At the Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles, we think nothing in the world tastes better than fresh-picked fruits and veggies, especially those that have matured right here under the California sun.
If, like us, you prefer to buy your produce when it’s freshest off the farm, here’s an insider guide to the best fruits and veggies to buy in February.
Farmers Market Favorites
Sweet, delicious, and packaged in nature’s own easy to-go container, it’s no wonder that oranges are America’s favorite fruit. What’s more, no matter what flavor you prefer, from navel to blood to Valencia, California has something for everyone.
Amazingly, all navel oranges in existence today were spawned from a single tree in Brazil, including a 140-year old tree still growing in Riverside, Calif. The tree, considered the parent of the worldwide navel orange industry, spawned the Citrus Experiment Station, which eventually became the University of California at Riverside in 1954.
Special Treat: There’s nothing quite like fresh-squeezed orange juice to chase away a chilly winter afternoon and to help keep seasonal maladies at bay. Farm Fresh Produce, Farm Boy Produce and Greenhouse offer fresh-squeezed orange juice, or have them create your own custom veggie/juice blend.
Warm sunny days and cool foggy nights are the ideal growing environment for strawberries, so it’s no wonder that California produces more than 2.3 billion pounds each year, or nearly 90% of the entire nation’s yield. In California, strawberries are considered a year-round crop, with harvesting seasons ranging depending on the state region.
Although California isn’t the largest-producing state for sweet potatoes—North Carolina holds that honor—the Golden State does grow about 20% of the nation’s crop. This versatile veggie, considered a superfood, is high in vitamin A, C and E, as well as copper, potassium and iron, and can easily be used as a substitute for any recipe that calls for apples or potatoes. Sweet potatoes are native to the Americas, and it is believed that Columbus and his crew first discovered the plant in the West Indies.
During African American history month, we especially celebrate the sweet potato in honor of George Washington Carver, who is known to have developed hundreds of uses for the plant. Born into slavery, Carver’s expertise in botany and agriculture—and his interest in creating better conditions for small farmers—would eventually lead way to a position as a professor and researcher at the famed Tuskegee Institute.
Special Treat: During February, when folks let their hair down to celebrate Fat Tuesday, sweet potatoes are a particularly relevant treat. If you’re visiting Farmers Market during our Mardi Gras 2017 celebration—or anytime—be sure to stop by the Gumbo Pot and try their sweet potato pie, sweet potato salad or sweet potato chips, a perfect accompaniment to Gumbo Pot’s Cajun offerings.
Vegetables in Season in February
Arugula, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Rutabaga, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips
Fruit in Season in February
Clementine, Grapefruit, Kumquats, Lemons, Limes, Mandarins, Oranges, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines