How You Like Dem Apples?

Perhaps one of the best things about this Summer-Fall hybrid season is apples! As many MCM shoppers know, everything you thought you knew about apples before is probably not even half the story. With over 30 years of experience, Dave Read more

What did the Mission say?

As I approached the youth surveyor’s booth at MCM last Thursday, all six surveyors were engaged in conversation with a passer-by. They looked relaxed and in charge, fielding questions about where to use the bathroom even as they explained Read more

La Cocina Entrepreneurs Hit the Streets

Over the past six years, La Cocina’s Street Food Festival has become a San Francisco staple. The festival features innovative food, education and discussion, and a chance for the SF community to share experience and taste with each other. At the Read more

A Happy Farm Makes Happy Produce: Farm Profile Featuring Happy Boy Farms

Posted on by Kaiya Gordon in Blog, Happy Boy Farms, Vendor of the Week | Leave a comment

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Happy Boy Farms returned to Mission Community Market two weeks ago, bringing their bags of lettuce, buckets of tomatoes, and fresh stance on organic produce with them. The farm is remarkable because of its variety––in the summertime, Happy Boy sells from over 200 acres worth of production. These acres vary in climate and geography; because the farm grows on multiple fields in multiple counties, some of Happy Boy’s fields are hot and dry, while others get coastal breezes even in the summertime. The result is a a varied landscape for produce.

Drivers at Happy Boy's MCM stall.

Staff at Happy Boy’s MCM stall.

Working for the farm means variation, too. Iva, a driver with Happy Boy, tells me that drivers “play with a lot of different skill-sets,” including interacting with customers, handling produce, navigating markets, and driving long distances. Happy Boy’s drivers start their journeys from the farms packing sheds, where Happy Boy houses seedlings. Before the drivers even arrive at a market, they start out by checking in on the farm’s teeny plants. That initial interaction fosters an intimate relationship between the drivers and Happy Boy’s crops, beneficial for shoppers browsing at Happy Boy’s stalls.

At their MCM stall, the mounds of tomatoes crowding their front tables are framed by the bunches of herbs and barrels of greens behind them. The stall hosts zucchinis, summer squashes, and bagged salad. A few customers in line are clutching finger-fulls of carrots, and some other are cradling bags of Happy Boy’s heirloom tomatoes. In addition to the vegetables, basil and fennel leaves are fanned out on Happy Boy’s tables. While most are likely familiar with basil, fennel’s bulbous white bottom and sprawling top is alien to many shoppers. Fennel has a taste similar to licorice and anise, though it is described as sweeter.

“I’m a really big fennel fan,” Iva tells me. “I feel like every year I work farmer’s markets people get more and more excited about fennel.” Iva suggests getting the most out of fennel by using the stems in pesto. Other recipe suggestions include caramelizing fennel in a salad, baking it with fish, or incorporating the seeds into biscuits.

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During the summertime, Happy Boy has San Marzano, Earl Girl, cherry, and heirloom tomatoes. Iva’s favorites are the purple heirlooms, which she suggests slicing and placing on top of a cooked dish, dicing for salsa, or eating them on their own for a snack. Earlygirl tomatoes are often prepared with mozzarella and basil, and San Marzanos make excellent sauces.

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After customers have come and picked through Happy Boy’s stalls, the farm donates all of its leftover produce. “Personally, one of my favorite things is knowing that everything we have is going to be eaten and enjoyed,” Iva says.

“Personally, one of my favorite things is knowing that everything we have is going to be eaten and enjoyed.”

At MCM, Iva notes, Happy Boy’s customers are variable. And though everyone living in The Mission District is aware of the changes the area has been going through, Iva says that she believes the market has stayed true to the heart and culture of the Mission. “I love the mission,” she says, “and the market is something that feels like it could really build a community. I like the size of it; it feels like people are wandering through.”

“I love the mission, and the market is something that feels like it could really build a community.”

“I love being outside, I love interacting with people––I love people who come from outside California who are surprised by whats possible,” Iva says. “One of the best things is when people are excited when new things come in.”

Mercado Kitchen: Mushroom Quiche

Posted on by Carletta Wong in Achadinha Cheese Company, Blog, Blue House Farm, Far West Fungi, Happy Boy Farms, Mercado Kitchen, Recipes | Leave a comment

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Stop by the Far West Fungi stall at the market to explore an amazing array of organic mushrooms. They are happy to share recipe ideas and give advice for how to use their more exotic mushroom varieties. For this week’s mushroom quiche, they recommended creamy, buttery king trumpets and firm, crunchy maitakes. To round out the mushroom flavor, we also tossed in some earthy crimini mushrooms.

The mushrooms in this quiche are complemented by mild, creamy Broncha cheese from Achadinha Cheese Company, made in Petaluma from a cow and goat milk blend. And don’t forget to pick up more ingredients for this recipe at the market, including eggs from Great Valley Poultry and shallots and herbs from Blue House Farm or Happy Boy Farms.

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Quiche is very versatile – serve it for dinner with a simple green salad, include it in a brunch menu, or have a slice as an afternoon snack. The full recipe is after the jump. Enjoy!

