In mid-November, the Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market expresses the intersection of the seasons, with the last of summer’s tomatoes, peppers and grapes surrounded by fall’s bounty.
Several vendors, including The Patch, Ortiz Farms, Paul’s Produce, Hector’s Honey and Oak Hill Farm , are harvesting both late summer and mid-fall crops. With October and, so far, November, dry and mild, tomatoes and peppers, especially, just keep on comin’. If you want good fresh salsa on your holiday table, it looks like it will be possible.
Fifth St. Farm, located a few block from the market at Ramekins , has small gourds and pumpkins, other seasonal produce and jams from their kitchen. Quarter Acre Farm , also nearby, has corn stalks, popcorn and winter squash.
Mt. Moriah Farms , located in Lodi, has apples and apple juice. Starting this week, Aujay of Sebastopol joins the market with fresh apples and what many people call the best apple juice in the world.
If you want mushrooms, this is a good place to find them. There are two vendors, Gourmet Growers of Petaluma and Bohemian Well-Being Farm of Occidental.
Chris Gertz of Winters has walnuts a big selection of dried fruit. Twin Peaks of Newscastle currently has persimmons and–everyone say “Hallelujah!”–lemons and other citrus. Ramos Ranch of Reedley has Asian pears and fresh grapes.
Jordan Henry of Monterey is this market’s seafood vendor and also brings outstanding asparagus when the seasons begins in February.
Victorian Farmstead has local grass-fed meat, poultry, bacon, sausages and eggs.
Salmon Creek Ranch of Bodega attends every other week, with their delicious beef, goat, duck and duck eggs. If you have a special pup, try their organic dog treats; you won’t find better anywhere.
This is one of the only markets where you’ll find fresh milk, yogurt and ice cream. Straus Family Creamery attends with their full line of organic products. Spring Hill Cheese attends, too, with a selection of cheeses and butter from Jersey cow milk, which is rich and luscious.
When it comes to bread, some of the best in the county is here, form “Da Bejkr.” Lady Grace Bakery is currently providing other baked goods and Physis Foods has foods, including sandwiches, to nibble on the spot.
Other prepared foods include vinegars, olive oils, Redel’s Roasted almonds, The Hummus Guy and delicious organic chocolate bonbons and truffles.
At this time of year, there’s a knife sharpener to get you ready for carving and slicing and more craft vendors than usual, making it a perfect place to find holiday gifts.
For years, this market has closed at noon but this year began closing at 12:30 p.m. to give shoppers a little more time to linger over lunch from the market. It’s working well, long-time manager Hilda Swartz says.
There will be no market on the last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, this month. Instead, the week’s market will take place on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,
The Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market, founded in 1985 and managed by Hilda Swartz since 1987, takes place at Arnold Fields on First St. West, just north of downtown Sonoma. It operates year round on Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.