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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Farmers Market Feature: Cole Canyon Farm


New Blog Feature: Farmers Market Vendors
While walking through the Aptos Farmers Markettoday, inspired by the gorgeous day and the wonderful array of produce around me, I got the idea to regularly feature a vendor from the market on my blog.  This fits my concept for this blog in two ways: 

One of the many hobbies that help me achieve a healthy balance in my life is photography.  Although I have been an avid amateur photographer for years, I have always been self-conscious about taking photographs in public.  Having a purpose behind my photography will hopefully help me get over my apprehension about taking photos of people and in public, and I will be using my camera skills for a specific creative purpose. One of the reasons I started this blog is to push my personal boundaries, and motivate myself to act on my goals, instead of just dreaming about them.

I also hope for this blog to inspire others to live a healthier life, and farmers markets make it fun and exciting to incorporate healthier choices into in your diet and lifestyle.  By featuring a local vendor of healthy products, I can also show support for buying local, fresh food.  So please enjoy my first in a series of features about booths at my local market.

Featured Vendor: Cole Canyon Farm
For my first attempt, I decided to try the first vendor who looked friendly and approachable.  Cole Canyon Farm  has a booth located on the east end of the second row of the market.  I was relieved to find that the woman manning the booth, Renee, was as friendly as she appeared and offered a wealth of information about the farm and its offerings. 
The Cole canyon Farm booth features wonderful organic vegetable and herb seedlings.

Lettuce!
Beautiful, colorful leafy greens
A selection of salad greens

Today was the first day back to this market for the season, and I could feel Renee’s excitement as she talked about what the increasingly warmer weather and longer days will bring.  I was already impressed with the array of lettuce, leafy vegetables, and herbs available, but Renee pointed out that as the season progresses there will be many additional offerings, since the farm’s greenhouses are just beginning to produce young plants.

Renee and the Cole Canyon Farm booth at Aptos Farmers Market

There were many gorgeous offerings, but I was especially fascinated by the strawberry seedlings, which had been recently taken from cold storage.  Renee explained that as soon as they are removed, planted, and begin to feel heat they just take off in an amazing process.  These delicious starts are perfect for the organic home garden.


Renee also mentioned that in addition to home gardening favorites like rosemary, the farm also offers an intriguing variety of medicinal herbs, such as yarrow and chamomile.

rosemary
Love Potion herb bowl


I was intrigued by this herb bowl . A nice quality bowl is planted with a selection of herbs to fit a particular theme, and includes little sign indicating the medicinal property of each plant.  I like the “Love Potion” bowl, which includes sage and thyme. 

After learning about the herbs and vegetables on sale at the market, and reading more about the farm on their website, I think it might be fun to visit.  According to Renee, Saturdays are a good day to go check out the farm.  Cole Canyon Farm is located in Aromas, California.  Their website is well designed and has a wealth of information.  You can also check them out on Facebook.  This farm also sells at other markets in the area, and list of where to buy their products is available on the website. If you are looking for organic vegetable and herb seedlings, Cole Canyon Farm is local, friendly, and has an excellent variety of offerings.

Success!
It was an exciting and fun experience talk with Renee and learn more about once of the local organic farms in this fertile region of California. I plan to try and include this type of article at least once a month, hopefully more. The Aptos Farmers Market is open all year, and there are about 75 vendors there, so I have plenty of material to keep me busy for a while!

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