Honor the Gravenstein and get a chance to taste the gravenstein as well.    This popular event is back again.   Slow Food Russian River is our partner is this always fun event but it does have a serious side.

From 2009   “In the United States today, the only freshly picked apple available in early August is the Gravenstein, according to the local food preservation group Slow Food Russian River. The group maintains that anything else either was kept in cold storage since fall or was shipped from the Southern Hemisphere.

Its leaders maintain the Gravensteins are an important part of the county’s culture and worth saving. Their aim is to increase the sale of fresh apples, which bring farmers far more than for those that go to processing.”

And today. ” Some of the efforts to find and preserve these oldies but goodies are paying off. Lee Walker, 81, whose Walker Ranch is the last of the old apple growers and packing sheds in Sebastopol, said since Slow Food took up the Gravenstein’s cause, demand has way gone up”.(Press Democrat)

Walker Ranch is at the Saturday market.  They grow 37 different kinds of apples and the gravensteins start off the season.    Ridgeview Farm with over 65 different apples sells at the Wednesday market.   Many of the farmers have apples trees and you can find little known varieties you won’t see any place else.

Honoring the apple is always  fun .  Chef John Lyle of Hardcore Farm to Face is is going to make something applicious and there will be special events for children.

Tasting events are free.





Korean Lettuce wrap, Sangchu Ssam (상추쌈)

Thank you Min-Hee Choe Hill, Min-Hee Gardens for this wonderful recipe.As we learn more about Korean cuisine, the more we like it!    Min-Hee and Damon grow the Korean red lettuce which is prefect for wraps — large, sturdy leaves that are still tender and tasty.

Korean Lettuce wrap, Sangchu Ssam (상추쌈)

With Beef Bulgogi, Ssamjang and Rice


Bulgoki Recipe


  1. 3 lb. tri-tip, Slice ¼ inch thick and tenderize with knife.
  2. ½  cup rice wine (Jung-Jong)
  3. ¼ cup soy sauce
  4. 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  5. 2 tsp sesame seed, toasted and ground
  6. 3 Tbsp Rice Syrup
  7. 2 Pear, juiced or substitute for 1 Tbsp sugar
  8. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  9. 8 clove garlic,  Mashed then large pieces minced

In a large bowl combine ingredients 2-8 mix well

Add sliced beef and mix well with hand.

Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Grill lightly brown.


Ssam Jang is the special sauce that is used for Ssam Bap translates to ‘wrapped rice’ and the wrap can be anything from lettuce leaves to cabbage. But Ssam bap is most commonly eaten as some sort of protein (beef, chicken, pork) wrapped with rice and ssam jang (wrap sauce) in lettuce leaves. You can also dip in pepper or Garlic.  Everyone has their own ideas about this condiment, so there’s a lot of variation. I like mine to be thick enough so it does not drip. If you prefer earthier flavors and less spice, then you can also reverse the amount of kochujang and daenjang in the recipe.

SsamJang condiment recipe

1/4 cup gochujang (red pepper paste)

1 cup daenjang (soybean paste)

8 cloves garlic, Mashed then large pieces minced

6 green onions, Thinly sliced

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp sesame seed, toasted and ground

Mix all Ingredients well until texture is smooth.

Marinate over night.

Refrigerate for storage.



Even if our trees don’t change color, our fruits and vegetables do.    It’s almost fall  when peppers of all colors show up at the market.  Pictured are gypsy peppers from Armstrong Valley Farm and amazing colored carrots.  But still in the picture are all the things we expect from summer – cucumbers and tomatoes.  It’s the perfect time to think about saving something for winter.

Join Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen, on September 7, 2012 at Santa Rosa’s Finley Center to learn how to preserve summer’s abundance.  More information here.

Sebastopol Hardware sells canning supplies and has some  canning classes
We’ll have a class on food preservation September 5 at 6:30. Wendy Krupnick will talk about tomatoes, apples, pears and peppers.

Got no plans for this weekend….Yes We Can: Summer Fruit Jam (hands-on)with chef Elissa Rubin-Mahon  Sunday, August 26  1:00 – 4:30 PM             Relish Culinary Center, Healdsburg,$84

“Canning is not just for grandma anymore. In fact, interest in preserving seems to have skipped a generation as young DIY-combine tried-and-true methods with modern flavor combinations. Chef Elissa Rubin-Mahon, owner of Artisan Preserves and Good Food Award winner, leads this class on delicious summer jams. Participants will use local farm-fresh fruit and natural methods (read: no pectin or other additives)to make each of the jams from scratch—prepping the fruit, adding sugar, and cooking to specific temperature levels—as chef Elissa discusses best canning practices, including the ideal ripeness of the fruit, correct sugar:fruit ratios, temperature requirements, and more. Once our fruit is set, we shift to canning where Chef Elissa will cover steam and water-bath canning basics, including temperatures, times, pH, cleanliness and safety. After all of our work, participants will take home a jar of each jam, copies of all recipes and methods, and the knowledge and experience to confidently and safely make and can jam at home. ”

Strawberry-Lemon Verbena Jam

Sweet Spiced Peach Jam

Sweet-Hot Moroccan Cherry Tomato Jam







First Light Farm Opens Farm Store


Learn more about First Light Farm


The Saturday market is filled with wonderful fruit and vegetable -tiny speckled eggplants, melons, corn, gravenstein apples , basil, basil and more basil.  Now is the time to makes pesto for the winter months.   (plenty of fresh garlic too)


“What jumps out most is the abundance of different types of fruits. Many of the stalls offer free samples and everything we tasted was sweet and fragrant. We ended up with nectarines, peaches, strawberries, and blackberries.”  read more from Beantown musings.

