Farm to table: Our Farmers’ Market picks

Spring is finally here and with that brings an opportunity to revisit some of the local farmers’ markets to peruse the great selection of seasonal fruits and veggies, as well as the artisanal foods, baked items and goods offered by the vendors. The HTN headed to the Playa Vista and Westchester farmers’ markets to take a tour and check out the latest offerings at each location; what we found were thriving community hubs, offering a chance for neighbors to network, while stocking up on leafy vegetables, homemade salsa, fragrant orchids and fresh baked bread. Each market has its own unique flair and vendors who are proud to share their products and stories with shoppers. While there are dozens of great booths to visit at each location stocked full of fresh produce and food for purchase, here is a roundup of some of our favorite picks from a recent springtime visit to the markets!

Westchester Farmers’ Market:

cupcakeswebCreme De La Crust. Andrea Phillips has been baking up sweet treats her whole life and for the last year and a half has been selling her cupcakes at the Westchester Farmers’ Market with her home-based business, Creme De La Crust. Phillips, a Westchester resident, has a menu of 30-plus flavors and offers 4-5 cupcakes for purchase each week at the market, including one specialty item that is either vegan, gluten-free or no-sugar added. According to Phillips, what sets her cupcakes apart is that each dessert is comprised of a moist cake, a sweet bottom-layer crust and a flavorful filling. In addition to cupcakes, Creme De La Crust offers custom cakes in a variety of fun designs. Standout flavors include the Red Velvet Vanilla, Vegan Chocolate Supreme and Double Chocolate. Cost:* $1 for mini cupcakes and $2.50 for regular sized cupcakes.


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Tuccio Lane Foods. Angela Amberden has been selling her all-natural artisanal jams at the Westchester Farmers’ Market since November. The stay-at-home mom with a background as an executive chef, started the home-based business to fill her time while her son is at school and has had success at craft fairs and farmers’ markets ever since. Amberden changes her selections seasonally in order to offer the best quality ingredients to her customers. Each jam takes approximately six hours to make and is made by cooking down fresh fruit and adding just a little bit of sugar and vanilla. Her current selection of jams includes the deliciously sweet and tart Strawberry Rhubarb, Pear Rosemary and Orange Marmalade. Cost: $7/each or $20/for three jars


Spring fruits and veggies.  With spring now in full swing, look for an abundance of in season asparagus and artichokes at the market. This month, more booths will be popping up including Maria’s Garden, specializing in sprouts, wheat grass and baby lettuces.


Playa Vista Farmers’ Market:

honeywebLSG Honey. LSG Honey is a father and daughter business team that hails from the San Fernando Valley and offers a multitude of pure, raw honey and other bee-related products for purchase each week at the Playa Vista Farmers’ Market. Stop by this booth to get an education on beekeeping from owner Robin and sample honey in an assortment of varietals including the exceptional Orange Blossom, the rich Avocado and the earthy Buckwheat. The booth also offers infused honey with flavors like cinnamon, chocolate and lavender, as well as bee pollen, honeycomb and bee lip balm. Cost: $3 and up.


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Popup Pastries. Popup Pastries owner Kelly Mathews has taken the breakfast toaster pastry to the next level and given it an all-natural, homemade makeover. Mathews visits local farmers’ markets every week to find the freshest fruit and flavor inspirations to make jam to pack inside a flaky, buttery pastry, which she then tops with flavored icing. Popular flavors include the classic Strawberry and Cinnamon Sugar. Mathews recommends eating the pastries as is, but you can also put them in the oven for a few minutes to heat them up. Other sweet treats featured at the booth include cookies and Palmiers for purchase. Cost: $3/each or $10/for a pack of four tarts.


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Renew Juicery. For your raw, organic cold pressed juice fix, head on over to the Renew Juicery booth. Locally sourced and made in Venice, Renew Juicery is new to the Playa Vista Farmers’ Market and offers a variety of juices loaded with veggies and fruits in flavors like “Radiant Skin” with apple, blueberries, chia seeds, lemon, ginger and cayenne and “Glow” with pineapple, cucumber, spinach, kale and apple. The booth also offers an assortment of raw, organic all natural almond “mylk” for purchase in flavors that range from Pure and Honey-Vanilla to Mint Cacao and Lavender. Cost: $10/juice and $8.75 and up for the almond milk.


The Westchester Farmers’ Market is held every Wednesday at Westchester Park (on Lincoln Blvd. across from Otis College of Art and Design) from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. rain or shine.

The Playa Vista Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Discovery Creek and S. Seabluff Drive in Playa Vista. Starting in May, the market will add a Wednesday evening market from 4 to 8 p.m. through September.

Posted April 2015.