Torrential rains put a damper on the availability of early spring fruit at the farmers market

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Julia Tamai says the rain at the farm in Oxnard has been so heavy, some of the fruit has been lost to the weather and your strawberries may be pitted by hail. Photo by Asia Tamai.

After a hail storm, the sun is out at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market. Correspondent Gillian Ferguson talks to chef Alain Giraud, who is teaching, consulting and cooking for private clients. Although he makes a weekly list, Giraud says he rarely follows it when he gets to the market, opting to buy what's fresh. This week, he gets his hands on blood oranges for a salad with asparagus, radishes, and rhubarb, which he cooks with sugar and tops with Chantilly cream.

Julia Tamai has lived in Oxnard her entire life. Swaths of her family's business, Tamai Family Farms, are getting soaked, including rows of strawberries, which are sitting in 2 feet of water. Tamai says that this year, they'll have to discard approximately 85% of their harvest. Normally, she brings about 100 boxes of berries to the Wednesday farmers market but this week, she had only a dozen or so. With the sunshine, you can expect more berries in the upcoming weeks. Tamai recommends not giving the fruit a wash until you're ready to eat it. Also, expect imperfect berries since they've been pelted by hail.