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Feb 14th
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Foodie File: Santa Cruz County Farmers Markets

fodfile marketsWith the Felton and Scotts Valley farmers markets both happening every week into the fall, the summer fruit season is officially in swing. We thought it’d be a good time to check-in with Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets director Nesh Dhillon, who oversees those two markets, and three others in the county—downtown, Live Oak and on the Westside.

 GT: What’s your favorite fruit?

NESH DHILLON: Avocado. A sweet fruit—I would say a Blenheim apricot. They’re coming right around the corner. There’s something very magical about that apricot. It’s very specific to this region, and it’s also a very fragile fruit. It depends on the weather. It depends on how the spring lines up, how the trees go through the maturation process. If they’re starting to fruit, it’s a real sensitive period. The crop can get ruined—cherries and apricots. Cherries are even more sensitive, because if they get late rains on cherries, they’ll blow up and crack.

 Do you only eat what’s in season?

I feel really weird eating something in the off-season. I don’t have any excuse. If I’m eating something that’s not in season, I’m like “I shouldn’t be eating this right now. This is ridiculous.” But I’m not going to be rude at the table! I’m not that dogmatic about it.

What do you put in your salad?

Our salads are simple. I like to put—my wife really does all the cooking—sprouts from New Native Farms. You can embellish a salad: buckwheat, arugla sprouts, microgreens, pea shoots. It’s amazing what a salad can become with just a little bit of shoots and sprouts, light dressing. We don’t really doctor up salads too much, because the lettuces around here are so good, so flavorful. And it’s a delicate flavor, so you have to be careful about what you team it up with. Having a little radicchio within a medley of greens, it’s all you need. A little cheese is nice, too.


www.santacruzfarmersmarket.org, 454.0566.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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