Wednesday, July 14, 2010

John Koppelman Recognized by Hawthorne's City Council & Mark Ridley-Thomas

Last night John Koppelman submitted a speaker card to address the Hawthorne City Council to update them on the Farmers Market's First Year.  Well, the Council was prepared to address him, thanks to Mayor pro tem Danny Juarez who presented a City of Hawthorne Proclamation for John's tenacity and commitment to the Farmers Market that serves the Hawthorne Community.   "Wow...I'm surprised, I was here to talk about the Farmers Market. I'm very passionate about the Market, it's been a wonderful experience, there Sat I'm setting up and tearing it down, and um... most of the time I'm real enthusiastic, every once in a while I think I should have my head examined,  it's only a fleeting thought." followed by laughter by the crowd. "We have new vendors, the newest vendor has a breakfast burrito, which it's only Tuesday and I'm already salivating. With the variety increasing, families come, kids on their bicycles, a real family atmosphere.  I'm real proud of that. Thanks for the help from the City Council the Mayor, you've all contributed in your own ways, my wife Ema she really is a big back bone, takes care of stuff,  bails me out in a pinch" . What did I say in an early post, behind every great man is a great woman!!! That is Ema. 

Appreciate John's acknowledgement.  "Susan Hillyer our Market Manager she's indispensable, she takes care making sure we have good vendors, she's very aggressive in going out to the farms to assure that our farmers are who they say they are, the market's certified by the Department of Agriculture so we must follow the rules.  You can't bring fruit you buy to sell at the market. Susan watches for that and if it's not in season she picks up right away and goes to the farm. She's vigilant that our reputation stays in tact. Thank you to Sean Walsh, he's been very helpful and he and his wife Robyn sponsored the Jumper at the July 3rd Celebration Thanks Sean."
But that wasn't the end of the evening.  Mark Ridley Thomas who visited our market on July 3rd also wanted to recognize John.  Unable to attend last night's council meeting I presented on his behalf which read "Los Angeles County Commendation to John Koppelman for his dedicated service, to the affairs of the community and for the civic pride demonstrated by numerous contributions for the benefit of all the citizens of Los Angeles County."

It was a great evening for John and great to see him acknowledged by the leaders of Hawthorne & LA County - Hawthorne City Council & Mark Ridley Thomas.

You'll see John at the Hawthorne Del Aire Farmers Market 9am - 1pm every Saturday Rain or Shine in the parking lot of Aviation & West 135th Street.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hollywood Salad Bowl

You know it's summer when you've been to the Bowl. The following Salad was my contribution to last nights picnic at the Hollywood Bowl.
Thanks to our Farmers it was a hit!
The evening was tremendous. It was A Beetles Celebration with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by Thomas Wilkins (love him!!!) and special guests Patti Austin, Rob Laufer, Bettye LaVette (must add to my IPod), Todd Rundgren, Brian Stokes Mitchell (Wowza!)
Hollywood Salad Bowl with Blackberry Vinaigrette
Yield: 4+ servings
1 tablespoon olive oil - Olive Press
1 tablespoon minced shallots - Gama Farm
1 teaspoon minced garlic - Vang Family Farm

1 Heirloom Tomatoe Brandy - Vang Family Farm
1 pint fresh blackberries, plus extra for garnish - Santiago Farm
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar - Olive Press
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint - Vang Family
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon - ABC Rhubarb
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup light olive oil
6 cups mixed greens, well washed and spun dry
Mix of Arugula & Amaranth (Chinese Red Spinach) - Vang Family
1/4 Small Red Onion Thinly Sliced - Uristoigi Farm
1/4 cup roughly chopped toasted pistachios - Peanut Dude
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced - Gama
1 Lemon Cucumber thinly sliced - Capay Organic
1 Cup of Chilled Chicken Cubed (poached in lemon water) - La Bahn Chicken & Eggs
In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the blackberries and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vinegars and cook until reduced by half, about 30 seconds.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Add the sugar, mint and tarragon, and process to a smooth paste. Add the salt and pepper. With the machine running, add the light olive oil through the feed tube and process until smooth.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and refrigerate until completely cool, about 1 hour.
To make the salads, in a large bowl, combine the greens with the pistachios and toss with the vinaigrette until lightly coated. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To plate, divide the greens among 4 plates and top with the goat cheese & chicken. Arrange sliced red onion, avocado slices decoratively around the edges, and serve. Garnish with extra blackberries.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Survey Says...

With the help of Survey Monkey we've created a Survey .

The Purpose, to improve the Market as we go into our Second Year! 

Appreciate your Feedback so we can Give Back to what YOU want from YOUR Certified Farmers Market!

Click HERE to participate in the Survey!

