Behold the coolest thing I’ve ever bought at the Cooperativa Orgánica Made Tierra farmers’ market at Placita Roosevelt.
A banana flower!
This is what a banana tree actually looks like before it actually turns into one. How awesome are the little bunches? I got this from Aurora and Javier of Hacienda Niña Grande in Ciales. They have the most beautiful tropical flowers in their stand. I already ‘knew’ them from the Mercado Agrícola Natural that takes place every Saturday morning in Old San Juan’s old marketplace (now part of the Museo de San Juan), so it was a pleasant surprise to see them at this other market. Check out the market’s website – it’s both written in both Spanish and English for the benefit of visitors to OSJ and the expat community.
In addition to this awesome conversation piece, my usual greens, and a jar of honey from an apiary less than five miles from home, I purchased two ‘new for me’ items this week. One was beets. I have a food confession – I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh beets before. I didn’t even bother asking Eduardo if he likes beets. My eyes decided that we could use a pound, despite not having a clue of what to do with them (a quick browse through AMFT took care of that). I tweeted yesterday about beet leaves and got awesome ideas from @thedailypalette and @saffronandhoney; they can be added to soups, sauteed, or even eaten as salad greens.
I also bought a loaf of carrot/wheat artisanal bread from the Peace N’ Loaf table. I had also seen Stephanie Berry, one of the owner/bakers at the Mercado Agrícola Natural, showing off their beautiful loaves. The bread is perfectly crusty and tender inside – you have no idea how much willpower it took to make it home without pinching a little bit on the way back from the market. I can’t wait to make some cinnamon-heavy French toast with it!
The spot where Siembra Tres Vidas pitches their tent was conspicuously empty. Sadly, Silka Besosa, one of the founders of this farm (and the CSA where I participated two summers ago) passed away on Saturday night. I especially feel for her daughters, who are close to my age. I’m sure they will continue with her mission of creating awareness of the importance of following natural farming practices, and the need to increase the scope of organic farming in the island.
What are some of your favorite farmers’ market finds for June? If you have blogged about them, feel free to link up at the comments section.