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Market Report: November in Santa Monica + Finger Limes

crabapples at Pudwill Farms

A. Scattergoodcrabapples at Pudwill Farms

November at Los Angeles farmers markets is shot with color: it's like our version of the gorgeous descending trees in other parts of the country. A stroll through today's Santa Monica market yielded Kabocha squash, baby pumpkins, crabapples, stinging nettles, Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons, Arkansas black apples, chanterelles and even early Meyer lemons.

You also run into a lot of people at the Wednesday market and not a few chefs. Today we ran into David Karp, the so-called Fruit Detective, who was taking pictures of finger limes with more camera equipment than we imagine James Cameron lugs around these days. Finger limes, if you're not among the initiated, are microcitrus with a kind of crazy interior, almost like caviar. Shanley Farms in Visalia will be bringing the limes to the market next week as well, so you might follow the trail of chefs to the table. And if you start seeing the little citrus beads showing up on various market-driven menus across town in the next few weeks, now you know why. "They're like Pop Rocks in your mouth," said Karp, explaining that the fruit was brought to California over fifty years ago as a botanical speciman. (Read more here and turn the page for a picture of the limes. And of everything else.)

finger limes at Shanley Farms

A. Scattergoodfinger limes at Shanley Farms

red Kabocha squash at McGrath Family Farm

A. Scattergoodred Kabocha squash at McGrath Family Farm

stinging nettles at Coleman Family Farm

A. Scattergoodstinging nettles at Coleman Family Farm

basket of Meyer lemons at Schaner Family Farms

A. Scattergoodbasket of Meyer lemons at Schaner Family Farms

Kabocha squash at McGrath Family Farm

A. ScattergoodKabocha squash at McGrath Family Farm

organic baby pumpkins at McGrath Family Farm

A. Scattergoodorganic baby pumpkins at McGrath Family Farm

chanterelles at Clearwater Farms

A. Scattergoodchanterelles at Clearwater Farms

Evan Funke picking out fried chicken mushrooms at Clearwater Farms

A. ScattergoodEvan Funke picking out fried chicken mushrooms at Clearwater Farms

persimmons at Peacock Family Farm

A. Scattergoodpersimmons at Peacock Family Farm

Autumn royal grapes at Burkart Organics

A. ScattergoodAutumn royal grapes at Burkart Organics

Arkansas black apples at Penryn Farms

A. ScattergoodArkansas black apples at Penryn Farms

Padron peppers at Fairview Gardens

A. ScattergoodPadron peppers at Fairview Gardens