Cowbell to ring in Healdsburg season of freshness

It's cowbell time! As Saturday's opening day of the Healdsburg Farmers Market approaches, the weather promises to be just about perfect, with 79 degrees predicted for Saturday. When the opening cowbell sounds at 9 a.m., expect glorious flowers, crisp radishes, delicate leafy greens, sweet strawberries and so much more, as we shake off the last vestiges of winter and spring kicks into high gear.

This is the 36th year for the market.

Hank Wetzel will attend opening day with eggs from his happy hens, estate olive oil, asparagus, artichokes, radishes, Little Gem lettuces and herbs.

Nancy Skall will have her legendary strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb, along with nettles, parsley, sunchokes, beautiful peonies and more.

Bernier Farm has green garlic, fresh favas, asparagus, arugula, spring salad mix, braising mix, carrots and eggs.

Preston of Dry Creek attends this market, too, with nettles, kale, lettuces, favas, rhubarb, strawberries, pickled cabbage, cider vinegar and red wine vinegar.

Foggy River Farm is currently harvesting a wide variety of beautiful greens.

You'll find some of the season's first cherries, too, from Marc Busalacchi's family farm on the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley; he also brings avocados from a friend who grows them in San Luis Obispo.

Deergnaw Olive Oil is returning this season and Gourmet Growers of Petaluma has several types of mushrooms, including oyster and shiitake.

Valley Ford Cheese and Pugs Leap are the market's cheese vendors, John Ford Ranch has both corn-fed and grass-fed beef and Oz Ranch is back with their rabbit, raised in Dry Creek Valley.

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