On Sunday, the last of the year’s seasonal farmers markets wraps up its 2011 season.
The Windsor Farmers Market, which takes place on the east and north sides of the Town Green, opened this year on May Day, with a May Pole celebration. It ends on December 18.
Last Sunday, there was plenty of seasonal produce, including radishes, lettuce, parsley, cilantro, carrots, beets, broccoli, fennel, several types of kale, leeks, collard greens, garlic, shallots, onions, several types of winter squash, potatoes, mushrooms, several varieties of apples, persimmons, walnuts and almonds. There were plenty of eggs and lots of honey.
Santa Rosa Seafood does a brisk business at this market, with plenty of fresh Dungeness crab, along with other fish and shellfish. Franco’s Sausages had nearly sold-out of their irresistible Spanish-style chorizo and other sausages. Victorian Farmstead attends this market, which serves as a pick-up location for subscribers to their meat CSA. Spring Hill Jersey Cheese had plenty of cheeses but was running low on its delicious European style butters, available both unsalted and salted.
There are a lot of prepared food vendors at the Windsor market, offering both ingredients for cooking and ready-to-eat foods. Breads are from Panorama Bakery and there’s pasta from two companies, Mama Tina’s Ravioli and Pasta Poetry, which has cakes and gluten-free cookies along with hand-crafted pastas. Malaysia Mei had organic ginger pumpkin soup and a selection of sauces and chutneys.
Charlie’s BBQ offers trip tip sandwiches and salads, chicken and salad, fajitas and strawberry lemonade but on Sunday, Charlie’s hot dogs were so popular they were gone by noon.
“Cookie . . . Take a Bite” had 11 selections, including vanilla bean sugar sparkler, ginger molasses, lemon moon and a number of others, several of which have no gluten. Flour Creations has breakfast pastries and muffins, cookies, whole wheat bread and more.
Cook’s Spices has new selections, including a beautiful mulling mixture and a gift box featuring nine spices of your choice for $50. (Beginning the second Sunday in January, Cook’s Spices will be attending the Sebastopol farmers market.)
When it comes to condiments, you’ll find Alice’s Salsa of Cloverdale, along with Mustard Seed Farms, The Hummus Guy and Tres Classique, which has olive oils, vinaigrettes and marinades, in a variety of sizes. Handmade Pantry has a selection of granolas and yogurts, along with lemon curd.
Peter’s Chocolates of Sebastopol was handing out samples of handmade caramels cloaked in chocolate and topped with delicate salt. If you’ve not discovered the pleasure of salting caramels and chocolate, you are in for a treat. Salt makes both blossom into another dimension of flavor that makes converts of non-chocolaholics, myself included.
This market has always had a lot of crafts and the final markets of the year are no exception. There are adorable aprons; scarves; “I (heart) Windsor” t-shirts; a huge selection of jewelry and candleholders, wine racks, glass racks and more made from barrel staves. One craftsman, Floyd Coakley of This Place Is For the Birds, has adorable tiny birdhouse, some on stakes and all brightly colored. (For photographs of some of these birdhouses, visit Eat This Now at blogs.pressdemocrat.com.).
If you stop by Windsor market for its final day, allow time to linger in the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove,where dozens of Christmas trees, each individual sponsored and decorated, line the pathways. Some are traditionally decorated, some have themes that resonate with the tree’s sponsor and some are simply exuberantly whimsical, like the one decorated with pink tutus and the one draped with white netting and white flowers. My favorites included a tree draped with a leopard print skirt, A Happy Chanukah tree and a tree decorated with blue angels, blue glass balls and topped with a blue flashing light, sponsored by the Windsor Police Department. The trees will remain on display through Twelfth Night, January 6.
The Windsor Farmers Market opens at 10 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m. Its 2012 season begins in May.