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Ripe Now! Green Garlic

Spring has sprung, and so has spring garlic! Spring garlic, or more commonly referred to as green garlic, is simply garlic that is harvested before maturity. Green garlic has been used in cooking for centuries in Asia and Europe, especially in India. It started out as a secondary crop when farmers would thin their garlic crop, and, due to its popularity, has resulted in a niche delicacy in the culinary world! Now farmers solely grow this crop at an early stage due to its high demand. 

Green garlic looks like an overgrown scallion with a small white bulb attached to a light green stem. It has a savory aroma and a milder taste than mature, cured garlic. You can use the whole plant in cooking (just cut the roots off from the bulb). It can be enjoyed in all kinds of ways: raw or cooked by braising, sautéing, roasting, or grilling, and even pickled and used in sauces. It can be used in dishes in place of mature garlic. Green garlic is a great source of vitamin C and B6, and manganese, which helps the metabolism. Come on out to any of our three farmers' markets and get your green garlic while it's in season! You can get green garlic at Avalos Farm, Riverdog Farm, and Full Belly Farm.

Easy Eating
For a savory start to your day, try out this green garlic scrambled eggs with avocado and dill recipe! For a light, delicious lunch you can make green garlic tabbouleh. For a hearty and warming dinner recipe, try out this green garlic soup! Want to enjoy some green garlic when it's out of season? Well then, you will need to try out this pickled green garlic recipe, so you can enjoy green garlic year-round! 

Storage Tips
Keep your green garlic loose in the crisper so air can circulate around them. They should stay fresh for 1-2 weeks! 
Recipe: Green Garlic Risotto with Spring Vegetable Ragout

From Suzanne Drexhage of Bartavelle Cafe

For the risotto:

5-6 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine, about 1-1 ½  cups
2 stalks green garlic, white and tender green parts, sliced thinly
2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
10 cups water, salted to taste
more salt and pepper to taste
5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for serving

Heat water to simmering in a stock pot, salted with enough sea salt or kosher salt to
taste pleasantly salty, keep hot with a ladle nearby.
Heat the olive oil in a pot or good sized dutch oven, add the onion and green garlic,
and a pinch of salt, and sauté gently over medium low heat, stirring often, for 5
minutes or so, until starting to soften a bit. Add a half cup of water and continue to
cook and stir until water is evaporated and onion and garlic are totally soft but not
browning, and you can hear them sizzling in the oil.

Add the rice and stir well to coat with the oil. Continue to cook and stir another 5
minutes or so, until the grains look a little translucent and you can hear them
rattling around in the pan. Add the cup of wine and continue to cook and stir, until
the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Now begin adding the salted water, a ladleful at a time (about ¾  cup), stirring pretty
constantly between additions to help encourage the rice to surrender its starch to
the body of the risotto. Adjust the heat so each addition takes 2-3 minutes to absorb.
After 15 minutes of adding water and stirring, begin checking for doneness. If at all
hard or gritty, continue to add water and stir until the texture is firm but tender. You
may not need all the water, but try to leave the consistency a little more soupy than

Take off the heat and stir in the butter. Stir in the parmesan, season with more salt
and black pepper to taste. Cover and let rest while you make the ragout.

For the spring vegetable ragout:

3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
4-5 stalks green garlic, white and tender green parts, sliced thinly
2 spring onions or 3-4 scallions, sliced thinly
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of hard stems, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup fresh shelled peas, or two cups snap peas, strings removed, sliced in half
1 cup of shelled and peeled fava beans (optional, but special!)
zest of a lemon
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chiffonade or roughly chopped, if desired
parmesan if you like

Heat the green garlic and spring onions or scallions in the olive oil with a pinch of
salt and cook gently over medium heat, stirring often, until starting to soften, about
5 minutes. Add a splash of water as needed to help things cook gently without
browning. Add all the vegetables except the fava beans, if using, and enough water
to keep things very moist, plus another pinch of salt and the sprigs of thyme. Cook
gently for just a few minutes, adding the fava beans after a minute or so.
Remove the thyme sprigs, taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with the fresh mint if
you like. 

*Find out more about Bartavelle Cafe in Berkeley here
Berkeley Farmers' Markets Expanding Again!
The full bloom of the California poppies and mustard flowers around the Bay Area herald the return of our beloved seasonal vendors with their gorgeous seasonal offerings. Tomorrow, Blue Heron Farms and Triple Delight Blueberries will both be making their long-awaited entrance at the Downtown Berkeley Farmers' Market. 

Next Saturday, April 24th, Vang Family Farm will be returning with their incredible seasonal produce and wide variety of Asian veggies. On that same day, the market will be once again expanding across Civic Center park to Allston Way in order to maintain enough space for safe distancing as our seasonal farmers return and our perennial farmers' stands grow to fit the spring's abundance. 

We will also be welcoming the return of spring fruits and veggies at our Tuesday South Berkeley and Thursdays North Berkeley markets, so make sure to bring extra bags ;)

Keep your eyes on the weekly vendor list (updated every Friday) on our website and our Instagram and Facebook to see what's popping at the Berkeley Farmers' Markets. 

Our partner Seasonal Bay Area tracks down each vendor every week to get an up-to-date list of what will be for sale at our Tuesday South Berkeley and Saturday Downtown Berkeley markets.