Option to enter to win 4 Family Dodger Game Tickets at the end of the Survey!

Thank you!!

Dubious Farmers Tour

It's important that our Farmers represent their certification they hold. After David Karp's Los Angeles Times Friday online article July 2nd, he suggested there are a few dubious farmers in our market. Monday on a 400+ mile trek in the Jeep (off roading at times) to find out the facts about these alleged dubious farmers.  It was a great trip where I met Farmers, their Families, a 3rd Generation Family Owned & Operated butcher serving the high desert & a Hungarian Sausage Maker which I'm still enjoying because of course I had to take some home.  More to this post on Friday after my second visit.  
As Farmers Market Managers we rely on Certification issued by the department of Agriculture.  As important as that Certification is, we as Market Managers work together to assure our Farmers bringing what they Farm.
Thank You David Karp for the Write Up!
It was Awsome to see the Review of the Hawthorne Del Aire Farmers Market & Our Farmers In the LOS ANGELES TIMES!!!!

Mark Ridley-Thomas Visit's the Hawthorne Del Aire Farmers Market

Pleased and honored that Mark Ridley-Thomas visited the Hawthorne Del Aire Farmers Market last Saturday July 3rd.  Amazed that he found the time to come by.  President of the Del Aire Neighborhood Association John Koppelman, "Big John", as Mark Ridley-Thomas call's him, walked the market introducing the Farmers & Food Vendors that make up  our market.  It was exactly one year ago that Mr Ridley-Thomas visited. Pleased to show him the progress thanks to the community we support!


A Celebration of the first Anniversary of the Farmers Market brought out the community who's
support & patronage is why the market has made it through a rollar coaster year. The market is a success and trending positively over last year's sales.  With new vendors & farmers at the height of production it's the place to be on Saturday Mornings. 
Appreciation to:
John Koppelman (the Farmers Market was his idea afterall)
Ema Koppelman (you know what they say about every great man, there's a great woman)
Sean Walsh (President of the HollyGlen Association)
Robyn Walsh (Supporter, Gardener & Baker)
Danny Juarez (Hawthorne City Councilman)
Don Harris(Our Insurance Man)
Harley & Bill (Wiseburn Watch)
Sarah Nitsos (Anza Elementary School & Customer)
Da Vinci Charter School
Mary Lou Weiss (Torrance & Hermosa Farmers Markets)
Greta Dunlop (Beverly Hills & So. Pasadena Farmers Market)
Natalie Dushon (Manhattan Beach Farmers Market)Paul - El Segundo Driving Museum
Douglas Kraus (City of Hawthorne)
Dr Alice
Lisa Mead (Volunteer Nutritionist)
Ibitsiam (LA County Nutrition Program)
Gold's Gym
Our Famers (they are the Heart of the Farmers Market)
Our Food Vendors (you are what makes us different)
Each & Every Customer!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Anza Elementary School FAST FOOD Challenge

Last week we went to the Anza Elementary School with the FAST FOOD Challenge during lunches.  Students that had FAST FOOD (ex: apples, oranges, celery etc.) in their lunch and ate them of course became FAST FOOD Challengers and entered to win Dodger Game Tickets!

Today we returned for their end of year assembly to award the winners!

What a great event and great way to send the message of healthy food choices!

Here are the winners!

Much Thanks to Mrs Nitsos!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The FAST FOOD Challenge Debut!

The FAST FOOD ChallengeTM Debuted at the Hawthorne Health Fair & 5K.  I'm still counting the raffle tickets but I'm over 385 and estimate another 100 maybe.  Is that unbelievable or what?  So cool.  We'll be announcing and awarding the Raffle winners of the DODGER Game Tickets this Saturday!!! Come out to the Hawthorne Del Aire Farmers Market home of the Original Fast Food and play with food - yep come out on Saturday and hit the FAST FOOD target with an orange and enter to win 4 Tickets to a DODGER GAME! Awesome!!!

Go Grill Go!!

Go Grilling 

Vegetables and Fruit

Grilling gives fruits and veggies a smoky-sweet flavor, and it's amazingly easy. Here's what you need to know to master the technique.
Watch the video


  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegetables or fruit to be grilled
  • Salt and pepper


  • Metal grill brush
  • Soft cloth for oiling grill grates
  • Nonstick grill foil (per recipe)
  • Hot pads
  • Long barbecue fork & tongs
  • Slotted spatula
  • Basting brush
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Kitchen fork
  • Prep & serving platters


Step 1

1. Mise en Place

Preheat grill on HIGH 10 min (if using charcoal grill, HIGH is barely gray coals with ash).
Clean grill with wire brush. Using soft cloth, coat grill grate lightly with vegetable oil. A faint smoke indicates grill is ready. To prevent flare-ups, make sure oil doesn’t drip into flames.
Cut produce into roughly equal pieces. (Blanch slow-cooking veggies, such as artichokes, to shorten grilling time.)
Drizzle produce to lightly coat with basting oil.
Adjust heat (MEDIUM or LOW usually best).

