Vegetables on display at a farmers market in Sonoma County

Sonoma Farmers Markets and Farms

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If you're visiting the town of Sonoma, don't miss the opportunity to sample just-off-the-farm veggies and fruits, along with delicious locally-made products, at farmers markets and food stands.

Strawberries on display at a Sonoma County farmers market

Farmers Markets

Sonoma has three outstanding farmers markets:

The year-round Friday morning Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market is extremely popular with locals, and it's a great place for visitors to put together a picnic for a day's outing. Open since 1985, it offers certified fruits and veggies, locally-produced foods (including Vivo Vinegar, Capay Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Primavera Tamales and many more), baked goods, flowers and plants, and numerous hand-made craft items.

From the first Tuesday in May to the last Tuesday in September, Sonoma's Tuesday Night Market is the place to gather in Sonoma. Presented by City of Sonoma in partnership with the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Tuesday Night Market features close to 60 vendors offering outstanding produce, prepared foods, flowers, and crafts.

Located just outside Sonoma city limits, The Springs Community Farmers' Market brings a rich bounty of agricultural produce to a plaza just off Highway 12. This seasonal market is held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays, from mid-May to November. It features amazing veggies and fruit, fresh fish, flowers, delicious hummus, Pakistani dips and Roti, shaved ice, ceviche, jewelry, soap, salves, decorative art, and more.

A piece of cheddar from Vella Cheese Company in Sonoma

Other Produce and Artisanal Product Stands

Family-owned Vella Cheese Company has made hand-crafted, award-winning artisan cheeses since 1931 (the third and fourth generation of the Vella family now run the business). Vella Cheese has been recognized by Slow Food's Ark of Taste, which celebrates a country's diverse culinary heritage. All milk used in the cheeses comes from a local sustainably farmed dairy. Housed in a 1904 stone building, the factory and small retail shop are a short walk from Sonoma Plaza; you can buy small amounts of all cheeses produced by the company.

Sonoma Garden Park, a project of the Sonoma Ecology Center, is a six-acre year-round community garden. Every Saturday during the market season (March-October), the garden holds a harvest market to sell its sustainably-raised produce, eggs, honey, flowers, nursery plants and more. While you're there you can walk the on-site trails with their interactive educational displays, enjoy the butterfly garden and the fig forest, and explore the straw bale barn. There's also a lively chicken coop that's fun to watch.

Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodgriguez.