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Fresh From Our Farmers: Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market

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… 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 »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Paul’s Produce

When you bite into a carrot grown by Paul Wirtz , it is almost impossible not to smile. His carrots have snap– a pristine clarity on the palate–along with an earthy sweetness that is not as easy to find as it should be. These are carrots I can easily munch for breakfast. That pristine quality threads through much of Wirtz’s harvest. His foods are bright, with true flavor and perfect texture.  He is a fine fine farmer, with a bit of… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Sonoma’s The Patch

For years, The Patch has been the first local farm with tomatoes. Lazaro Calderon’s booths at local farmers markets appear sometime in April, when he has some of the best-tasting Nantes carrots around, and the race is on. By mid-May, customers are asking when he expects to have the first of his widely praised tomatoes. “Soon,” he says with a smile, “maybe in a couple of weeks.” The first usually appear sometime in June. Calderon typically has tomatoes longer than… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: The Red Barn at Oak Hill Farm

The Red Barn at Oak Hill Farm in Glen Ellen opened for the season on May 2. The historic barn, over 100 years old, sits on the edge of about 700 gorgeous acres, about 50 of which are under cultivation. The entire property is preserved in the Sonoma Land Trust; it was, in fact, the very first property to come under the Land Trust’s umbrella. The barn is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. When I… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Sonoma Valley

On Friday morning, the Sonoma Valley farmers market is filled with customers–shopping, chatting and lingering over nibbles such as hummingbird-shaped cookies and lumpia–as a stream of moms, grandparents and nannies usher babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and pups into the adjacent park. Two vendors, Paul’s Produce and Oak Hill Farm, are located nearly across with each other, with their similar harvests an evocative expression of this valley’s <<ital>> terroir<<ital>>. Both have extraordinary carrots, with the thinnest of skins, an appealing snap and… Read More »