A Press Democrat Blog

Eat this now

Seasonal Pantry at your fingertips

Fresh From Our Farmers: The Patch in Sonoma Still Has tomatoes

“Are you still buying tomatoes?” a customer asked me at the Sebastopol farmers market on Sunday. She wanted to know if they were still good enough for salads and because I had not finished my shopping yet and tomatoes are, at this time of year, a moment-to-moment consideration, suggested she talk to Lazaro Calderon at The Patch’s booth. Later that day, as I was filling a bag with colorful heirloom tomatoes, Calderon said, “Tell everyone I will have tomatoes until… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Sebastopol’s New Family Farm

New Family Farm is one of Sonoma County’s few horse-powered agricultural endeavors. Farming partners Adam Davidoff and Ryan Power use five working-breed horses to prepare their fields sometime in May, after rainwater has receded, and the horses are used again to cultivate between rows of crops and to harvest potatoes. It is part of the duo’s overall plan of farming as close to the earth as possible. The land is certified organic. Farming techniques focus on building soil and keeping… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market

As the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market settles into its second harvest season in its new location at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, it has hit its stride as the country’s central farmers market. During its 16-month tenure at the center, it has moved several times to accommodate contracts in effect before the market became a tenant. Now it seems to have a permanent location, on the west side of the main building, adjacent to Highway 101,… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Canvas Ranch

As I surveyed the selections at the Canvas Ranch stall at the Santa Rosa Original farmers market last Saturday, I had to suppress a dance of joy when I saw little sacks of farro, an ancient grain sometimes known in North America as emmer. The ranch’s last two crops have sold out before I could snag a bag, so I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity. Grown in the low hills of Two Rock Valley near Tomales, Canvas Ranch… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Tusque Farms

Got bacon? It’s time for a BLT. The new Tusque Farms may be the first out of the gate with local tomatoes. They have just harvested their first Early Girls. The farm, located on five acres of The Kick Ranch in Rincon Valley, currently is harvesting Rainbow chard, Red Russian Kale, Lacinato kale, collard greens, zucchini and other summer squash, basil and those first Early Girls. Their pepper plants–several varieties, including Padrons, Corni di Torno and every color of bell… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Middleton Farm

Nancy Skall of Middleton Farm  grows what may be the best asparagus I’ve ever tasted. Stalks range from about the diameter of a chopstick to that of your big thumb and shoppers in the know reach for the fattest ones. The thinnest stalks are not, as many restaurant menus imply, baby asparagus. They are actually the shoots of older plants. For the best-tasting most-tender asparagus, get fat stalks and either roast them in a hot oven or grill them over hot… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Sam Kim’s Mushrooms

Sam Kim of Bohemian Well Being Farm is a familiar face to farmers market shoppers throughout Sonoma County. At the peak of the season, when all our markets are in full swing, you’ll find him at several each week with his cultivated and wild mushrooms, some not much bigger than a toothpick, others larger than dinner plates. At his 136-acre farm in Occidental, he grows shiitakes, oyster mushrooms and reishi, a species that is highly valued for its medicinal properties. The… Read More »

Order Your Easter Lamb Now

If you want to serve lamb on Easter and want it to be the best quality you can find, you should place an order sooner rather than later. Williams Ranches, based in Sebastopol, will be taking orders through Sunday, including at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (at the Wells Fargo Center) on Saturday. They always bring extra to the market on the Saturday before Easter but they always sell out before noon. If you know you want lamb,… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Parsons Homegrown Tomatoes

Parsons Homegrown of Fulton fills a very specific niche, fresh local tomatoes from January through July or August. Kelley Parsons established her operation in 1994 and it is thriving today. This year, she is growing three varieties, Favorita, a cherry tomato; Geronimo, a red beefsteak, and Yellow Boy, a yellow beefsteak. In the early 1990s, Kelley and Tom Parsons were starting their family. Their second child had just been born and Kelley was working full time as an insurance underwriter.… Read More »