It’s July and that means produce stands and farmers markets are bursting with fresh produce, from purple carrots to crimson plums; golden nectarines and ruby strawberries.
My kiddos love to eat watermelon, cherries and peaches when they are actually in season and not flown in from half-way across the globe. (I tend to go a little crazy buying fruit in the summer.)
Here's some of my favorite spots:
Sonoma's Many Farmers' Markets: We are so lucky to have three different markets during the summer months. Sonoma's and Friday morning markets have plenty of great produce, as does the Glen Ellen market, which meets from 10am-2pm Sunday's at . Don't miss the Glen Ellen's wonderful bread purveyors, as well. If you haven't tried a plumcot, these are definitely the places to do it.
Watmaugh Strawberry Stand: Blink and you'll miss this farm stand, open everyday, 9am-6pm, at the corner of Watmaugh Road and Arnold Drive. A basket of strawberries runs you $2.50, but you can also buy by the half flat and full flat. The strawberries are unbelievable - juicy and flavorful - and they just started selling blackberries and red and yellow onions. Their other fruit (nectarines, plums and cantaloupe) they import from the Modesto area.
: Conveniently located just off of Arnold Drive, this is an easy stop on your way home to Sonoma. (They also have a second on Highway 12.) A huge variety of fresh fruit and vegetables with reasonable prices. They also have specialty products - wine, salami, jams, dressings - and basics like beans, rice and pasta. reasonable. They don't carry much in the way of organic, which is disappointing, but they do have produce from local spots. Right now plumbs are from Santa Rosa and strawberries are local. Hours: 8am-7:30pm.
: Walk half a block north on 2nd Street East; you'll see a little sign that says "The Patch." This fruit and vegetable farm runs a courtesy booth just up front, they list their current stock up front. It's not much right now - just white corn, onions and red potatoes - but in tomato season watch out: Heirloom, Black Russian, Beef-steak, and Early Girls will be on deck.
Sonoma Ecology Center Saturday Harvest Market: You can stop by the park on Saturday mornings from 9am to 1pm to shop. From strawberries to Swiss chard; eggs to eggplant, some of the freshest produce and flowers around are here!
Oak Hill Farm: Yes, you can find them at Sonoma's Tuesday night or Friday morning Farmers' markets, but if you can't make it to the market just trot up to the farm Wednesday through Sunday. They sell the most amazing picked-daily herbs, salad greens, heirloom vegetables, flowers. Hand-crafted wreaths, dried goods, bouquets and gifts are also available. Open 9-6pm, April to December.
Field of Greens: Looking for the most amazing fresh eggs? Down the street from the Watmaugh Road strawberry field is "Field Of Greens." Follow the "fresh eggs" sign to the back and look for a refrigerator on the right. Varieties include brown, rainbow and "crazy" eggs. Prices range from $3-$7.50. Pay by the honor system; leave your money in the stocked refrigerator. They also sell their eggs to , , and 's.
If you are on your way to Napa, stop at the Stanley Lane Marketplace. The produce is unbelievable, and displays list the exact spot everything was grown. They stay as local as possible, and you won't find wax coatings on their produce. They sell a 25 lb. watermelon for $7.99! They also just got in figs, melons and Sungold cherry tomatoes. Open Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday, Tuesday).
What’s your favorite farmer’s market or produce stand? Found one I didn’t mention, let us know in the comments!