News and notes from the Napa Farmers Market. The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., May through October, in the parking lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. 

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It never ceases to amaze me how many changes the Napa Farmers Market can go through in a short period of time. Some of the change is a result of different seasons, such as the asparagus farmers only showing up in the spring. The start of the school year will affect some of us as shoppers and…

It’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday, and Robert and I are setting up our stand for the Napa Farmers Market. At this time of day, we enjoy the lovely coastal morning fog in Napa, which will soon be followed by sunny skies. Around us there is the bustle of each vendor preparing for the day.

Harvest 2019 has begun. Sparkling wine grapes started just a couple of weeks ago, and soon the Napa Valley will be in full grape-harvest mode.

It is now public knowledge that the Napa Farmers Market will be leaving its “home” of the past four seasons at the South Napa Century Center. While it has been exciting to see the complex come to life as each new tenant opened its doors, it has been doubly exciting to see the Napa community …

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Ratatouille is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Its versatility alone makes it a winner. You can serve it hot, cold or at room temperature. It can be the main attraction or a supporting player. Top it with goat cheese, fold it into an omelet or use it as a bruschetta topping. However you …

The first week of August is once again a cause for celebration and recognition. The week of Aug. 4 through 10 is the 20th annual observance of National Farmers Market Week. The summer harvest is in full swing across the country, so what better time to focus on farmers markets and the custome…

It’s not a big secret that I love to cook. Give me an entire day in the kitchen and not only will I prepare something delicious to share, but I’ll enjoy every minute of it.

Many years ago, before finding my true calling as a wine geek (and farmers market supporter), I studied economics in school. Economics requires a student to see communities as organic networks for sharing the limited resources available.

On any given evening in our house, my wife and I are likely involved in some debate or another, weighing in on some of the most pressing questions of our time. Should we open a Chardonnay or a bottle of bubbly? Do we slice the pizza into squares or into triangles? Are we having apple pie à l…

In the popular television series Game of Thrones, the phrase, “Winter is coming” has multiple meanings, but it generally means the residents need to be prepared as something bad is going to happen in the land of Westeros. Luckily for us, summer is here in the land of Napa Valley and that mea…

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It’s almost the Fourth of July, which to me signifies that summer is in full swing. In the Napa Valley, as in many parts of the country, that means spending time outside and grilling. And, lo and behold, the Napa Farmers Market is here to help you with both.

On last year’s Fourth of July, the small town of Guinda in the Capay Valley (in northwest Yolo County) hosted the “world’s tiniest” Fourth of July parade. It consisted of a gaggle of children on a tractor-trailer, with a couple of bikes and a golf cart. We all filed to our local volunteer fi…

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We’re getting close to the time when my favorite summer veggie will be available at the market. I will purchase and cook this delectable gift of Mother Nature even after my wife has waved the surrender flag and asked that I just make it for myself. Yep, sweet corn season is about to start.

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Wild salmon season has officially begun on the West Coast, which means millions of fish are returning to their birthplace habitats to spawn and complete the cycle of life.

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We grill at our house year-round. In my opinion, just about anything tastes better with a little bit of char. The smokey, caramely sweetness that grilling provides is hard to attain with other forms of cooking.

There are a lot of things that make me really happy. Seeing the first robin of the year and the lovely first blooms from my roses will do it. Or when I walk in the door after being gone for five minutes and my dog acts like he hasn’t seen me in years. And when I pull up to the Napa Farmers M…

Anybody else remember Vanessi’s, the long-gone Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood? I lived nearby for a few years, in my 20s, and I loved going to Vanessi’s and eating at the counter so I could watch the cooks make zabaglione to order. They would put Marsala, suga…

Yes, that’s right. This Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day. Now, I know there are some procrastinators who are reading this and thinking, “Mother’s Day is this weekend?” And now you might be wracking your brain trying to think of a game plan for the day and a cool gift to get the woman who has …

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Because of the effect weather can have on growing almost every crop, you can’t be too certain when a particular crop will arrive at the Napa Farmers Market. The market asks all farmers to provide the dates they will be at the market as part of the annual application process. This gives us a …

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Now that we are moving into spring, it’s time to resume your weekly Napa Farmers Market ritual. What better way to do your part for our big blue marble than to get some locally sourced fruits and vegetables? Your planet will thank you, and the local producers will thank you for supporting wh…

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It’s the time of year when farmers look around and see cotyledons everywhere. Cotyledons are a plant’s first “leaves.” These baby leaves are the plant’s first source of energy and look markedly different from the true leaves a plant will produce as it grows.

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I am a self-proclaimed egg-o-maniac. I love eggs. I adore the petite speckled quail egg and I savor the hearty duck egg. There is no better start to my day than cracking open a beautiful farm-fresh egg and seeing that orange orb.

I have to confess: Asian cooking scares me a little. I’m a professional food writer and fearless eater, but I’ve never developed confidence around Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Indian cooking techniques. As much as I love eating food from these cultures, I’m much more comfortable cooking in the…

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the California Small Farms Conference in Davis in part because of a scholarship awarded to me by the California Alliance of Farmers Markets.

With St. Patrick’s Day in our sights, I’m thinking green. Maybe you are, too. Probably you’re wondering what green thing you can pull out of your closet to wear so you don’t get pinched. I’m thinking, as I always do, about food. Green as in greens: kale, cabbage, turnips greens, mustard gree…

In many parts of the world, one heck of a party is underway. The feasts and celebrations of Mardi Gras have built to a crescendo, but by this time tomorrow a more virtuous tone will have settled across the Christian world as Ash Wednesday kicks off the start of Lent.

