We are now in the height of the summer season and the Napa Farmers Market is at capacity.

Current offerings at the Napa Farmers Market include stone fruits: peaches, plums, prunes, nectarines, pluots and the last of the year’s apricots.

On the vegetable side, you’ll find fresh corn, sweet peppers, The Patch’s Italian heritage romano beans, plus sweet and spicy onions, red, white and green. There are melons of many varieties, leafy greens of all kinds, beets, carrots, apples and pears and nearly every variety of cherry and heirloom tomato you can name.

Zucchini and pattypan squashes are everywhere, and soon we will welcome the winter squash varieties, plus pomegranates, persimmons and pumpkins.

You can pick up cauliflower, broccoli romanesco, basil, cut flowers for your dinner table and potted herbs for planting in your own culinary garden.

Every Tuesday and Saturday, vendors bring fresh local eggs; grass-fed beef and lamb; fresh-caught fish, prepared ahi poke; tamales and enchiladas; and hand-made pastries, pies, sweet and savory tarts, pot pies and cookies. Raw and infused honeys are available.

In addition, you can purchase fresh-baked artisan sourdough breads; gluten-free baked goods; flavored quick breads such as apple loaves and jalapeño cheddar corn bread; nut butters; seasoned and raw almonds and local walnuts; olive oils in many varieties; stuffed olives; jams; red and white balsamic vinegars and other ingredients.

Freshly harvested garlic and organically grown mushrooms abound at the market; put them together in a sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil from the market.

Microgreens are sprouting up everywhere, as are nursery seedlings and trees ready to plant in your gardens. I even spotted a loofa plant last Tuesday. Why not grow your own shower sponge?

Pastry chefs, just think what you can do with the market’s fragrant berries, rhubarb, fresh cheeses, yogurt, Bartlett pears and Gravenstein apples.

As summer vacation winds down, parents and children kick into back-to-school gear.

That means it’s time to think about nutritious lunchbox favorites like grapes, strawberries, apples, pears, plums and yogurt. While you’re at it, grab some natural peanut butter and fig jam for those make-at-home sandwiches.

Stop by the information booth and put your ideas and requests in our suggestion box. We welcome your feedback as we continue our efforts to round out our selection and enhance your shopping experience.

Coming up at the market: On Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m., chef Levi Mezick of Harvest Table will present a cooking demo using products from the market.

Enjoy tasty samples and take home the recipe. It’s also Seniors Day at the market: exercise the privilege of longevity and secure discounts on food items and crafts from participating vendors.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, the market will host a kids’ educational craft program.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, at 11 a.m., Model Bakery will perform a bread-shaping demonstration. Learn what goes into making those perfectly shaped baguettes, batards and boules.

Every first Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m., enjoy a free half-hour market tour with a local chef. Sign up at the information booth.

Warm Pear Salad

1 bunch fresh spinach

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Arbequina olive oil

1 French butter pear, quartered and cored

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh goat cheese

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Pear or green apple white balsamic vinegar

Remove thick spinach stems. Toss the leaves lightly in olive oil and put them in a skillet. Cover and place over medium-low heat until the leaves wilt slightly.

Slice the pear and add it to the spinach. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the spinach and pears among salad plates. Top with small chunks of goat cheese and some walnuts. Drizzle vinegar over each salad and serve warm.

Serves 4

Charlotte Billings is the manager of the Napa Farmers Market.

The Napa Farmers Market takes place Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., May through October, in the parkin

g lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. For market information and a schedule of upcoming events, visit

NapaFarmersMarket.org.

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