National Farmers Market Week

August 7 – 13, 2011

The Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America has proclaimed this week National Farmers Market Week.

If you’re interested in the proclamation’s formal wording. you can read it in it’s entirety on  the official USDA website,  2011 National Farmers Market Week Proclamation). There is also a great link to the National Farmers Market Search Engine and lots other links with data on Farmers Markets. But, information and data won’t inspire you like walking through and shopping at a local Farmers Market will.  Celebrate fresh and local fruits and veggies this week, visit a Farmers Market near you. You just may find out why visiting and shopping Farmers Markets is one of my favorite things to do whether I’m here at home or traveling.

If you’re looking for motivation beyond the need to shop for produce, here are a couple of past articles highlighting some of the markets I have visited while traveling. These articles will give you an idea of the diversity of Farmers Markets and why they are so much fun.

Astoria Sunday Market
Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market
Placerville Farmers Market
Kauai Sunshine Markets
Ocean Beach Farmers Market
Capay Valley Regional Farmers Market
Widnsor Farmers Market

If you don’t have time or desire to go to a Farmers Market why not have your fresh produce delivered to your door. You can find out more about Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) here.

Support local farmers and ranchers, buy direct!

 
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Mother’s Day at the Windsor Farmers’ Market

Like many seasonal markets the Windsor Farmers\’ Market, in Sonoma County, opened it’s season on Mothers Day. They promised  flowers, chocolate and hugs to help celebrate the day, but skies looked dark and ominous as two of my sisters and I drove north towards the market. Would it be a sunny celebration or a wash out? We arrived at the Town Green in Old Downtown Windsor and found parking plentiful and easy. The market set up around two sides of the Town Green, was under sunny skies and bustling with all kinds of folks. We made the rounds, as we like to do,  checking prices and seeing what was available. On the return rounds I decided I really wanted to try a small custard tart and a pumpkin tart from Flour Creations Bakery & Catering. They had many tempting goodies but these simple little beauties were what talked to me. We also tried some incredibly creamy, sweet samples of European Style Organic butter from McClelland\’s Diary. So fresh it reminded me of homemade butter I had tasted in my younger days. Another great marketer was Cackleberries & Hen Fruit Headquarters, AKA:Eggs. No samples here, but the eggs were just plucked from the nest box that morning.

We took a little break midway through our shopping to listen to some great music and enjoy a Mimosa,  which were being sold as part of the celebration festivities. They used Korbel Champagne and fresh squeezed orange juice, so even the Mimosa’s were made from local ingredients and of course, they were very good. After a few toasts to each other and to Mothers everywhere, we went to finish our shopping. The skies at this point were getting very dark, the wind came up and the rain started; first a gentle sprinkle, then a downpour. Having no umbrella, my cover became the Peters\’ Chocolates booth where I huddled and visited with the marketer and another couple and sampled luscious samples. My  sisters were  ahead  of me and took cover in a booth that sold fruits and vegetables. My guess is that their samples weren’t as tempting or as yummy as mine. The downpour didn’t seem to dampen any spirits, in fact I’ll bet quite a few folks met some new friends that day.

I bought some beautiful spring red onions and more Meyer lemons for my current Panna Cotta obsession. I’m zesting them, squeezing them and freezing the zest and juice in 1 cup batches for later use.

The market lived up to it’s promises. We each received a red rose, a tasty little bit of chocolate and a great morning at the market!

If you’re headed up to the Russian River wine area just out of  Healdsburg area on a Sunday, leave a little earlier and and stop by the Windsor Farmers’ Market to check it out and pick up some picnic goodies. You’ll find a beautiful selection of breads, cheese, fresh fruits and veggies. You can also get a nice cup of coffee and enjoy a breakfast burrito or a muffin while you listen to some really great music.

Windsor Farmers’ Market

Old Downtown Windsor – Town Green

Sundays – May – Nov      10 AM – 1PM