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Your one-stop shopping guide to North Bay farmer's markets


THE ADVENT of the summer season heralds not only 'squito bites, sand, and Sno-Cones, but also that particularly magical time when local produce growers showcase their flourishing yields. It's a great al fresco supermarket as they set up stands in parks and parking lots around the North Bay. Take the kids and an old woven basket and troll the stalls in search of the perfect peach, the freshest rosemary, the ripest tomatoes, the sweetest raspberries, and the tenderest spinach.

The character of the farmers' markets can differ as much as the produce offered. Some local markets excel at being community gathering places, where the kids can suck on a honey stick from the local beekeeper, kick off their sandals, and run to live music, and the adults can gape at outdoor art shows, attend cooking demonstrations, or get free gardening tips. And many farmers are becoming savvy about the value of the personal touch and the old-fashioned social exchange (that's sincere interaction as opposed to the perky salutation of an insincere, coat-hanger grinning checker who'll be fired if she ignores you). These days growers are likely to offer customers recipes, information, and the occasional anecdote.

Don't take a list; just let your senses guide you. Here's what's going on locally, according to the latest information from the California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets.--P.H.

Sonoma County

Cloverdale
Downtown Plaza
Saturdays, 7 a.m. to noon, June-October
707/894-4470

Healdsburg
West Plaza parking lot at North and Vine streets
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, May-December;
and the Plaza
Tuesdays, 4 to 6 p.m., June-October
707/431-1956

Petaluma
Walnut Park, Fourth and D streets
Saturdays, 2 to 5 p.m., May-October
707/762-0344

Santa Rosa
Oakmont, bank parking lot, White Oak and Oakmont drives
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, year-round
707/538-7023

Original Farmers' Market, Santa Rosa
Veterans Bldg., 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa
Saturdays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon, year-round
707/522-8629

Wednesday Night Market
Fourth and B streets, Wednesdays, 5 to 8:30 p.m., May 31-Sept. 6
707/524-2123

Sebastopol
New Town Plaza, Petaluma Avenue at McKinley Street
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May-November
707/522-9305

Sonoma Valley
Depot Museum parking lot,
First and Spain streets; Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon, year-round
and Sonoma Plaza at Napa Street;
Tuesdays, 5 to 8:30 p.m., April-October
707/538-7023

Marin County

Novato
Sherman and Grant streets
Tuesdays, 4 to 8 p.m., May-November
800/897-FARM

Pt. Reyes Station
Toby's Feed Barn, 15479 State Route 1
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May-October
415/633-9153

San Rafael
Civic Center, Hwy. 101 and San Pedro Road
Sundays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., year-round
800/897-FARM

Napa County

Calistoga
In front of the Sharpsteen Museum, 1311 Washington St.
Saturdays, 8 to 11 a.m., summer months
707/942-4769

Napa
First and Main streets
Thursdays, 4 to 8 p.m., May-September;
and West and Pearl streets
Tuesdays, 7:30 to noon, May-October
707/252-7142

St. Helena
Hwy. 29 and Grayson-Crane Park
Fridays, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., May-October
707/265-8602

Yountville
Compadres Bar & Grill parking lot,
6538 Washington St.
Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m.; year-round
707/257-8481

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From the July 19-25, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

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