The Wednesday afternoon Healdsburg farmers market, which takes place from 3:30 to 6 p.m., is just what we need mid-week, when the bounty from weekend markets is running low.
It’s a focused, no-nonsense market, with around a dozen vendors–not all attend every week–providing a huge array of seasonal produce, pastured eggs and a few specialties, like Lou Preston’s sauerkraut and pickled jalapenos.
Dry Creek Peach and Produce attends and currently has extraordinary Arctic Gem white peaches.
Ortiz Farms of Santa Rosa is here, too, with a large, diverse harvest that features radishes, green onions, summer squash, leeks, onions, broccoli, cilantro, parsley, potatoes, head lettuces, cabbage, braising greens, pole beans, tomatoes and more, including mounds of jalapenos and poblanos once the season is in full swing.
Gary Blasi of Blasi Ranch in Windsor has some of the first Gravenstein apples of the year; he’s been harvesting for about two weeks.
Preston Farms and Winery has Gravensteins, too, harvested quite early because, Lou Preston says, Healdsburg is really too hot for this apple. Preston’s unfolding harvest is always diverse and interesting, with amazingly delicious strawberries, eggs from happy chickens, bread, olive oil, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, lettuces, garlic, onions, Shishito chiles, parsley, braising greens, squash, potatoes, walnuts, stone fruit and their popular fermented foods.
Bernier Farms has several varieties of garlic, including Rose de Lautrec, a mild, almost sweet variety from the south of France. They also have delicious yellow watermelon, excellent radishes and beets, small-leafed arugula, eggs, Padron chiles, basil and much more.
Alexander Valley Farms, which is Hank Wetzel’s project, had the first local corn of the year, along with eggs and a big selection of other specialties that vary from week to week.
Six Oaks Farm of Geyserville is new this year and is the sole vendor okra; they also have delicious watermelon and muskmelons, excellent greens, tomatoes and squash.
Also new are Autumn’s Garden, a high school student’s project that is currently producing garlic, onions and peppers, and Speechless Cakes of Healdsburg, with cookies, focaccia and hand-held fruit pies.
Neufeld Farms is here with their fresh stone fruit from the San Joaquin Valley; they currently do not bring their dried fruits and nuts to this market.
Pennyroyal Farm attends most weeks with delicious goat cheese and fresh grape juice from wine varietals that is developing quite a following.
Valley Oak Farm currently has Gravenstein apples and will soon have fresh prune plums.
Geyserville Gardens will return once their melons ripen.
As the market wraps up at 6 p.m., the front patio of Shed offers an enticing place to linger, perhaps over house-made ice-cream–last week they had ice cream infused with peach leaves–or with something from the outside grill, currently open until 7 p.m. The area is filled with large planters of tomatoes, herbs and more, with pretty aromas that envelop you.
The Healdsburg Farmers Market, founded in 1978 and currently managed by Mary Kelley , hosts its secondary market on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the Purity/Cerri parking lot on North St., between Grove and Foss Streets, adjacent to the creek and Shed. This year, its season runs from June 5 to October 30. For more information, visit healdsburgfarmersmarket.com.