Added to the peaches, plums,nectarines, strawberries, raspberries. blackberries apples and pears are now appearing in the market.

Asian Pears from DeSantis Farm Wednesday and Saturday market

Apples and Pears from Ridgeview Farm Wednesday only

Photos by Elinor Burnside



It’s okay to come in second because we were beaten by one of our own vendors, Worth Our Weight.

A few weeks ago, several local agencies — Network for a Healthy California, California Health Collaborative, the Sonoma County Water Agency, Cal Fresh and the Santa Rosa City Take It From the Tap Program, among them — came together to present a “Rethink Your Drink” tasting at the Wednesday Night Market.

Grand Prize went to the Worth Our Weight apprentices, whose pineapple, orange, cilantro and rose-petal water garnered the most votes of the day.

Young people, like these apprentices, are among the groups targeted by the “Rethink Your Drink” campaign, as this population tends to drink a lot of sugary beverages and the goal of the campaign is to reduce reliance on them. Judging by the apprentices’ enthusiasm, reaching young people and convincing them that there are healthy, inexpensive and delicious alternatives may be easier than some officials have feared.  Worth Our Weight is a Saturday vendor and we are proud to be associated with them.

The sponsors of the event were kind enough to come to the market to present us with a certificate.

This is a link to  the recipes.     If you are looking for a great herbal blend, Offerings of the Land, Saturday market, has something lovely…no work on your part to figure it out.

Pictured here are Maja Woods of the Network for a Healthy California, event sponsor, MicheleAnna Jordan , The Press Democrat, who worked to publicize the event and accepting the certificate on behalf of the market, board members Elinor Burnside and Ann Lunde.

 Take Back the Tap at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market.  There is always water available at the information desk for free.


Hector’s Honey is a Sonoma County treasure.  That’s what his customers think

Wednesday and Saturday markets year round.   2794 Fulton Rd Fulton CA 95439. 707.579.9416  or 707.328.1813

Besides honey, Hector and his wife Sandra grow a variety of produce and sell year round at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market.  They attend both the Wednesday and Saturday Markets.

The gallery of photos feature some from Hector’s farm as well as his stand at the market.  You can see Armenian cucumbers on the vine.  Hector frequently has nopales at his stand as well.   Hector has a flock of Araucuna chickens which lay pastel eggs.

Hector has tomatillos but not just any tomatillos.   From Chowhound

“Here’s my old post on coming across tomatillo milpero for the first time at a farmstand in Salinas. It has a photo so you can see the size difference with regular tomatillos.
The ones from Hector’s were a little larger than those, almost an inch in diameter. The flavor is more concentrated, and since I pan roast them on the stove top, I think the increased surface to volume ratio picks up more smoky notes too. They taste riper and fuller to me with an acidity that is less biting.”

Hector’s seasonal produce and fruit are grown less than three miles from the market — now that’s eating local.


From Sonoma Picnics

Notes and Quotes from Sonoma County Beekeepers:

An Interview with Hector Alvarez

by Jack Burton

Hector’s Apiaries Services

Pollination – Honey – Beeswax – Candles – Pollen

707-579-9416 Santa Rosa

Hector in the spring is busy checking on all his hives. He feels the weight of each hive, judging how much honey the bees still have left from the last season. If a hive seems light, he will feed that hive’s bees with honey to give them a good start for the coming months’ work.

In early spring, the hives are placed in almond, prune and apple orchards to pollinate the trees in bloom.

By April, they go to the flower garden that will produce the distinctive honeys Hector and his family sell throughout the county. The Healdsburg Farmers Market is a good place to find them Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons throughout the long market season.

April is also the time for splitting the hives, and Hector raises all his own queen bees to regenerate new colonies from healthy, active, seasoned ones.

The health of his bees is foremost on Hector’s mind when he plans the seasonal placements of his hives. He only chooses places free of pesticide and chemical spraying.

It is good to know that your honey and bee products are coming from bees happy this spring in their wildflowers, blackberries and star thistle.



Sage and Honey Citrus Syrup

Chef Jack Burton

Gently boil for one minute:

1 C Sage honey

1/4 C Lemon juice

6 Fresh sage leaves

Remove from the heat and steep.

Strain and use as a condiment with fruit,

cakes, cheeses, breads, what-have-you.




It’s summer time and the shopping is easy.   The parking is free and easy too.  And of course we think we have the most beautiful location.  Come have breakfast, sit a spell and then check out the abundance at the market.  We have berries of all kinds, the first apples- gravensteins, tomatoes, cucumbers and CORN.  Laguna Farm has corn.  Nothing says summer like corn on the cob.  How about pink lemons from DeSantis perfect for pink lemonade.

Every where you turn the abundance of Sonoma County is on display.   We’ve welcomed some new vendors too — the Cosmic Cookie- Gluten Free Bakery  the best gluten free bagel period and  Alive and Healing, which has handcrafted tempeh.  We welcome back Walker Ranch for the apple season.

You can have pizza for breakfast– and not just any pizza.  Pizza from Rosso possibly the best pizza ever.  They even have a breakfast version.