News and notes from the Napa Farmers Market. The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., May through October, in the parking lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. 

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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 …

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.

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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…

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.

Ah, the smells of summer in Northern California. The sweet, briny air of the ocean mixed with eucalyptus and redwoods as you approach the coast. The intoxicating smell of a fresh tomato just off the vine. And of course, the irresistible aroma of meat searing over an open flame. We are now of…

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Happy National Martini Day to you all. June 19 is National Martini Day. A classic martini is made with gin or vodka, a splash of dry vermouth and an olive or lemon-twist garnish.

Although Europeans are credited with the discovery of the strawberry in 1588, America made the discovery possible. At that time, the Algonquin peoples already had deemed the seventh full moon of the year, the June full moon, the Strawberry Moon — so named because it marked peak season for wi…

As much as I love cool-season produce, it’s time to move on. What better way to do it than with stone fruit? Peaches and nectarines are now available at the Napa Farmers Market, and they are delicious.

For many of us, it’s back to work today, after what was hopefully a fun-filled three-day weekend. Traditionally, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer.

It’s the time of year to haul out the dusty grill from the garage and start the season of outdoor dinners featuring fresh local produce shared with family and friends. In Northern California, Memorial Day weekend typically launches the barbecue season. However, in most years, summer crops ar…

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Hello, people with mothers! Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday, May 13. In five days. Five. If you are reading this column and have absolutely no idea what you will do for the mother in your life, you are in luck.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican Army’s triumph over the French on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. The Mexican Army was greatly outnumbered, so the victory provided an important symbolic boost for the Mexican government and the resistance.

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Spring has sprung in the Napa Valley and the first two weeks of the Napa Farmers Market season are successfully behind us. The turnout for the first few markets has been great, and we’re pleased with the support for the later market hours and the return of live music.

Chef Mike Lata of Fig in Charleston, South Carolina, was recently quoted in Food & Wine magazine as saying, “Cooking in the spring is like make-up sex after the bitter fight with winter.” That quote gave me a chuckle, but he’s right. Spring is a chance to lighten up and have some fun in …

When the wildfires began to subside and we began to plan for recovery, the Napa Valley wine business came to an interesting and provocative conclusion: that in asking for help, it was OK to ask for peoples’ business.

If you have a hard time finding the perfect holiday gifts for friends, remember that the ideal place to shop is at the Napa Farmers’ Market. Think about it. Everything is local. Everything is handmade. Everything is awesome.

My original intention was to write about the wonderful and much anticipated change of season to the cooler weather of the fall. However, after the tragedy that has befallen the Napa Valley community, I decided to change my focus slightly.

Our traumatized community has some recovery to do. Even those of us who suffered no lasting damage won’t soon forget the emotions we felt about possibly losing our homes and the stressful days of not knowing what the future might hold.

People who know me know I’m a yogurt fan. Maybe “addict” is more accurate. Forgive the double negative, but I never don’t have yogurt in the fridge. That would be like running out of coffee, which, in my world, is a crisis.

At this time of year, the Napa Farmers Market is brimming with all varieties of eggplant. This is the season to enjoy eggplant, and my favorite way is the northern Italian version of the classic eggplant parmigiana.

I’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes for several months. Now I am starting to think about preserving some of these wonderful veggies (or fruits if you want to be technical) for the months when fresh, locally grown tomatoes are not available.

People start their own business for many reasons. Some say they didn’t want to work for anyone else. I just wanted to create tasty cookies and was hoping they would make people happy.

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