10 bountiful farmers' markets to visit throughout the region

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Photo courtesy of Fair Oaks Sunset Farmers’ Market

Spring is in full swing and the region’s farmers’ markets are soon to be buzzing as well. We’ve rounded up 10 local markets, where you’ll find rare summertime fruits, your favorite chefs browsing for their menus, and plenty of food truck fare. Get ready to shop your way through America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.

Capitol Mall Farmers’ Market

Stroll down Capitol Mall at this downtown market featuring the ultimate power lunch from food trucks like Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and producers like Scott Lawrence Farm, which grows an unsual selection of vegetables and fruits like flying saucer squashes, orange-flesh watermelon, white alpine strawberries and tiger-striped melons (whose edible fragrant skin happens to make a great ingredient for white sangria). Don’t miss Pheng’s Flower Farm, which offers custom-made Sacramento-grown garden bouquets, and Winters Fruit Tree, which dishes out almonds and pistachios in spicy and sweet flavors like chili-lime, wasabi and cheddar jalapeño. Thursdays May 5 to Sept. 29. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m Capitol Mall between 5th and 6th Streets. california-grown.com

Davis Farmers’ Market

This year-round market, which USA Today ranked as one of the 10 best farmers’ markets in the nation, offers organic honey infused with lavender, cinnamon and habanera peppers from Winters-based Henry’s Bullfrog Bees, as well as locally made olive oil, lip balms and soap from Yolo Press. Browse stand after stand of unique fruit varieties, like apriums (an intensely sweet cross between an apricot and a plum) from Lodi-based Mt. Moriah Farms or striped, dark purple and yellow tomatoes from Vue Family Farm in Sacramento. Brunch vendors serve up farm-fresh breakfasts like kale, bacon and egg breakfast sandwiches with ingredients from the market, and during the market’s Wednesday night “Picnic in the Park” series, 33 bands will play throughout the season. Saturdays year-round (8 a.m.-1 p.m.); Wednesdays year-round (4:30-8:30 p.m.) Central Park. 3rd and C streets. Davis. davisfarmersmarket.org

Fair Oaks Sunset Farmers’ Market

Nosh on specialty foods like vegan, seafood, chicken or pork tamales from Emma’s Tamales in Sacramento, or pick up cold-pressed balsamic vinegars and extra virgin olive oil infused with rosemary from Big Paw Olive Oil Company in Campbell. Pick up Alaskan-caught salmon from Freshway Fish, or sample your way through four varieties of strawberries (ranging from the larger and juicy albas to the smaller, sweet albions) from RHJ Organic. For dinner, grab some Greek fare from Hefty Gyros or some smoky brisket smothered in homemade barbeque sauce from Haole Pig BBQ. Local acts like Fair Oaks-raised singer-songwriter Jessica Malone and Roseville-born acoustic musician Denver Saunders will also provide the soundtrack for your afternoon shopping. Wednesdays year-round. 3-7 p.m. 8101 Sunset Ave. Fair Oaks. 484-7000. ilovemyfarmersmarket.com

Veggie stalls at the Fair Oaks Sunset Farmers’ Market

Florin Mall Farmers’ Market

This fresh food fair outside of Florin Mall brings together a variety of producers selling tasty goods, like fresh-cut Southeast Asian herbs like lemongrass, sawleaf, cilantro and Thai basil from Nop Le Farm, natural olive oil infused with farm-grown jalapeño, jars of wildflower honey from Peavy Local Honey, lime and basil from Nick Sciabica & Sons, and juicy deep red strawberries from C&S Strawberry Patch, which is located a mere 10 minutes from the market site. Thursdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Florin Mall Sears parking lot. Florin Rd. & 65th St. california-grown.com

Historic Folsom Farmers’ Market

Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Folsom, this market brings together over 80 farm stalls, featuring products like fresh-pressed juices from Sacramento-based WholeHearted Juice Company to organic coffee beans from Bravo Coffee Bar. Pick out citrus products, ranging from fresh mandarins, pomegranates, or the exotic Buddha’s hand from Exeter’s Lindcove Ranch or shop for organic eggs, herb starter plants and sheep wool from Butte Mountain Farm near Jackson. The market, in its fourth year, also features an onsite masseuse, kids’ scavenger hunts, and local musicians like classic rock duo Becca and Chuck, Spanish-inspired ensemble Yolo Mambo and reggae band Unity Roots. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 915 Sutter St. Folsom. 484-7000. ilovemyfarmersmarket.com

