Farm to Cell Phone to Table: Alex Weiser's i-Field
The path from farm to table is sometimes a convoluted one, with hours logged in the fields and on the highways to farmers markets. At Weiser Family Farms in Tehachapi, this path is also virtual. You can now follow your Russian fingerling potatoes on Twitter. And if Alex Weiser's potato chip experiments go well, maybe LA will have a potato chip truck soon too.
Amy Scattergood Alex Weiser at the Weiser Family Farms stand
Weiser has a lot more than pictures of potatoes on his iPhone--and real ones at his stalls. "Hey, we're picking melons," Weiser said (via cell phone) this morning. And according to a tweet yesterday, only two more weeks until the highly-anticipated Persian mulberries.
In addition to the Butterscotch and Cavaillon melons that have been around for a couple of weeks, the farm now has Arava, an Israeli variety, which is "green fleshed inside, and a kind of a netted muskmelon," says Weiser Farm's Laura Jong. Farmers' market shoppers can look forward to the Ogen, another Israeli melon, which is "also a green flesh with a pale thin green skin, almost like a deep yellow with wide green stripes. It's the thinnest skin of all the melons, and it's super aromatic, with a tropical fruity taste." The Sugar Queen, a Persian melon, is also on its way. Look out for its oblong shape and light peach flesh. Check the farm's blog as it introduces the eight varieties planned for this season.
Available at local certified farmers' markets: Santa Monica 3rd Street Wednesday/Saturday, Venice Friday, Pasadena Saturday, Hollywood Sunday, Santa Monica Pico Sat., Santa Monica Main Street Sun., Long Beach Sun., Beverly Hills Sun., and Claremont Sun. (Full list here.) And of course, you can follow Weiser Farms on Twitter @WeiserFarms.
(Amy Scattergood contributed to this post.)