urban Gardens is a worker-owned cooperative that designs, installs, and maintains organic gardens and landscapes. Though creating landscapes that are beautiful, ecologically sound, and food-producing, they can transform any space into an oasis!

At MCM, Rhizome will sell seedlings, starts, dish gardens, and creative plant arrangements. You can also pick the brains of the incredibly knowledgeable team behind Rhizome Urban Gardens for gardening tips, or perhaps even hire them to landscape your yard, incorporating the fundamentals of permaculture into your garden and your home.

Last week was their first week out at the market, so come on down this Thursday to say hello and welcome them to MCM!

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Mercado Kitchen: 3-Ingredient Pomegranate Pistachio Chocolate

Posted on by Dena Emmerson in Blog, Mercado Kitchen, Recipes, Twin Girls Farm, Winters Tree Fruit | 1 Comment

This recipe was inspired by the arrival of pomegranates from Twin Girls Farm! Now, if you’re like me you’ve always had a love/hate relationship with pomegranates. They taste amazing but there’s the special challenge of getting at those delicious seeds. The juice gets everywhere, not to mention those funky thin membranes. But I’ve always found that if I just throw on my oldest stains-are-ok shirt and go along with it it pays off, because they’re just so good.

In addition to being delicious, the juice from pomegranates is chock full of health benefits, including high antioxidant power, benefits to cardiovascular health, and there is even some evidence of anti-cancer properties.

Read more

Know your Peppers with Happy Boy Farm

Posted on by EmilyN in Blog, Happy Boy Farms, Mercado Kitchen | Leave a comment

When I asked Ash of Happy Boy Farm to talk to me about the difference between Padrón and Shishito Peppers, she exclaimed, “Well, for starters, they come from two totally different parts of the world!”

To the naked (and uninformed) eye, baskets of these two small green peppers often found at MCM this time of year might appear indistinguishable. But guess what–they each have quite a story to tell, with properties that make them unique. I decided to delve into the history behind these two fraternal twin peppers a little more to find out what makes makes them special.

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Padrón Peppers

The most famous produce of the Spanish city Padrón are its peppers. Franciscan monks first brought pepper seeds to the area from Mexico in the 16th century, which then were adapted to the soil and climate of the area.

Most of the peppers taste sweet and mild–like tiny bell peppers–though some are particularly hot and spicy, which can give some special character to a dish prepared with these little guys. The popular Spanish saying,“Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non” meaning “Padrón peppers, some are hot and some are not” captures this sentiment perfectly. Although it’s not always the case, some have found that the peppers grown later in the season (towards August and September) tend to contain more capsaicin–and thus are spicier–than the grown in June and July. A couple sources I found said that about one in every 20 peppers will be hot, and the rest will be mild. However, sometimes you’ll get a basket with a slightly higher ratio. It really is a game of spicy roulette when you eat these peppers!

Shishitos on the other hand, come from Japan, halfway around the world, as Ash told me.

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Shishito Peppers

 The Shishito pepper is small and finger-sized, slender, and thin-walled. The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper looks like the head of a lion (“shisho”) and in Japanese it is often abbreviated as Shishitō.

Though apparently some varieties of Shishitos do form capsaicin and become spicy, Ash assured me that I wouldn’t find a spicy pepper in my basket–and I didn’t. The peppers generally become spicy in hot, dry conditions, and we won’t often get such weather here. According to Ash, Shishitos are also more “buttery” than their Padrón counterparts.

The easiest way to tell them apart is the fact that the Shishitos are usually more slender and wrinkly, while Padróns tend to be fatter, and have an appearance more similar to Jalapeños.

Lucky for us, both varieties of peppers cook up easily and with much the same simple preparation–toss them in a glass baking dish with some olive oil, coarse salt, and black pepper, and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350 ° F until slightly browned in parts. It doesn’t get much easier than that! I like to sprinkle them with some goat cheese or feta if I have it on hand.

Enjoy the rest of our San Francisco summer, and happy pepper picking!

People of MCM: Volunteers Lea and Jesse

Posted on by Dana Crary in Arizmendi Bakery, Blue House Farm, People of MCM | Leave a comment

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I found these two market regulars goofing off at the Blue House Farm booth and decided to interview them!

Meet Lea and Jesse! Lea has been a volunteer with MCM since our very first season in 2010. She worked particularly hard during that crucial first year, both at the market and behind the scenes recruiting awesome bands to play at MCM, creating and documenting recipes for the blog, and encouraging friends and acquaintances to volunteer. She still does her part as an essential member of the MCM volunteer community, sending tons of great helpers our way, facilitating community partnerships, and always coming through in the clutch when we’re short-staffed. Her partner Jesse has not been immune to her recruiting efforts, as he’s volunteered with the market as well. Jesse also works part-time for Blue House Farm running their stand at other markets and occasionally helping out at the MCM stand.

Where do you live?

We live a few blocks away in the Mission.

How often do you visit to the Market?

Coming to the market is a fun standard thing to do on Thursday nights so we are here pretty regularly.

What have you seen change here since you were volunteering in 2010?

The market has grown so much in the past few years. So many more people visit each week and it has become a much more established community event. There are many more vendors and it’s also been a great change now that the market is running year-around.

What is your favorite thing to buy here?

I (Lea) am totally addicted to Arzimendi Breadsticks. I get them almost every time I come here and frequent their shop on Valencia as well.

What is something you would like others to know about the Market?

Volunteering is a great way to meet people and become more engaged with your community. We have a lot of fun when we volunteer and enjoy seeing the same faces week to week. Also, a lot of small businesses get their start here and it feels good to get to know them and support them as they grow.

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