Summer is prime time for farmers markets

SUMMER IS PRIME TIME FOR FARMERS MARKETS, in our region and all across America.

The USDA’s 17th annual National Farmers Market Week is August 7-13, celebrating the role of farmers markets in local economies. The markets create local jobs; return more of their sales to the local economy than grocery stores; and provide consumers with fresh, healthy food from local farmers. A U.S. Postal Service stamp, “Farmers Markets Forever,” honors National Farmers Market Week.

Fresh, local fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry and eggs are sold at farmers markets in our region: Foothill Farmers Market, Lincoln Farmers Market, Jardin del Rio in South Nevada County, the Nevada County Certified Grower’s Market, Grass Valley Thursday Night Market and the Nevada City Farmers Market, among others.

Our region also has farm stands such as Bierwagens Donner Trail Fruit in Chicago Park, Twin Peaks Orchard in Newcastle, and Boorinakis Harper Ranch, Ikeda’s and Machado Orchards in Auburn.

BriarPatch Co-op in Grass Valley, California Organics in Nevada City, Mother Truckers north of Nevada City, Newcastle Produce, New Earth Market in Yuba City and Chico, and Tahoe Central Market in Kings Beach all specialize in fresh, local produce and meats. Tahoe Food Hub has opened a produce store in Alpine Meadows.

HERE’S WHAT’S NEW AT SOME OF THE MARKETS THIS SUMMER:

The Grass Valley Thursday Night Market is being revitalized. For the first time, it features a wine-and-beer garden on Mill Street that includes local wines, says Nicole Arbaugh, a board member of the Grass Valley Downtown Association, downtown merchant at Stucki Jewelers and market organizer. The wineries pouring include Avanguardia, Sierra Starr, Smith and Lucchesi.

Visitors can buy fresh fruit and vegetables from a certified farmers market; listen to live music from popular local bands, such as the Earles of Newtown (July 14), Beaucoup Chapeaux (July 21) and SoLS (July 28); enjoy street entertainers such as jugglers, fusion dance and belly dancing; and sample food from local restaurants and food stands.

In South Nevada County, Jardin del Rio (Spanish for “garden of the river”) is a jewel when it comes to farmers markets. It is redolent of the iconic Chino Farm north of San Diego, which has a farm stand but also is a longtime supplier to famous restaurants such as Chez Panisse.

Jardin del Rio’s fruits and veggies are grown on Rincon Way in South Nevada County, thanks to farmer-entrepreneur Aubrey Young and her team, who epitomize “generation organic.”

This season Jardin del Rio is offering 83 different varieties of tomatoes (most are heirloom). Other affordable produce includes 38 different peppers, 12 varieties of eggplant, exotic melons (and the standards, too), peaches, plutos, okra, onions, garlic, cabbage, peas, carrots, tomatillo, Honey & Pearl corn that tastes as great as it sounds, organic raw unfiltered honey, and other various types of marvelous produce.

Jardin del Rio also will open a fruit stand in the campgrounds during California WorldFest on July 14-17, featuring fresh, local fruits and veggies.

The Nevada City Farmers Market on Union Street in the historic downtown features over 30 vendors on Saturday mornings. The market was launched in 2007 under the leadership of Reinette Senum, a former Nevada City mayor and co-owner of the popular Los Mineros taqueria.

FOOTHILL FARMERS MARKET has a dozen markets including:
Saturday Auburn (Courthouse) and Rocklin
Sunday Granite Bay
Tuesday Roseville
Wednesday Auburn (DeWitt Center)
Thursday High Hand Nursery in Loomis
FoothillFarmersMarket.com

GRASS VALLEY THURSDAY NIGHT MARKET
Thursdays through July 28, 5:30-9 p.m. in historic downtown Grass Valley.
HistoricGrassValley.com

JARDIN DEL RIO
Saturdays & Sundays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sierra Knolls Bear River Tasting Room, Auburn
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3 p.m.-6 p.m., Combie Plaza, Auburn
JardinDelRio.org

LINCOLN FARMERS MARKET
Thursdays 5-8 p.m.
F & 5th Streets, downtown Lincoln.
LincolnChamber.com

NEVADA CITY FARMERS MARKET
Saturdays 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Union St. in historic downtown Nevada City.
NCFarmersMarket.org

NEVADA COUNTY CERTIFIED GROWERS’ MARKET
Saturdays 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. North Star House, Grass Valley
TheGrowersMarket.com

TAHOE CITY FARMERS MARKET
Thursdays 8 a.m.-1 p.m Commons Beach
TahoeCityFarmersMarket.com

TRUCKEE FARMERS MARKET
Tuesdays 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Truckee River Regional Park
Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 12047 Donner Pass Rd.

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