As we begin to plan gatherings outside this spring and summer, our thoughts roam to where we will find the tastiest and freshest produce. Farmers’ Markets and local farm stands are very prolific places to begin. These superb places for fresh fruits and vegetables are generally open on a regular basis and quite well stocked.
My purchases were abundant on this visit. Beside me in the picture above is Hilda Swartz, who has served as manager of the Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers’ Market for many years.
What’s In Season
For the months of March, April and May in Napa and Sonoma Counties, you will most likely find these seasonal fruits and vegetables at local markets and farm stands.
- Bok choy
- Cherries (some early varieties)
- Fava Beans
- Green Garlic
- Early Onions
Fresh strawberries from locally renown Watmaugh Strawberries farm stand. The berries pictured above were probably thriving in the field at this favored spot just a few hours before being purchased. They are picked throughout most days; field-to-basket fresh but somewhat delicate, so they really last only a few days. Very sweet and ripe the day you pick them up!
Not far from Watmaugh Strawberries, this crop of young blackberries will be ripe after the peak heat of summer.
Strawberry shortcake has long been a family favorite. As I used to own a hospitality venue, many mornings you would find me in the kitchen, testing scone recipes for guests to bake at their leisure in their private cottages. Today, I will mix strawberries + blueberries with a freshly made scone and lots of organic whipping cream for this traditional seasonal dessert. It brings not only so much pleasure, but also many memories of very festive gatherings in our beautiful wine country.
A favorite source for scone recipes is Ina Garten’s the barefoot contessa cookbook. Truly a loved and well-used book for many years.
• THE LIST •
Sonoma Valley & Napa Valley Farmers’ Markets
Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers’ Market
Year-round, Fridays, 9am-12:30pm • Arnold Field at W. First St., Sonoma, 707.538.7023,
Sonoma Garden Park Farmers’ Market
May-Oct, Saturdays, 9:00am-12:00pm • 19996 Seventh St. East, Sonoma.
Sonoma’s Tuesday Night Farmers’ Market:
May- September, Tuesdays, 5:30pm to dusk or longer • Sonoma Plaza
Petaluma East Side Farmers Market:
Year-round, Tuesday 10-1:30 • Lucchesi Park, 320 N McDowell Blvd.
Santa Rosa Farmers’ Market
Wednesday and Saturday 8:30am-1:00pm • Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa.
Link to multiple markets in this area.
Healdsburg Farmers’ Market:
May–November, Saturdays 8:30am-12pm • North and Vine, one block west of the Plaza, Healdsburg.
St. Helena Farmers’ Market:
May 1 – October 31, Fridays, 7:30am-12:00pm • Crane Park, Crane Street, just south of town behind the St Helena High School. 707.486.2662.
Napa Farmers’ Market:
Year-round, 8:00am – 12:00pm • Temp site between CIA at Copia & Oxbow Public Market, Napa.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch Farmers Market:
738 Main Street, St Helena
Calistoga Certified Farmers’ Market:
Year round, Saturdays, 9am-1pm • Sharpsteen Plaza, 1234 Washington St., Calistoga.
Wishing you much happiness and many delicious gatherings with friends as you enjoy the bounty wherever you live.