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Tierra Vegetables Farm taking a winter break

In a few days, Tierra Vegetables Farm of Santa Rosa will take a winter break, closing this Monday, Dec. 23, and reopening Jan. 2.

Until then, the farm stand will be open daily.

The farm's current fresh harvest includes Brussels sprouts, colorful cauliflower, salsify, parsnips, sunchokes, carrots, celery root, baby beets, chard, leeks, white onions, garlic, potatoes and several varieties of kale. There may be puntarelle, a winter green related to chicory, if any made it through the recent hard frost.

The stand also has several varieties of cornmeal — yellow, orange, red, blue and black — ideal for polenta, corn bread, muffins and such. They have plenty of their popular chipotle powder and chipotle salt, along with other dried chiles, chile powders and chile-spice kits for mole and enchiladas. They have expanded their selection of chile salts and have added smoked onion salt, along with their popular smoked onions, which make a great snack. They have several types of pepper jams and hot sauces now, too.

There's fresh hominy, hominy grits, four varieties of popcorn, many varieties of dried heirloom beans, sauerkraut and parching corn for making atole, a traditional beverage from Mexico and Central America.

You'll also find gifts from the farm, including yarn, wool, hand-woven wool blankets, aprons and a selection of culinary items.

Tierra Vegetables currently attends just one farmers market, the Ferry Plaza market on Saturday in San Francisco. They also operate a year-round subscription program, with the next quarter starting on Jan. 2. It runs weekly through March and costs $184 for a total of eight boxes, picked up at the farm.

Tierra Vegetables farm stand is adjacent to the historic White Barn, which was moved to the farm in late 2011. The farm itself and the farm stand are on land owned by the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District. The original parcel included about 17 acres, but this summer four acres went to the expansion of Highway 101 and its on- and off-ramps, currently under construction. The James family — Wayne James, his sister Lee James and his wife, Evie Truxaw — has a longterm lease to farm here.

Business is down since construction began in mid-summer due, largely, to confusion about how, exactly, to get to the farm now that the ramps we've all used for so long are closed. But it's not hard to find the farm, just a tad confusing. It is easiest, I think, to take Fulton Road over 101 and then simply turn left onto Airport Boulevard. The farm will be on your right. You can also take Old Redwood Highway north to Airport Boulevard and, again, turn left.

Tierra Vegetables, located at 651 Airport Blvd. in Santa Rosa, was founded in the late 1970s by the James family. The farm is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all winter, no matter the weather. For more information, including about the farm's CSA program, visit tierravegetables.com.


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