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Spring salad mix highlights spicy leaves and edible flowers

Find four shades of radish this season

Nasturtium is a Peruvian plant with multicolored petals and leaves said to taste like watercress.
Nasturtium is a Peruvian plant with multicolored petals and leaves said to taste like watercress.

Beets and summer squash continue to run strong around the county during the month of May, including at JR Organics, which is also enjoying some prime time in its strawberry season. JR Organics farmers’ market booths should also be a good source for sugar snap peas, arugula, English cucumbers, and dill.

May is a good time to explore the differences between the spring-salad mixes fielded by local farms. Adam Maciel Organic Farm will add a spicy salad mix featuring mizuna, pac choi, and mustard greens, suggesting it works for stir-fries as well as salads. They’re always big on greens, so look for spinach, rainbow chard, collard greens, and arugula, as well as dandelion, parsley, garlic, chives, and a new crop of cilantro. They also have four shades of radish: purple, red, pink, and white, which has a little more spice to it. For a short while Maciel will have a little fruit — specifically, loquats, also known as Japanese plums. The orange tropical fruits are similar in size and color to kumquats but don’t have a rind and aren’t related. They’re tart and sweet, reminiscent of apricots.

Out in the Temecula/De Luz area, Eden Farms has cherries coming into season, plus your pick of berries — raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and several varieties of mulberries. The tropical-fruit specialist also has mangos and papayas showing up, and hopes to see apricots and other stone fruits start to appear by the end of the month.

Suzie’s Farm has a spicy spring-salad mix it calls the Phoenix blend, which highlights the spicy leaves and edible flowers of the colorful nasturtium. That’s a Peruvian plant with multicolored petals and leaves said to taste like watercress. They’ve also got lemon verbena to add lemon flavor to sauces, dressings, and marinades without citric acid, and spring onions with scallion-like greens and tasty little bulbs.

Sitting on 70 acres just east of the Tijuana estuary, the certified organic Suzie’s Farm was started in 2004 by partners Robin Taylor and Lucila De Alejandro. Originally focused on edible flowers and herbs, Suzie’s now grows more than 100 kinds of crops annually, adding leafy greens, root vegetables, and the perennial favorite, strawberries.

Eighty-five employees see to Suzie’s crops, as well as its onsite farm stand and weekly farm tours. The farm hosts regular U-Pick events, giving customers a chance to learn about and feel more connected to their local food sources.

Suzie’s farmers’ market presence includes weekly markets in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, North Park, Little Italy, Hillcrest, La Jolla, Leucadia, and Poway. Its produce may be found in area grocery-store chains including Baron’s, Jimbo’s, Frazier Farms, Whole Foods, and Sprouts — and at independent grocers including People’s Co-op, Windmill Farms, and Boney’s Bayside. San Diegans have probably encountered Suzie’s produce in local restaurants — too many to mention.

However, it’s the popular community-supported-agriculture program that Suzie’s considers to be the cornerstone of its business.

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Nasturtium is a Peruvian plant with multicolored petals and leaves said to taste like watercress.
Nasturtium is a Peruvian plant with multicolored petals and leaves said to taste like watercress.

Beets and summer squash continue to run strong around the county during the month of May, including at JR Organics, which is also enjoying some prime time in its strawberry season. JR Organics farmers’ market booths should also be a good source for sugar snap peas, arugula, English cucumbers, and dill.

May is a good time to explore the differences between the spring-salad mixes fielded by local farms. Adam Maciel Organic Farm will add a spicy salad mix featuring mizuna, pac choi, and mustard greens, suggesting it works for stir-fries as well as salads. They’re always big on greens, so look for spinach, rainbow chard, collard greens, and arugula, as well as dandelion, parsley, garlic, chives, and a new crop of cilantro. They also have four shades of radish: purple, red, pink, and white, which has a little more spice to it. For a short while Maciel will have a little fruit — specifically, loquats, also known as Japanese plums. The orange tropical fruits are similar in size and color to kumquats but don’t have a rind and aren’t related. They’re tart and sweet, reminiscent of apricots.

Out in the Temecula/De Luz area, Eden Farms has cherries coming into season, plus your pick of berries — raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and several varieties of mulberries. The tropical-fruit specialist also has mangos and papayas showing up, and hopes to see apricots and other stone fruits start to appear by the end of the month.

Suzie’s Farm has a spicy spring-salad mix it calls the Phoenix blend, which highlights the spicy leaves and edible flowers of the colorful nasturtium. That’s a Peruvian plant with multicolored petals and leaves said to taste like watercress. They’ve also got lemon verbena to add lemon flavor to sauces, dressings, and marinades without citric acid, and spring onions with scallion-like greens and tasty little bulbs.

Sitting on 70 acres just east of the Tijuana estuary, the certified organic Suzie’s Farm was started in 2004 by partners Robin Taylor and Lucila De Alejandro. Originally focused on edible flowers and herbs, Suzie’s now grows more than 100 kinds of crops annually, adding leafy greens, root vegetables, and the perennial favorite, strawberries.

Eighty-five employees see to Suzie’s crops, as well as its onsite farm stand and weekly farm tours. The farm hosts regular U-Pick events, giving customers a chance to learn about and feel more connected to their local food sources.

Suzie’s farmers’ market presence includes weekly markets in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, North Park, Little Italy, Hillcrest, La Jolla, Leucadia, and Poway. Its produce may be found in area grocery-store chains including Baron’s, Jimbo’s, Frazier Farms, Whole Foods, and Sprouts — and at independent grocers including People’s Co-op, Windmill Farms, and Boney’s Bayside. San Diegans have probably encountered Suzie’s produce in local restaurants — too many to mention.

However, it’s the popular community-supported-agriculture program that Suzie’s considers to be the cornerstone of its business.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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