Midtown Farmers’ Market

With upwards of 90 produce and food booths stationed around a lot in the heart of midtown, this market features a variety of items like frozen cuts of beef from Coffee Pot Ranch in Sheridan, baby artichokes from Contreras Farms in Half Moon Bay, and fresh mixes of lettuce, kale and seasonal bitter greens from Chico-based Farmelot. Sweet tooths can dig into blueberry cake donuts from Sacramento’s Sweet Dozen and chocolate Belgian waffles from Volkswaffle, while hungry shoppers fuel up with flaky pork-filled street food from The Blonde Empanada. At this kid-friendly market, little ones can bounce on inflatable cows and families can learn food tips from gardening seminars and chef demonstrations using seasonal ingredients right from the market. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1p.m. 20th St. (between J and L). 442-1500. midtownfarmersmarketsac.com

Old Town Auburn Farmers’ Market

This friendly, open-air market in the foothills boasts about 60 stalls filled with hard-to-find produce, including rare herbs like the spicy mizuna green and peppery dandelion green, black radishes, and a panoply of organic mushrooms in classic varieties like oyster, shitaki and white button. During the summer months, shop for fruits like olallieberries, Blenheim apricots, juicy Elberta peaches and sweet golden yellow Rainier cherries. Listen to musical acts like jazz ensemble Broke College Kid Saxaphone Quartet and acoustic singer-songwriter Hans Anderson, or fill up with artisanal baked goods like sundried tomato and Gouda scones from Auburn’s The Baker and the Cakemaker. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Old Town Courthouse Parking Lot. Auburn-Folsom Rd. at Lincoln Way. Auburn. 530-863-7487. foothillfarmersmarket.com

The Midtown Farmers' Market offers about 90 produce and food stalls.

Sacramento Central Farmers’ Market

Beneath Sacramento’s new 70,000-square-foot Bright Underbelly mural painted on the underside of U.S. Route 50, you can peruse this year-round market and pick up everything from heirloom tomatoes in a rainbow of colors like purple, pink, orange and striped yellow from West Sacramento’s Watanabe Farms; award-winning fromage blanc cheese from Nicasio Valley Cheese and Bledsoe Meats’ tender pork belly used at local eateries like Grange Restaurant & Bar. You might even spot several local culinary celebrities like Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney’s B&L, Randall Selland of The Kitchen or Kurt Spataro of Paragary’s, all known to frequent this Sunday morning market. Sundays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. 9th St. and W St. california-grown.com

Sunrise Station Farmers’ Market

Browse through this tree-lined market in Rancho Cordova where you'll find a variety of locally-grown goods, like herb and vegetable garden starter plants and edible nasturtium flowers from Goude’s Nursery in Sacramento; rainbow chard, beets and turnips from Stockton-based M & L Campuzano Farms; and plump blueberries from Alpine Blue Farms in San Joaquin County. This market also offers intriguing jarred goods like honey infused with star thistle from a local honey producer in Orangevale or bottles of freshly pressed white truffle olive oil from Sacramento’s Bariani Olive Oil. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Sunrise Light Rail Station. Folsom & Sunrise Blvd. Rancho Cordova. california-grown.com

West Sacramento Farmers’ Market

Entering its fifth season in West Sacramento, this market offers fresh produce, ranging from hybrid cherries from Gotelli Farms in Lodi to lemon cucumbers and spicy ghost peppers from Toledo Farms, also in Lodi. But much of this farmers’ market produce comes from within a five-mile radius, like beets from Flowerstone Farmes and butternut squash from Rootcause Farms, the latter of which teaches gardening and nutrition seminars at the market. Keep an ear out for musical acts like ukulele and drum duo Musical Robot and country-flavored Banjo Fiddle. And let the kids tag along with chef Chris Jarosz (of Broderick and Localis), who often takes little ones through the market for a hands-on shopping and cooking class. Thursdays May 19 to Aug. 25. 4:30 p.m. until dusk. 1110 W. Capitol Ave. West Sacramento. 371-7042. westsacramentofarmersmarket.com

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