There’s a reason Sonoma County is famed for its agricultural bounty, as you’ll see when you explore the region’s many farmers’ markets and discover the infinite variety of local produce, artisan specialties and heirloom treasures.
In spring, you’ll find baby artichokes, red-and-white striped beets, young garlic, baby favas, tender lettuces, colorful cauliflowers, broccoli rabe, a rainbow array of herbs, and bouquets of edible flowers.
Then the apples appear on the trees, starting with Sebastopol’s famed Gravenstein variety with its tart, juicy flavor. Before you know it, berries are plentiful, and then the summer stone fruits arrive, in a bounty of apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries, and plums. Soon, gardens brim with near-endless zukes and cukes, and vines grow heavy with tomatoes that might be red or yellow or green or even black.
Just as this cornucopia fades away, another spills over in squash and melons and corn and pumpkins, nuts and grapes and beans. Even in the quietest days of winter, you can relish an abundance of local broccoli and bok choy and lettuces, chard and endive and mushrooms.
Although the farmers’ markets center around locally grown produce, they offer far more for a discerning palate and community minded clientele. People come to buy a juicy peach or a mouthwatering tomato, but also a fresh-baked red velvet cupcake from Crumb Hither Gourmet Cupcakes and Specialty Baking of Santa Rosa, or handcrafted pancetta from Franco’s One World Sausage Co. of Healdsburg.
They seek out seedlings and flowers from Daffodils, Dahlias and Lilies Oh My of Santa Rosa. They swoon over beautiful hand carved wood bowls from By the ElvinMoon of Petaluma, and stock up on fresh roasted coffee and beans from Run Around Brew of Sebastopol.
Locals and visitors also love Sonoma County farmers’ markets as delightful places to meet their friends and hang out, listen to live music from homegrown talent like the Chicory Almond band, or just watch the world go by. These are wonderful places, too, to grab a meal, from food trucks like the one from Rosso Pizzeria, with the pizzas baked in a mobile wood-burning oven.
For each unique experience, one thing unites most of the destinations – they are Certified Farmers’ Markets, meaning vendors are required to produce their own products (no trucked in merchandise here!).
Some markets operate from spring and into fall, while some run year-round. You know you want to go, so here’s how to do it.
Here’s a list of the farmers markets in Sonoma County, with all dates, times and addresses (updated for 2017):
Bodega Bay Community Farmers Market
Sundays (Memorial Day-October): 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 2255 Highway 1 (behind the Community Center)
Cloverdale Community Market & Exchange
Tuesdays (April 4-Dec. 19, rain or shine): 3-6 p.m., 225 North Cloverdale Blvd. (in the empty lot next to Plank)
Cotati Community Farmers' Market
Thursdays (June-August): 4:30-7:30 p.m., La Plaza Park (Old Redwood Highway and West Sierra Avenue)
Forestville Farmers Market
Tuesdays (June-October): 4-7 p.m., Forestville's new downtown park, 6990 Front St.
- Saturday (May-November): 8:30 a.m.-noon, West Plaza Parking Lot
- Wednesday (June-October): 4-7 p.m., in the Cerri Lot on North Street between Grove and Foss streets
Kenwood Community Farmers Market
Sunday (June-September): 10 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Patricks Church, 9000 Sonoma Highway 12
Occidental Farmers Market
Fridays (June-October): 4 p.m.-dusk, downtown Occidental
- Petaluma East Side Farmers Market: Tuesdays (year-round), 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Lucchesi Park, 320 N. McDowell Blvd.
- Petaluma Walnut Park Farmers Market: Saturdays (May 13-Nov. 18), 2-5:30 p.m., in Walnut Park, on the corner of D Street and Petaluma Boulevard
- Petaluma Theatre District Farmers Market: Wednesdays (June 7-Aug. 30), 4:30-8 p.m., on 2nd Street between B and D Streets.
Rohnert Park Farmers Market
Fridays (June-August): 5-8 p.m., Rohnert Park Plaza, 500 City Center Drive (library parking lot)
- Wednesdays (year-round): 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 1351 Maple Ave.
- Saturdays (year-round): 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., in the same location as the Wednesday market
Sebastopol Farm Market
Sundays (year-round): 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., in Sebastopol Plaza on Weeks Way in downtown Sebastopol
- Tuesdays (May-September): Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers Market, 5:30 p.m.-dusk, in front of and behind City Hall on the Sonoma Plaza
- Fridays (Year-Round): Sonoma Valley Certified Farmer’s Market, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in the Arnold Field parking lot at 241 First St. W.
The Springs Community Farmers' Market
Sundays (July 9-Sept. 10): 4-7 p.m., Larson Park, 329 DeChene Ave., Boyes Hot Springs
- Sundays (April to mid-December): 10 a.m.-1 p.m., on Windsor Town Green, 701 McClelland Dr.
- Thursdays (mid-June through August): 5-8 p.m., same location as Sunday