My favorite television show, the PBS NewsHour, had an interview recently with Sandeep Jauhar, a cardiologist who has just published a new book about the heart. Called “Heart: A History,” the book is written for the lay person who wants to know more developments in the field of cardiology. At…

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On the tail of a wet storm that drenched our state’s still-thirsty soils, I want to share a farmer’s relationship to rain. My husband and I have farmed through one of California’s greatest droughts and through one of its wettest years. Rain, and the lack of it, brings us challenges and solut…

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About this time of year, we begin missing the halcyon days of summer, when we don’t have to plan for wet weather, and an array of delicious stone fruit and fresh berries is always within easy reach. However, winter brings its own rewards —a respite from the heat, and a bounty of colorful, ve…

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Hail, Caesar! Or should I say Cesare? Creamy, cheesy, with a little acid/spice kick and a healthy dose of umami, the Caesar salad delivers one of the most popular flavor combinations of the past century.

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I see the Napa Farmers Market as our community’s market. It is more than just a place to purchase fresh, local produce year-round on Saturdays. At the Napa Farmers Market, we build community around food.

I have a pomegranate tree — the trees perform well in Napa Valley — and mine blooms profusely. For weeks it produces an eye-catching cloud of carmine-red blossoms. But the flowers set almost no fruit. Who said these trees do well in Napa? Clearly, I’m doing something wrong.

I love the holiday season. I’ll admit it, I am a total foodie and somewhat of a pig. While I pretty much like most foods made with quality ingredients, I love winter foods. Pomegranates, persimmons, apples, walnuts, broccoli, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, the list goes on.

When I found out we were going to continue the Napa Farmers Market year-round I was really excited. I’m a jewelry vendor at the market, so now I would have a venue for sales during the winter and spring, before the regular summer market resumed. I would also get to see my favorite customers …

Mid-November is usually my time to start hibernating. Typically, the farmers markets that I do for my company, Annie’s Cookies, have ended so I can focus on all my other chores at this crazy time of year.

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As the days grow shorter and a chill begins to linger in the air, my favorite season has arrived: soup weather. Top three reasons I love soup: 1) it’s a delicious way to eat vegetables; 2) it’s fun to make; and 3) it’s cost effective. The best news of all is that the Napa Farmers Market is n…

Years ago, after relocating to Napa, my wife and I joined a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm program. At the beginning of the season, we paid a fixed fee to join, and then each week we were able to pick up a box of fresh produce.

Coming up on Saturday, Nov. 24, is our first ever Holiday Bazaar. We thought an event like this would be the perfect way to showcase some of our vendors who sell items perfect for holiday giving. This is also the first market of our inaugural winter market season so it will be an historic ev…

Of all the holidays, Halloween is my favorite. The weather is cool, the air smells fresh and there are tasty treats everywhere. Plus dressing up as someone (or something) you aren’t is definitely a plus.

Every market day, volunteers collect food donations directly from farmers and generous customers who drop off their contribution at the Education Station. On Tuesdays, volunteers from Waste Not Napa Valley deliver donations to local organizations, including The Table and NEWS Domestic Violen…

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October has to be the most exciting month for me at the Napa Farmers Market. It is so great to have fall finally arrive and to see all those pumpkins at the market. Pumpkins of all sizes. HUGE pumpkins, medium-sized ones and especially those cute little mini pumpkins and gourds.

Being divided is easy. I can prove it. Just give me five minutes of conversation, sitting comfortably, over a nice cup of coffee, and I guarantee you that I can find a topic that puts us completely at odds — you, dear reader, and me, diametrically opposed.

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Chile peppers can be a hot commodity literally and figuratively, but they also can be on the mild side. On a recent walk through the farmers market I discovered our farmers carry a delightful range of flavors and heat levels from red hot Serrano and Jalapeno chiles to mild green Gypsy, Jimmy…

Coffee. For those of us hooked on this dark elixir, just the mention of the word has a physically (or is it spiritually?) nourishing effect. Did you feel it when reading the word above? From the aroma of fresh grounds, to the unmistakable jolt of the day’s first sip, the humble coffee bean p…

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I like toast — who doesn’t? — but I adore bruschetta. Never mind that they are one and the same; to me everything sounds better in Italian. Maybe you think of bruschetta as something you eat for lunch, or as an appetizer with a glass of wine, but I have bruschetta for breakfast, too. It’s ju…

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There are so many aspects of the changing seasons at the Napa Farmers Market that I anticipate with great gusto: the new incoming fruits and vegetables, the change in temperature, humidity and even the scent of the air. Each season, it seems, attracts a new kind of shopper at the market, too.

Pears are a very underappreciated fruit. I will usually reach for an apple over a pear. I basically psyche myself out about pears, telling myself they are too mushy or too mealy for me to eat and they won’t have much flavor anyway, right?

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School is officially back in session. Parents may breathe a sigh of relief, while teachers work on getting back into that early morning wake-up routine. It is also the time of year when we begin to see a variety of crisp, just-picked apples at the Napa Farmers Market.

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Farmers markets have been an addiction of mine for 40 years. The first time I bought food straight from the farmer, I was a college sophomore studying in France. I can still picture that market in Aix-en-Provence four decades later. My mother served us fruits and vegetables, plenty of them, …

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The Napa Farmers Market wants to make fresh fruits and veggies accessible and affordable for all of its customers. This is why the market offers a Market Match program to individuals and families with CalFresh (“food stamp”) benefits. The farmers market doubles each CalFresh dollar a shopper…

I recently had reason to look back at my files from the 2015 Napa Farmers Market season, our last season on First Street in Napa’s Oxbow District. What a difference a few years and a location change have made.

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