If you typically shop at a farmers market on Wednesday, you'll have to make some adjustments this week and next but it's not such a bad thing. You'll need to attend on another day or search out a different market, which always leads to delightful discoveries.
Markets that take would take place on Wednesday are closed today for Christmas and for New Year's next Wednesday. With a little advance planning, you'll be fine.
The easiest option is to stock up at a Saturday farmers market. In Santa Rosa, those include the Oakmont Farmers Market (6585 Oakmont Drive, 9 a.m. to noon), the Santa Rosa Community Farmers Market (1341 Maple Ave., at the Veterans Building, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (50 Mark West Springs Road, at the Wells Fargo Center, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
In Sonoma, the Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market (Depot Park, First St. W., Sonoma, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) takes place Friday morning, as usual.
Another excellent option is the Petaluma East Side Farmers Market, which takes place year-round on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Community Center (320 N. McDowell Blvd.). The market is operated by the same organization, Agricultural Community Events Farmers Markets, that operates the Santa Rosa Community Farmers Market.
The Forestville Farmers Market is open year-round, as well, on Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Russian River Vineyards (5700 Gravenstein Highway N., Forestville).
The Sebastopol Certified Farmers Market is open year-round on Sundays in the town plaza, on the corner of Petaluma Avenue and McKinley Street from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Santa Rosa Seafood (946 Santa Rosa Ave.), which attends the market at the Veterans Building on Wednesday and Saturday, has a retail store near downtown Santa Rosa. If you typically get, say, Dungeness crab at the market, you can stop by the store, though it is a good idea to call first (280-2285). They are generally closed on Monday and Tuesday but have adjusted their hours to accommodate holiday needs. For more information, visit santarosaseafood.com.
Greenstring Farm Store (3571 Old Adobe Road, Petaluma) is another option, though they will be closed today. They may be open New Year's Day and should also be open New Year's Eve, though as of press time a decision had not been made. It is dependent on the weather.
Before you head out, give them a call at 778-7500. Typically, they are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter. Their December harvest includes Brussel sprout leaves, celery, cabbage, baby bok choy, sorrel, celery root, beets, broccoli, leeks, kale, chard, mustard greens, sweet peppers, hot peppers, carrots, winter squash, pumpkins, onions, potatoes, lemons, Mandarin oranges, persimmons, quince and fresh herbs. Their prices are some of the lowest around and they also have a great selection of pantry items. If you want eggs, get there early in the day.
Currently, all farmers markets are awash in winter crops, with outstanding salad greens, braising greens, root vegetables, winter squashes and winter fruits, including persimmons and citrus. We're starting to see a few more eggs, too, as hens have been laying again. Brussels sprouts are excellent this year and best if you buy them still on the stalk. EarthWorker Farm, which you'll find in Sebastopol, has a new crop of yacon, which is delicious both raw and cooked. Small-leaf arugula has benefited from the cold snap and has a lovely sweetness mingling with its characteristic bitterness.