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Mercado Kitchen: Creamy Greens Soup

Posted on by Carletta Wong in Blog, Blue House Farm, Happy Boy Farms, Mercado Kitchen, Recipes | Leave a comment

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The market is a great place to stock up on organic greens! Grab a variety of healthy greens, from kale and chard to collards and dandelion greens, available by the bunch from Blue House Farm and Happy Boy Farms. And at 3 bunches for $5, it’s a great deal! These farms also frequently sell spinach, lettuces, and beets, which usually contain free greens as an added bonus!

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Wondering what to do with all those greens? Here is a simple recipe for a creamy, tasty soup that can be made with any combo of greens you have on hand. This is a great way to make use of any leafy goodies, even if they’re approaching the end of their freshness. Made here with kale and mixed lettuces, you could substitute with one or more bunches of your choice.

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Full recipe found after the jump!

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Spotted at MCM: Three Babes Bakeshop

Posted on by Carletta Wong in Blog, Blue House Farm, Happy Boy Farms, Jarred SF Brine, Marla Bakery, Spotted at MCM, Yerena Farms | Leave a comment

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The sassy duo behind the organic, seasonal pies from Three Babes Bakeshop were spotted shopping at the market last Thursday. They picked up delicious berries from Yerena Farms (above) and sugar pie pumpkins from Blue House Farm (below).

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Anna and Lenore can be found shopping at Mission Community Market every week – both for their pie business and to buy groceries for their apartment. They love that they get to see many of their friends from the SF food community there. They have been buying fruit from Poli and Sylvia Yerena since they launched their business, and are so impressed with Yerena Farms’ delicious berries all year round that they usually source all their berries from them. Lenore used to snack on berries meant for their pies, so now they have a rule that every Thursday she comes to MCM and buys her own personal flat of berries so that she can eat as many as she wants! Some of their other favorites at the market include tasty loaves of bread and delicious cookies from Marla Bakery, veggies from Happy Boy Farms, and pickles from Jarred SF Brine.

The berries and pumpkins Three Babes procured at the market are seasonal fillings for their amazingly flakey pie crust. Two of their favorite fall pies are pluot blackberry and pear raspberry.

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, sugar pie pumpkin is very popular. They split and roast the sugar pie pumpkins and then scoop out and puree the flesh to make tasty pumpkin pies. While summer is their favorite season for pie fillings, fall is a close second with sugar pie pumpkins being at the top of their list!

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You can order pies online from Three Babes Bakeshop or through Good Eggs. Get your Thanksgiving orders in and you might enjoy some Mission Community Market produce in your holiday pie this year! The babes can also be found selling their pies at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Photos courtesy of Three Babes Bakeshop

Mercado Kitchen: Chard Sausage Stuffing

Posted on by Carletta Wong in 4505 Meats, Arizmendi Bakery, Blog, Blue House Farm, Far West Fungi, Happy Boy Farms, Mercado Kitchen, Recipes, Winters Tree Fruit | Leave a comment

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This flavorful chard sausage stuffing makes a hearty side dish at your Thanksgiving table. And it’s chock full of amazing ingredients from the market! Like tasty bread from Arizmendi Bakery, sweet and savory chicken apple calvados sausage from 4505 Meats, robust pioppini mushrooms from Far West Fungi, and toasty walnuts from Winters Fruit Tree. Plus look for fresh produce for this dish – swiss chard, leeks, garlic, and herbs – at Blue House Farm and Happy Boy Farms.

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This recipe comes together easily and can even be assembled up to a day in advance to save you prep time on Turkey day. It would also work great to bring to a potluck Thanksgiving. So shop at the market this week (your last chance before Thanksgiving!) and try making a new side dish this year.

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Chard Sausage Stuffing

Adapted from a Sunset Magazine recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 lb crusty bread (we used a sourdough baguette from Arizmendi Bakery)

1 c milk

1 lb sausage (we used 1 package of chicken apple calvados from 4505 Meats)

2 small leeks, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 c fresh parsley, chopped

2 c mushrooms (we used pioppini from Far West Fungi)

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1 t dried basil (or one handful fresh basil, roughly chopped)

1/4 t dried sage (or approximately 10 fresh sage leaves, chopped)

1/2 c walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut bread into 1/2-in. slices and place in a large bowl with the milk. Mix gently to saturate with milk and let stand about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Slice the sausages into disks and sauté over medium high heat in a large pot, until lightly browned. Add leeks and sauté until slightly wilted. Add garlic, parsley, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add chard and 1/3 cup water and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Squeeze the soaked bread with your hands and break into tiny pieces. Add the cooked meat mixture, parmesan, basil, sage, and walnuts. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an 8×8 inch casserole dish. For moist stuffing, cover with foil. For crusty stuffing, do not cover. Bake until hot (at least 150 degrees in center) or lightly browned, at least 30 minutes.

Tips for making in advance: you can make the stuffing, put in the casserole dish and chill up to 1 day in advance. Allow about 1 hour to bake.

Stuffing photos by Carletta Wong