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Holiday shopping at Santa Rosa farmers markets

Rain or shine, it is likely most of us will be heading out this morning for holiday food shopping. Whether you need all of Thanksgiving's fixings or are snagging a few last-minute items, our farmers markets are well prepared for crowds. Today is often one of the busiest market days of the year.

There are two options, the Redwood Empire Farmers Market, which takes place in the east parking lot of the Santa Rosa Veterans Building, and the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, located in the outdoor pavilion of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. Both markets open at 8:30 a.m. and wrap up at noon.

At the Redwood Empire Market, there will be fresh Dungeness crab from Santa Rosa Seafood, where you'll also find oysters, clams and other fish and shellfish. If you still need a turkey, Victorian Farmstead is bringing four or five to the market, along with a selection of local eggs, chicken, lamb, pork and beef. Felton Acres, which usually attends on Saturdays, will be there today, with a bounty of eggs along with chicken, lamb, goat and a few cured hams.

Triple T Ranch has a huge array of sweet and hot chiles and plenty of braising greens; they should have fresh sage and Italian parsley, too. Ortiz Farm has a diverse harvest that includes winter squash, braising greens, onions, potatoes, parsley and cilantro; they always have beautiful wreaths, as well, and fresh flowers.

French Garden Farm has a diverse harvest, including winter squash, several types of carrots and fresh herbs. Gourmet Growers has mushrooms, including crimini and portobello. Lambert Apples has just what you would expect them to have, as does Sonoma County Honey, and Neufeld Farms has its familiar array of dried fruits and nuts. Schletewitz Family Farms has seasonal fruit, including persimmons and pomegranates, along with sweet potatoes.

Pan-O-Rama Bakery is the market's bread vendor, Cook's Spices has a wide selection of organic spices and spice blends and there's olive oil from The Olive Press.

A fairly new vendor, Physis Food, offers both prepared foods, including soups and salsas, and prepared ingredients, like pumpkin puree, ready for you to use in pies and such. And it's all made using market produce.

If you work up an appetite, there's plenty to enjoy on the spot, including Ethiopian food from Ya Martha, southern food from Red Rose Catering and soup and sandwiches from Chai's Gourmet.

The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market has fresh chestnuts, chanterelle mushrooms and quince from Sonoma Coast Organic Produce, likely their last market appearance of the year. Bohemian Well Being Farm has specialty mushrooms, including delicious maitakes.

Salmon Creek Ranch has whole duck, duck breast, legs and racks of goat and a big selection of grass fed beef, including prime rib roast, New York steak and filet mignon. Dreamcatcher Ranch has lamb.


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