In midsummer, the Sebastopol Farmers Market is thriving, with waves of both shoppers and tourists arriving throughout the day. Lately, it is rare not to see several photographers and videographers filming the steady flow of colorfully dressed visitors and taking closeups of summer’s harvest.
Everything seems to be in season at this point, with the exception of poblano chiles, which have not appeared, but there are Padrons and sweet peppers.
There are also plenty of locally grown tomatoes. The Patch has had Early Girls and hybrid beefsteaks (perfect for salsa) for several weeks and is now beginning to harvest a colorful array of heirloom tomatoes, as well. This Sonoma farm also has onions, Romano beans, Blue Lake green beans, cucumbers, summer squash, basil and more.
Cliff Silva of Ma and Pa’s Garden typically sells out of his delicious potatoes within the market’s first hour and most of his tomatoes, deeply colorful and deeply flavored, with dense, silky flesh, are gone well before noon. Sometimes his small zucchini go quickly, too. Next Sunday, there will be big cabbages, too, perfect for making sauerkraut.
The Peach Farm, located in Winters, has a big selection of heirloom tomatoes, along with some good hybrids and lots of stone fruit.
Colorful cherry tomatoes are among Laguna Farm’s diverse harvest; they also have some of the only cilantro at the market, though sometimes New Family Farm has some, as well.
New Family Farm, First Light Farm and Orchard Farms also have diverse harvests, with lots of sturdy greens, delicate lettuces, sweet carrots, radishes, cauliflower and more.
Earthworker Farm continues to do a brisk business with its specialty salad mixes, sprouts and micro-greens.
Triple T Farm’s harvest includes what may be some of the year’s last Santa Rosa plums, small-leafed arugula, scallions, Padrons, squashes, hot sauce, serranos and eggs.
Twin Hill Farms is in the midst of its stone-fruit season. Singing Frog Farms still has those giant rutabagas, along with lettuces, squashes, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers and more.
Rainbow’s End Farm has several varieties of plums, remarkably delicious eggs and surprises every week. If you linger at the booth, sipping, perhaps, an herbal agua fresca, you’ll get a sense of the wild-crafted magic farmer Nan Kohler weaves as she shares her depth of knowledge with those who ask.
The market has several berry vendors, including the Sebastopol Berry Farm. Tom Noble of Armstrong Valley Farm has delicious strawberries, and then there are Middleton Farm’s, which are legendary, a variety the name of which farmer Nancy Skall will not disclose. Laguna Farms also has strawberries.
One World Sausages, Black Sheep Farm, Owen Family Farm, Pepper Ranch Poultry, Green Star Farm and Dave Legro’s Bumblebee Fishing Vessel are the primary protein vendors, with everything from pet treats, pet food, bacon, sausages and chicken feet to grass- and pasture-fed chicken, goat, lamb, beef and wild-caught local salmon. Several vendors have eggs, and there are delicious goat cheeses from Javier Salmon. Hector Alvarez sell his honey, eggs, dried chiles and fresh vegetables .
Terra Savia of Hopland sells its estate olive oil, some of the finest produced in the state, along with olive oil soap, olives, Terra Savia wines and more.
Chris Baker’s Exoticals are in glorious bloom right now; if you love orchids, you must see this collection. His dahlias are as big as dinner plates.