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10 great farmers' markets to check out this summer around Sacramento
Photo courtesy of Davis Farmers Market
Davis was ranked second in USA Today’s 2012 list of 10 Great Places to Visit a Farmers' Market.
Summer is upon us, which means it’s prime time for farmers’ markets around the Sacramento region. To reap your bounty of fresh produce and other locally produced provisions, check out one of these 10 terrific markets making the most of their home in the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America.
Founded in 1980, this market shaded by the freeway is both the city’s oldest and one of the state’s largest markets, showcasing the capital region’s bounty in over 120 diverse vendors during the summer season. From foodie delights (like Solano Mushroom Farms, Del Rio Dates, Kelly’s Crayfish and Davis Bread and Desserts) to garden goodies by Ayson Nursery in Galt, this comprehensive shopping experience offers something for everyone. Sundays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. 8th and W streets in Sacramento. california-grown.com
Ranking second in USA Today’s 2012 list of 10 Great Places to Visit a Farmers Market, Davis’ market is the perfect place to stock up on items from the over 70 vendors, including Asian vegetables from Stockton's Busalacchi Farms, free-range chicken from Skyelark Ranch in Brooks, and bread from Davis' own Village Bakery. After enjoying your morning meal at Montoya’s Tamales or a smoothie from Bare Juices, relish the upbeat atmosphere and browse Bee Happy Candles or WovenWears. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Central Park. 4th and C streets in Davis. davisfarmersmarket.org
In its second year, the Midtown Farmers Market is one of the largest in the region, with upwards of 70 vendors in the height of the season. Snatch up local produce like peaches from Rancho Cordova-based Soil Born Farms or plums from Stockton’s Lagorio Brothers Farms. To quench your thirst, visit Kombucha Kulture’s Mobile Draft Bar to try the naturally carbonated, probiotic fermented tea beverage on tap. On Second Saturdays, the market also features an edible tasting garden, various crafters, and chef demos in addition to its new pop-up dog park adjacent to the market. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 20th and J streets. Sacramento. midtownfarmersmarketsac.com
This 25-vendor market features monthly DigIn! Dinners, a ticketed event featuring a three-course, farm-to-fork meal cooked by local chefs using market produce and served on the street. Other events include “What’s Hoppening,” when beer vendors like Bike Dog and Berryessa gather for a $15 tasting evening, and, on the first Thursday of every month, a Kids Zone event—on Aug. 7, there will be a bounce house, kids’ cooking demo and the local interactive band Musical Robot. Thursdays 4:30 p.m. until dusk. West Capitol Ave. and Jefferson Blvd in West Sacramento. westsacramentochamber.com/events
The Mall turns into a farmers’ market during lunch hour on Thursdays, when about 10-15 vendors (including Lodi's Rhythm & Blueberries and Clarksburg winery Heringer Estates), take over one side of the grassy, tree-lined area, while 14 vendors on the other side focus on hot food you can eat out on the Mall. Sample baked goods from Grateful Bread or Upper Crust Baking Company, chow down on Big Joe’s BBQ, or stop by Sacatomatoes or one of the other rotating food trucks that drop by each week. Thursdays through September. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Capitol Mall between 5th and 6th streets in Sacramento. california-grown.com
For the best in hyper-local seasonal produce in Placer County, make a trip to Old Town Auburn. Try heirloom squashes from Pilz Produce in Penryn, farmstead goat cheese from Jollity Farms in Garden Valley, or rare tree fruit like yuzu or cara cara oranges from Pine Hill Orchards in Loomis. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Placer County Historic Courthouse parking lot. Auburn-Folsom Rd. and Lincoln Way in Auburn. foothillfarmersmarket.com
In the midst of renovations to McClatchy Park’s facilities, Oak Park’s market offers an abundance of locally grown produce and regionally prepared treats, including Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms of Sloughhouse and Yolanda’s Tamales. Plus, get your creative juices flowing with interactive displays like martial arts lessons with Akido Center Sacramento, arts and crafts with the Crocker Art Museum, or culinary activities with the California Food Literacy Center. Saturdays through October. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. McClatchy Park. 35th St. and 5th Ave. in Sacramento. facebook.com/OakParkFarmersMarket
When the hustle and bustle of weekday commutes is over, the Sunrise light rail station parking lot transforms into a lively hub for local produce, meats, cheeses and other farm-to-fork goods. This midsized market is one-stop shopping for items like grass-fed beef from Winterport Farm in Ione and Sacramento's celebrated Bariani Olive Oil. Enjoy a coffee and a pastry from Sacramento Baking Company or Laguna Garden Bakery as you stroll through the 35-40 vendors and enjoy live music from local artists Anderson-Gram or Sana & Terry. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Sunrise Blvd. and Folsom Blvd. (Light Rail Parking Lot) in Rancho Cordova. california-grown.com
Fair Oaks Sunset
Don’t know what to make for dinner? Stop by this live-music-filled market in the Northridge Plaza Shopping Center Plaza to pick up freshly made artichoke and sundried tomato ravioli from Sacramento's own Pasta Queen, or opt for a hot lamb pita from the Hefty Gyros food truck. For snacks to last all week, try KS Homemade Eats & Treats or some gluten-free baked goods from Kimberly’s Kitchen. Wednesdays through November. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Fair Oaks Blvd. and Sunset Ave. in Fair Oaks. facebook.com/FairOaksSunsetFarmersMarket
Show your taste buds the world with Florin’s fresh chayote, black-eyed peas, sugar cane and other ethnic specialties of this Sacramento farmers’ market. Don’t miss Peavy Local Honey or the delicious strawberries from V&M Farms in Watsonville, and those who are new to canning can visit The Master Food Preservers booth, where volunteers from UC Davis will be on hand to answer questions about preserving market produce. Thursdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Florin Mall Sears parking lot. Florin Rd. and 65th St. in Sacramento. california-grown.com