Step 2

2. Sear

Sear skin on all sides.

Step 3

3. Cook

Grill, turning every 1-2 min, using tongs to keep produce intact.
Check doneness by piercing with paring knife — knife should enter easily with no resistance.

Step 4

4. Finish

Transfer to clean platter. Look for lightly browned (not charred), tender produce with
grill marks.

Vegetable Grilling Guide
Use this chart as a general guide for preparing and grilling times.
The easiest way to tell if vegetables or fruits are cooked is to pierce them with a kitchen knife or fork. If the utensil goes in easliy, the items are done.
PreparationGrilling Time
ArtichokesTrim tough outer petals,
halve lengthwise;
blanch until tender
8 to 10 min.
AsparagusTrim tough end6 to 8 min.
CornSoak ears in water 20 to 30 min (leave in husks)30 to 40 min.
EggplantSlice 3/4 inch thick8 to 10 min.
Fennel (Anise)Remove leaves;
cut bulb into quarters
10 to 12 min.
LeeksHalve lengthwise; rinse well10 to 12 min.
GarlicWrap whole bulb in foil;
place over indirect heat
30 to 40 min.
MushroomsLeave whole6 to 8 min.
OnionsPeel; cut n halves or quarters; skewer15 to 20 min.
PeppersCut in halves or quarters; remove seeds10 to 12 min.
Potatoes (white, yams)Slive 1/2 inch thick15 to 20 min.
Squash, summerHalve lengthwise or slice
1 inch and skewer
8 to 10 min.
TomatoesSkewer quarters and cherry tomatoes; halve plum tomatoes lengthwise3 to 5 min.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Scent to Heal back from Belize

Reflexologist Hope and family were in Belize last week.  Be assured she's back Saturday.  Sounds like time stood still for the week they were gone and they're slowly getting back into the So Cal grove.  Hope described the weather as summer in Washington DC. One word ....HUMIDITY! Apparently it was raining on and off throughout the day.

The background in this picture is actually the water. It was clear like glass and like swimming in an exotic aquarium. Can you imagine being 4 ft away from a baby sting ray that was swimming almost on the sand where you could almost pet it. They saw dolphins, crabs, coral, exotic fish, shark, and more. Sting rays were like squirrels in DC, everywhere.   We both grew up in the DC metro area so summer in DC and squirrels are descriptive s that we understand!

Hope couldn't stay away from us and found her way to the Farmers Market in Belize. First thing I noticed was the banana's which are a rare site locally.  I can't wait to hear what the fruit standouts were at the market. Assuring to know I'm not the only one that seeks out the local markets.  I like what I saw here and for the record I want that bike with the cart in front. Can't you see me sporting that up Artesia?  I totally can!

Welcome home Hope!!!  You were missed.

Caesars Blackberry Cobbler & Farm Visit

Caesars Blackberry Cobbler

There's a special place in my heart for our grower Caesar. Caesar's potted plants for landscaping to herbs and beef stake tomatoes are hearty and strong just like him. Awww. I know I told you I have a soft spot for this man. 

This visit is way overdue as he's right here in Los Angeles County. My gosh I've been all over the state and as far as Charleston SC visiting Farmers and Farmers Market.  So...Monday I went to his facility and I was amazed.  

He's been holding back ... tisk tisk tisk he won't be doing that.  He's got blackberry plants, yep blackberries and I totally scored and made the following Cobbler. 

In addition to the berries, he has Guava, Avocado, strawberries, herbs, tomato, & something new that he's going through the process of certifying his White Peaches!  So much more which you'll see on Saturday at Market.

Let him know you saw it here.  He'll be embarrassed, but in a nice way...I hope. 

See below the recipe for more pics from the visit!

Blackberry Cobbler

Served this delicious cobbler warm from the oven with homemade
vanilla ice cream. What a hit it was at our Memorial Day cookout.
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 30
Total Time 45


  • 4 cups fresh blackberries, about 20 to 24 ounces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter


Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or similar 2-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 400° F. Pick over and rinse blackberries.
In a saucepan, combine the 3/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, stirring to blend. Add the water and stir to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the blackberries. Spoon berries into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the berry mixture with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir in the milk and 4 tablespoons of melted butter until all ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. With a tablespoon, spoon the batter over the berry mixture then gently pat to spread the batter over the berries. The batter doesn't have to cover completely. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned and the berry mixture is bubbly.