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.
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 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.
Farmers Markets in Sonoma County:
(updated for 2018)
- Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, Wednesdays and Saturdays (year-round): 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road
- Santa Rosa Community Farmers Market at the Veterans Building, Wednesdays (year-round): 9 a.m.-1 p.m., plus Saturdays (year-round): 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 1351 Maple Ave.
- Santa Rosa Downtown Market, Wednesdays (May-August): 5-8:30 p.m., Courthouse Square, Fourth Street from Mendocino Avenue to E Street
- West End Farmers Market, Sundays (May-October): 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Railroad Square, Santa Rosa
Sundays (Memorial Day-October): 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 2255 Highway 1 (behind the community center)
Tuesdays (April-December, rain or shine): 3-6 p.m., 225 N. Cloverdale Blvd. (in the empty lot next to Plank)
Thursdays (June-August): 4:30-7:30 p.m., La Plaza Park (Old Redwood Highway and West Sierra Avenue)
Tuesdays (June-September): 4-7 p.m., Forestville's new downtown park, 6990 Front St.
- Tuesday (June-August, rain or shine): 9 a.m.-1 p.m., on the downtown Plaza
- Saturday (May-November, rain or shine): 8:30 a.m.-noon, West Plaza Parking Lot
Sunday (June-September): 10 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Patricks Church, 9000 Sonoma Highway 12
Saturdays (year-round): 9 a.m.-noon, Wells Fargo Bank, Oakmont Drive and White Oak Drive, Santa Rosa
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 Theatre District Farmers Market: Wednesdays (June-August), 4:30-8 p.m., on 2nd Street between B and D Streets.
- 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
Fridays (June-August): 5-8 p.m., library parking lot, 6250 Lynne Conde Way at Rohnert Park Expressway and State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park
Thursdays (May-September): 3-7 p.m., the Plaza, Guerneville
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.
Sundays (October-December): 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Boyes Boulevard at Highway 12, Boyes Hot Springs
- Sundays (April to mid-December): 10 a.m.-1 p.m., on Windsor Town Green, 701 McClelland Dr.
- Thursdays (June 7 through Sept. 6): 5-8 p.m., same location as Sunday
What to Get When:
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 after in fall, 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.