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Ripe Now! Walnuts

Did you know walnuts are not actually nuts? Much like almonds, walnuts are in fact the edible seed of a drupe (other common drupes include peaches, dates, and cherries). They have a multidimensional flavor: buttery richness from their high fat content, earthy and slightly sweet with a touch of bitterness from the tannins in their papery skin. Their complexity make them an excellent complement to both sweet and savory dishes and are often enjoyed mixed into fudgy brownies, sprinkled on top of ice cream, ground into savory dips and pesto, or tossed in a salad. The traditional Italian liqueur nocino is made from unripe green walnuts blended with warming, winter-y additions like cinnamon, juniper berries, and orange zest. 

You can visit Riverdog Farm, Kaki Farms, and Full Belly Farm at the Berkeley Farmers' Markets to pick up this versatile ingredient.

Easy Eating: Walnuts can be eaten raw or roasted as a wonderful, nutritious snack on their own and mixed into a trail mix or muesli. To bump up the flavor, try this Five Minute Candied Walnuts recipe that can be easily modified to fit your taste preferences--add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a kick or a touch of pumpkin pie spice for an instant flavor of fall.  

Storage Tips: The best place to store walnuts is in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. If you plan to keep them for a month or longer, store them in the freezer to preserve freshness and prevent them from going rancid.

*Find out more about walnuts from our partner, Seasonal Bay Area!
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!



Ingredients:
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 Tbsp avocado oil (plus more for cooking)
1/2 medium white onion (finely diced // 1/2 onion yields ~3/4 cup)
1 Tbsp each chili powder, cumin powder, and smoked paprika
1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more for coating burgers)
1 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub organic brown or muscovado sugar)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans* (well rinsed, drained and patted dry)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
3-4 Tbsp BBQ sauce

*One 15-ounce (425 g) can of black beans yields only 1 1/4 cups black beans. So if using canned, be sure to grab two cans! Also, if black beans are unsalted, add 1/4 tsp extra salt to burger mixture

Instructions
  1. If your brown rice isn't cooked yet, start there by following this method for the best results. Otherwise, move on to the next step.
  2. Heat skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add raw walnuts and toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown. Let cool and move on to the next step.
  3. In the meantime, heat the same skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and onion. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is fragrant, soft, and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Once walnuts are cooled, add to blender or food processor with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and coconut sugar and blend until a fine meal is achieved. Set aside.
  5. To a large mixing bowl, add drained, dried black beans and mash well with a fork, leaving only a few whole beans.
  6. Next add cooked rice, spice-walnut mixture, sautéed onion, panko bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes, or until a moldable dough forms. If dry, add extra 1-2 Tbsp BBQ sauce (to yield amount as original recipe is written or adjust if altering batch size). If too wet, add more panko bread crumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. For larger burgers, divide into 5 patties (1/2 cup in size), or form 10 smaller burgers (1/4 cup in size). To help form the patties, line your 1/2 or 1/4 measuring cup with plastic wrap and pack with burger mixture. Press down to pack firmly, then lift out by the plastic wrap's edge, and slightly flatten with hands to form a 3/4-inch thick patty. Set on a baking sheet or plate for grilling.
  8. If grilling, heat the grill at this time and brush the grill surface with oil to ease cooking. Otherwise, heat the same skillet you used earlier to medium heat.
  9. Once skillet is hot, add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of your skillet, then add your burgers -- only as many as will comfortably fit in the pan. Otherwise, add burgers to the grill and close lid.
  10. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until well browned on the underside, then flip gently. They aren't as firm as meat burgers, but will definitely hold their shape. Reduce heat if cooking/browning too quickly. Cook for 3-4 minutes on other side.
  11. Remove burgers from heat to let cool slightly, and prepare any other toppings/sides at this time (such as grilling/toasting your buns).
  12. Serve burgers as is, or on toasted buns with desired toppings. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

*Photo credit: Minimalist Baker
  
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
Blossom Bluff Orchards
Solano Mushroom
Dirty Girl Produce
Kashiwase Farm
Stepladder Creamery
Riverdog Farm
Smit Farms
Avalos Farm
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
Blossom Bluff Orchards
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



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
Soul Flower Farm
Laguna Gardens Bakery
Cultured Pickle Shop
Morell's Bread
Obour Hummus
Phoenix Pastificio
Bolani
Coracao
Primavera Tamales
Bun Bao
Abrothacary
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!
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.

Vote for us 2021 EAST BAY EXPRESS BEST OF THE EAST BAY! It takes a couple minutes and will make a big difference to us.

Here's how to do it:
1. Go to East Bay Express survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ebx2021
2. The Best Farmers' Market category is on the 3rd page of the survey
3. The survey closes on Dec 20th

Many thanks for your support!


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, Minimalist Baker]