It doesn't get much uglier in the produce section than the gnarly, brown celery root. This root vegetable, which is also known as celeriac and celery knob, has always been popular in Europe. But by the 1970s, celery root was nearly extinct in this country, until Modesto grower Frank Ratto decided to cultivate it. These days, you'll find celery root in farmers markets and grocery stores for $1.49 to $1.99 per pound.
Look for medium-sized roots. If they get too big, they get woody. They may even be hollow inside. Too small and you lose too much in the peeling. Pick one up. It should feel heavy for its size. Make sure there are no soft spots or cracks on the root. When you get your celery root home, cut the green tops off, then peel it, cube it, boil it and add it to your mashed potatoes or make a celery root puree. This low-calorie root has just 150 calories per pound and contains as much protein and nearly as much vitamin C and potassium as potatoes.
Michael Marks is the marketing manager for FreshPoint.
Local farms, San Joaquin Valley
99 cents to $1.49 per pound
Tips: One of the smaller tangerines, Clementines are one of the least acidic citrus fruits, which is why they taste so sweet.
$1.99 to $2.99 per pound
Tips: These will be the last of the California grapes this season. They're expensive but worth it. When the new crop begins arriving from the Southern Hemisphere, the grapes will be smaller and not as sweet.
San Joaquin Valley
$1.50 to $2 each
Tips: These first-of-the-season pomelos are huge, with a green cast to the rind, even though they are ripe.