Thursday, May 19, 2011

West Sacramento Farmer's Market

My love affair with farmer’s markets began with a trip to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market in San Francisco just after I graduated from college. Never had I seen such an array of attractive- no, more like immaculate- produce in my life. Nor was I previously aware that fruit could taste as sweet and satisfying as the samples that were handed out by eager vendors. Tiny apricots that popped like bursts of sunshine in my mouth. Dark, tiny strawberries with an intense flavor far outshining anything the grocery store could dream of selling.

After my discovery, I was pleased to learn about more accessible, nearby options. First, I visited the market at Davis, where neighborhood food vendors like the Hotdogger, local musicians and enthusiastic student protesters all created a strong sense of market attendance being a community affair.

Last summer, I took an out-of-town friend to the downtown afternoon market at Caesar Chavez park, where we selected a bag of perfect pears for a crisp so delicious we later declared it superior even to the apple version. Despite the melting heat of a late-summer heat wave, we were rewarded for our market sojourn with the discovering of outstanding locally produced Bariani Olive Oil and an unexpected performance by the Sacramento Ballet promoting their current production.

Each market offers unique products, from home-spun, hand-dyed wool in Point Reyes to burdock root and tomato juice in Portland. There were disappointments along the way, like the meager offerings at a disappointing Elk Grove market that supposedly lasted to “dusk”- yet was already starting to pack up when I arrived at 6pm. But though I traveled near and far, I always hoped that my own community in West Sacramento would be able to muster up their own market someday.

Today my dream came true. I give you the first West Sacramento Farmer's Market:

Fresh lemonade, a bargain at $1 a cup (above)
and free market bucks if you ride your bike (bike parking shown below)

Gorgeous Raineer cherries (above) and
hot house heirloom tomatoes grown here in West Sac (below)

Fresh flower bouquets (above) and
Oyster mushrooms at the mushroom stand (below)

Free samples of bean sprouted quinoa (above) and
French Icicle radishes from Dave's Pumpkin Patch (below)

Live music by Mike McGowan and the Mighty Delta
Roadmasters (all local West Sac residents except one)

Inside my market basket: green onions, heirloom tomatoes,
apricots, and green leaf lettuce

Dinner at the Hotdogger (featuring market heirloom tomato slices
and Maui Onion mustard). Delicious and a deal at buy one, get one half off!

Above: the dessert menu for the Eatery (scheduled to open in July by Target)
and their Strawberry Shortcake below

We have a great time and hope that the Farmer's Market has found a permanent home here! Thanks to all the fantastic vendors and city officials who finally made this dream a reality.


  1. Here's to the success of the West Sac Farmer's Market. Enjoy!

  2. Awesome! I love farmer's markets ever since I started going to them in SLO:) Guess I must go to this one now!


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