Returning vendors this week:

Lucero Organic Farms
Blue Heron Farm
Triple Delight Blueberries 
This Week's Vendors

Tuesday South Berkeley
Thursday North Berkeley
Saturday Downtown Berkeley
Kaki Farms
Massa Organics
Oya Organics
Brokaw Ranch
Lou Vue
Avalos Farm
Full Belly Farm
Flying Disc Ranch
Good Faith Farm
Blossom Bluff Orchards
Solano Mushroom
Dirty Girl Produce
Lucero Organic Farms
Kashiwase Farm
Stepladder Creamery
Riverdog Farm
Blossom Bluff
Smit Farms
Frog Hollow Farm
Little Fish Co.
Queen of Sheeba Honey
Phoenix Pastificio 
Three Stone Hearth
Soul Flower Farm
Base Camp Bakery
Fruit Tree Smoothies
Tamales La Oaxaquena 
Andy's Thai
Donna's Tamales

Little Fish Co.
Happy Boy Farms
Green Thumb Organics
Massa Organics
Golden Rule Organics
E&H Mushroom Farm
Riverdog Farm
Frog Hollow Farm
Phoenix Pastificio 
Big Little Bowl
Donna's Tamales
All Things Sharp
Morell's Bread
Upland Apiary
Blossom Bluff

Brokaw Ranch
Avalos Farm
Kaki Farm
Good Faith Farm
Golden Rule Organics
Lifefood Gardens
Flying Disc Ranch
Achadinha Cheese Co.
Little Fish Co.
Kashiwase Farm 
Stepladder Creamery
Happy Boy Farms
True Grass Farm
Solano Mushroom
Riverdog Farm
Smit Farms
Four Sisters Farm
Frog Hollow Farm
Bariani Olive Oil
Blue Heron
Triple Delight Blueberries
Soul Flower Farm
Pomo Tierra Orchard
Higher Land Coffee
Tony's Kettle Corn + Crepes
Andy's Thai
Tamales La Oaxaqueña
Cafe Zambala
All Things Sharp
Beber Almond Milk
Big Little Bowl
Your Way to Life Granola
Laguna Garden Bakery
Cultured Pickle Shop
Morell's Bread
Obour Hummus
Phoenix Pastificio
Primavera Tamales
Bun Bao

Vendors out:
Guru Ram Das Orchard
*These maps reflect what market will be at full capacity (April 24th)

Now is a great time to become an Ecology Center Member! 

You'll be just in time to join our member's meeting on April 24, enjoy a 20% discount at the Ecology Center Store from April 22 - 24, and begin using your member's discount on upcoming online classes about sustainability in the kitchen and the garden -- from Adventures in Pickling to Sustainable Gardening 101.

In our annual member's meeting, you will hear about developments in plastic waste and recycling from our Executive Director Martin Bourque, meet our Board members, mingle with like-minded people, and come away with some gifts and prizes. 
Gather Kitchen, Bar & Market -- a regular customer at the Berkeley Farmer's Market -- is offering a special brunch menu for pickup before the Member's Meeting. So please be sure to place your order before the end of the day Tuesday, April 20.

We look forward to greeting you online!

Looking for a way to give back to your community in this challenging time?
Become a volunteer at the Berkeley Farmers' Markets! As an essential service, the Berkeley Farmers' Markets continue to provide fresh, healthy food for the community and a livelihood for small and mid-scale farmers. We have implemented extensive operational changes to protect customers, farmers, and staff, and to mitigate the spread of disease, and so volunteers are needed more than ever to help support staff in implementing these.
If you are healthy, not in the high risk category, and not living with high risk people, please consider volunteering at our three weekly farmers' markets.

Volunteer tasks include:
  • Supporting the development and execution of a curbside pickup or box-style produce pick-up program (in development)
  • Greeting customers at market entrance and providing them with info on the social distancing requirement
  • If needed, supporting staff in queueing customers at the market entrance, if the number of customers already in the market exceeds our maximum crowd count.
  • Hanging signage in the market
  • Monitoring vendor lines, helping customers know where to wait, and thanking customers for adhering to the social distancing guidelines
A short, virtual volunteer training will be scheduled prior to working at the market. Shifts start 30 minutes prior to market opening time, and length can be flexible depending on availability. Our three markets operate year-round, rain or shine:
  • Downtown Berkeley | Center Street @ M. L. King, Jr. Way, Saturdays 10 am - 3 pm
  • North Berkeley | Shattuck Avenue @ Vine Street, Thursdays 3 pm - 7 pm
  • South Berkeley | Adeline Street and 63rd Street, Tuesdays 2 pm - 6:30 pm
In addition to supporting the community in accessing healthy, farm-fresh food, the benefits of volunteering 5+ hours include an Ecology Center Membership. Contact to sign up!
Staying Safe

Wearing a face mask and social distancing are required to shop at the Berkeley Farmers' Markets per City of Berkeley COVID-19 safety guidelines. We enforce a limit on the maximum amount of customers in market at one time in order to ensure space for social distancing. This means we may have a line to get into our market at the entrances. If you are feeling sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home. 

Farmers' Market Hours & Locations
EBT and WIC Fruit & Vegetable checks gladly accepted and Market Match incentives distributed at all markets.
South Berkeley
Tuesdays, 2 - 6:30 pm
Adeline St. at 63rd St., 
North Berkeley
Thursdays, 3 - 7 pm 
Shattuck Ave. at Rose St., Berkeley
Downtown Berkeley
Saturdays, 10 am - 3 pm
Center St. at MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley
[Photo credit: Berkeley Farmers' Market Staff]