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Ripe Now! Napa Cabbage

Sure cabbage is great, but have you experienced all that a napa cabbage has to offer? Napa cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage that has it's origins in East Asia in the 15th century. It then spread to Korea and Japan, and also became a popular crop in Europe, the Americas, and Australia in the 19th century. 

Fun fact: Napa cabbage is thought to have originated from natural hybridization of turnip and pak-choi. It has an oblong-shape and lime green (or red if it's the red dragon variety!) leaves that are densely packed with white leaf veins and a smooth texture. It is a cool season vegetable that grows best when the days are short and mild. Napa cabbage's outer leaves are used in soups, eaten raw in wraps, cooked in stir-fries, and is the main ingredient in sauerkraut and kimchi. It is rich in vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants.

You can pick up napa cabbage at all three of our Berkeley Farmers' Markets; visit, Oya Organics, Full Belly Farm, Lou Vue, Happy Boy Farms, and Riverdog Farm

Easy Eating: Try out napa cabbage in this delicious stir-fried napa cabbage with hot and sour sauce! Full Belly Farm has a napa cabbage slaw recipe that will make a wonderful side dish. To celebrate Hanukkah, you can try out this interesting twist on your classic latke, with this Korean latke recipe ! Finally, you can see how well napa cabbage holds up in a wrap with this napa cabbage wrapped shiitake pork rolls!

Storage Tips: Remove any wilted leaves from the outside, and put in the crisper in the fridge. It should last up to a week. 
Can you give to support the day-to-day operations of the Berkeley Farmers' Markets? Since the start of the pandemic, we've continued to deliver essential services to our Bay Area community, each and every week. We have modified our market operations and increased our staff to ensure customers can shop as safely as possible. This includes facilitating social distancing, managing crowd levels, reducing surface contact by limiting customer handling of produce and changing to cashless transactions when possible, and more. WHY? Small farms are integral to our food system and health. Click the button below and type in "farmers' markets" in the notes to Donate to Keep the Berkeley Farmers' Markets Strong!

Recipe: Baechu (Cabbage) Kimchi
From Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz

Timeframe: 3 days to weeks or months 

Vessel: 1-quart/1-liter jar

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons/90 grams sea salt
2 pounds/1 kilogram napa cabbage (1/2-1 head)
1 tablespoon rice flour (optional)
2-4 tablespoons (or more!) gochugaru, Korean chili powder, and/or fresh or dried chilis
1 bunch scallions or 1 onion or leek or a few shallots (or more!)
3-4 cloves garlic (or more!)
2 tablespoons (or more!) fresh-grated gingerroot

Process:

Coarsely chop the cabbage and place a bowl or pot, along with any other vegetables you might wish to include, but not the spices.
Mix a strong brine of about 4 cups/1 liter of water and salt. Stir well to throughly dissolve the salt. The brine should taste very salty. If you want to use taste as a guide, think seawater.

Pour the brine over the vegetables. Firmly press the vegetables down with your hands a few times to get them submerged. If it seems like there's not quite enough water to cover the vegetables, don't worry; the salt will pull more water out of the vegetables and there will be plenty. Cover the vegetables with a plate, place a full jar or other weight on it, and press firmly every few minutes until the vegetables are fully submerged. Leave the vegetables in their brine on the kitchen counter a few hours or overnight. 

Make a paste. This step is optional. It gives kimchi a red pasty saucy quality, but you can make great kimchi without it if you want to keep it simple. In a small saucepan, mix the rice flour with 1/2 cup/125 milliliters of cold water. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the flour and break up clumps. Gently heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Keep stirring as the rice flour mix starts to cook and thicken. Cook for a few minutes until the mix achieves a gluey pastiness, but remains thin enough to pour. If it seems too thick, add a little hot water and stir well. Once it's cooled to body temperature (during which time it will further thicken), mix this with the chili powder into a bright red paste, and then incorporate the rest of the spices described below. 

Prepare the spices. Grate the ginger; chop the garlic and onion; remove the seeds from the chilies and chop or crush, or throw them in whole. To make a Korean-style red pasty kimchi, use the Korean-style chili powder. Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice. Experiment with quantities and don't worry too much about them. Mix spices into a paste. If you wish, add a small amount of fish sauce to the spice paste.

Drain the water off the vegetables. Really let them drain, and even press them lightly to force water out. Taste the vegetables for saltiness. That initial salting mostly pulls water out of the vegetables, but not much of it absorbs into them. If you cannot taste salt, add 1-2 teaspoons salt to the spice paste. In the unlikely event that the vegetables are too salty, rinse them.

Mix the vegetables with the spice paste. Mix everything together well.

Pack the kimchi into a jar. Use a clean quart-size (liter) jar. Pack it tightly into the jar, pressing down until paste or liquid rises to cover the vegetables. Fill the jar almost all the way to the top, leaving a little space for expansion. If there is extra spiced vegetable mix, use it to fill a smaller jar. Press down repeatedly to get the vegetables fully submerged. Screw the top on the jar.

Ferment in a visible spot on the kitchen counter. Be sure to loosen the top to relieve pressure each day for the first few days. While you are there, use your (clean!) fingers to push the vegetables back under the brine, and after a few days taste the kimchi. Once it tastes ripe to you, move it to the refrigerator. Or if you have a cellar or other cool spot, ferment kimchi more slowly and for much longer. At the Flack Family Farm in northern Vermont, I enjoyed three-year-old kimchi that had been aging all that time in their cellar. 


*Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Cultured Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz is available to purchase at the Ecology Center Store 
  
Current Vendors

Tuesday South Berkeley
Thursday North Berkeley
Saturday Downtown Berkeley
Billy Bob Orchards
Kaki Farms
Massa Organics
Oya Organics
Full Belly Farm (out until Jan. 12th)
Flying Disc Ranch
Good Faith Farm
Blossom Bluff Orchards
Solano Mushroom
Dirty Girl Produce
Kashiwase Farm
Stepladder Creamery
Riverdog Farm
Smit Farms
Avalos Farm
Lou Vue Farm
Blue Heron Farms
Frog Hollow Farm
Lucero Organics
Little Fish Co
Queen of Sheeba Honey
Phoenix Pastificio 
Three Stone Hearth
Soul Flower Farm
Base Camp Bakery
Bolani
Fruit Tree Smoothies
Tamales La Oaxaquena 
Andy's Thai
Donna's Tamales

Hudson Fish
Happy Boy Farms
Green Thumb Organics
Massa Organics
Golden Rule Organics
Pomo Tierra Orchard
E&H Mushroom Farm
Riverdog Farm
Frog Hollow Farm
Kashiwase Farm
Phoenix Pastificio 
Big Little Bowl
Donna's Tamales
All Things Sharp
Morell's Bread
Upland Apiary


Vang Family Farm
Billy Bob Orchards
Avalos Farm
Kaki Farm
Good Faith Farm
Guru Ram Das Orchards
Golden Rule Organics
Lifefood Gardens
Flying Disc Ranch
Gattonelli
Achadinha Cheese Co.
Hudson Fish
Kashiwase Farm
Happy Boy Farms
Stepladder Creamery
True Grass Ranch
Solano Mushroom
Riverdog Farm
Smit Farms
Four Sisters Farm
Frog Hollow Farm
Pomo Tierra Orchard
Higher Land Coffee
Tony's Kettle Corn + Crepes
Andy's Thai
Tamales La Oaxaquena
Cafe Zambala
All Things Sharp
Beber Almond Milk
Big Little Bowl
Your Way to Life Granola
Queen of Sheeba Honey
Steadfast Herbs
Laguna Gardens Bakery
Cultured Pickle Shop
Morell's Bread
Obour Hummus
Phoenix Pastificio
Bolani
Coracao
Primavera Tamales
Bun Bao
Bariani Olive Oil
Get started on your shopping list! Our partner at Seasonal Bay Area tracks down each of our vendors 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. Click the link below to find out what's in season this week!


Want to learn more about what's in season? Check out Andrea Castillo'
Seasonal, a deeply-researched newsletter that connects you to the Bay Area food system, one fruit and vegetable at a time. Nourish your inner food nerd!

Holiday Food Drive at the Berkeley Farmers' Markets!


Looking for a way to support your community and your local farmers at the same time? Berkeley Farmers' Markets are collecting donations at all three of our markets. All donations will be used to purchase bulk produce at wholesale prices from our farmers. These purchases will be donated to Berkeley Food Network for distribution to food-insecure families and individuals before the winter holidays. Stop by the info booth to donate by card, cash, or check. Direct produce donations will be accepted on pick-up day, Tuesday, December 15. Thank you for supporting your local farms and the Berkeley community!
Berkeley Farmers' Markets Holiday Schedule:

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 will be the last open Farmers' Market in 2020.

We will be closed for a winter break on the following dates:
Thursday, December 24th
Saturday, December 26th
Tuesday, December 29th
Thursday, December 31st

The first open Farmers' Market in 2021 will be
Saturday, January 2, 2021

We wish you a safe and happy winter season
and look forward to greeting you at the Berkeley Farmers' Markets.
Winter Changes at the Berkeley Farmers' Markets

As public health officials understand more about how the coronavirus is primarily transmitted (via person-to-person contact, rather than surfaces) the Berkeley Farmers' Market will be allowing some customer self-service at vendor booths at all three of our markets starting Tuesday, December 2, 2020. While some booths will continue the "vendor-service" model, the customer self-service booths will be well marked with prominent signage and monitored by both vendors and market managers. This change will allow customers to select their own products, similar to the experience of shopping at a grocery store. Loose items will be pre-bagged or utensils like tongs will be provided and regularly sanitized by the vendor. There will be a strict you-touch-you-buy policy. All other COVID-19 precautionary measures (including but not limited to: customer distancing in booths, regulating the number of customers in the market at one time, wearing masks, and regular surface sanitation) will be maintained and strictly enforced. We hope this change will expedite customer shopping at the market, reduce farmers and vendor staffing costs, and allow for a safer environment overall.

If you have any questions about these changes, please email us at farmersmarkets@ecologycenter.org
Saturday Market Consolidation

The Downtown Berkeley Farmers' Markets has consolidated the market back to Center Street (all vendors will be on Center Street). We will continue to maintain rigorous safety guidelines. We are grateful to the City of Berkeley for allowing us to temporarily expand our farmers' market footprint. Below is a map of where all of our vendors will be located. Vendors that have been relocated are highlighted in teal:

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. 
Open Positions at the Ecology Center


The Ecology Center is seeking to fill two food and farming program positions. Both positions support the work related to the California Alliance of Farmers' Markets (the Alliance) a statewide farmers' market industry group, founded and led by the Ecology Center. The Alliance is dedicated to promoting the direct farmer-to-consumer relationship, supporting small independent farmers, increasing the integrity and securing the future of Certified Farmers' Markets throughout California. The Program Manager also coordinates and leads projects and program efforts to advance CalFresh/SNAP access and healthy food incentives statewide and nationally in a farm-direct setting.


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., 
Berkeley
North Berkeley
Thursdays, 3 - 7 pm 
Shattuck Ave. at Vine St., Berkeley
Downtown Berkeley
Saturdays, 10 am - 3 pm
Center St. at MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley
[Photo credit: Berkeley Farmers' Market Staff]