Beet Generation Farm is firing up the roaster and all kinds of peppers will be available.   If you have been anywhere near peppers roasting, you know what an intoxicating aroma that is.  If this is your first time — you are in for a treat.

Buy a big bag — in New Mexico — people think nothing of getting 100 pounds.  Freeze what’s left after you have stuffed yourself.  This winter when your ingredient list could use a little boost put them in everything.

Don’t forget we are moving to the east side of Luther Burbank Center for the Arts .   Another beautiful site with easy parking.   Closer to public transportation.

Easy access from Old Redwood Highway.  If you come in Mark West Springs, just follow the signs.    Or you can just follow the wonderful aroma of roasting peppers.



Summer is over and this Thursday is the last WIC market until next year.    It’s been a great summer – chef’s demonstrations, Cal-Fresh extra-dollars and providing easy access for shoppers on the west side.  And truly fabulous vendors.   It’s been a great market and if you haven’t stopped by – one last chance.


Saturday September 22, is the annual Heirloom Tomato  Tasting at the market.  It’s free.   It’s always fun and very tasty.  Below are some photos from previous Tomato Tastings — this year promises to just as wonderful.  Of course there will be tomatoes to taste!  Chef John Lyle of Hardcore Farm to Face is making a tomato galatte for everyone to try.   KSRO will be talking tomatoes with John Ash and Steve Garner.

Tomatoes are at the peak of their season and many vendors have special prices for quantity purchases.

click on individual photos to see them full size





Market resolves lawsuit


SEPTEMBER 12, 2012, SANTA ROSA, CA: The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market announced today that the lawsuit brought against it and its Board of Directors by Gleason Ranch has been resolved. There was no finding of wrongdoing against the Market and its individual board members were dismissed from the case very early on.

“Under the resolution forged during mediation, Nancy Preblich and Cindy Holland, who do business as Gleason Ranch, will not participate in the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market for a period of five years without our Board’s consent. In return, our current Board members will stay away from the Redwood Empire Farmers Market for the same period of time”, said Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market Board President Chicory Almond. “This will allow all of us to get back to focusing on our mission of providing the community with the best possible locally grown farm products.”.

Although Prebilich and Holland had claimed extensive damages, the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market only paid a nominal amount to settle the case: $6,000.00. “We felt that this nuisance settlement was a small price to pay to ensure that for the next five years we won’t have further contact with the Gleasons and it cost us far less than legal fees would have had we gone to trial”.




Heirlooms because they really taste good

The National Heirloom Exposition opens Tuesday September 11, 2012 at the Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.  The Santa Rosa Farmers Market will be there as will many of our vendors.

Bobby Gekas, Ultimate Souvlaki  said, “…we will be one of the featured local organic food vendors.  We will be using every single variety of The Patch’s tomatoes”

Learn more about the expo from this Press Democrat article about the founders: The couple, who also co-founded The Seed Bank store in Petaluma and launched a “world’s fair” of heirloom vegetables in Santa Rosa last year, publishes their own seed catalog and a quarterly magazine, The Heirloom Gardener

What: The second annual National Heirloom Exposition, a nonprofit, agricultural fair celebrating pure food. Headliner speakers include Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food; Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology; and Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety.

When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 11, 12 and 13

Where: Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road.

Cost: $10 adults, kids 17 and under free. Three-day pass: $25.

Tickets:, The Seed Bank in Petaluma, or at the door.

Sonoma County has it’s own heirlooms and fortunately people who work to save them.

There is  seed crisis in America, there has been a dramatic loss and consolidation of seed companies, and with them, the disappearance of countless vegetable and fruit crops. The trend away from home vegetable gardening contributed to the disconnect of people with their food, and only in recent years has there been a growing interest in saving heirlooms as anything other than an historical relic.

This is a very good explanation of why heirloom seeds are important.

“The Bountiful Gardens is part of Ecology Action of the Mid-peninsula, Mendocino County (, a non-profit that for 40 years has been helping save the poorest third of the world by reforming their agriculture to sustainable agriculture. When we started Bountiful Gardens nearly 30 years ago their was little consciousness of untreated, open-pollinated heirloom seeds. We have helped change that.

So what’s all the Fuss About Heirlooms, GMOs, Hybrids, Open-Pollinated…..

And What Do All those Words Really Mean?

We helped start the fuss 27 years ago, when we founded a seed company that refused to carry hybrids so that people could save their own seed. Over the years, we have introduced gardeners to heirloom varieties that might otherwise have been lost. It’s a complicated issue, and we get lots of questions from concerned gardeners.

Here is a brief explanation:

TRADITIONAL PLANT BREEDING often starts by pollinating a plant with pollen from a related, but slightly different, variety. Then, over several generations, the plants are selected for certain traits. In this way, broccoli, for example, became different from the tough wild plants that are its ancestors.

As people grow and select their best plants for seed, the results gradually become more predictable. Eventually every time you plant that kind of seed, the plants give similar results. The seed has been stabilized as an OPEN-POLLINATED VARIETY. The animal equivalent would be poodles, or golden retrievers—you know what to expect in looks and, to some extent, behavior, because they are purebred. Individuals have slight variations within the “family resemblance.”

HEIRLOOM SEEDS are open-pollinated varieties that have been around a long time; the most widely-accepted time is 50 years. Since they were bred before chemical pesticides were common, they are often well-adapted to home garden and organic cultivation. Farmers and gardeners are breeding new open-pollinated varieties today that will be the heirlooms of the future. We carry many heirloom varieties, some of which have their date of introduction in the description.

HYBRID SEEDS are seeds from the first generation of a cross between two related varieties. The cross is made by traditional breeding techniques, like brushing the flower of one with the pollen from another. The plants you get when you buy hybrid seeds are very uniform and predictable, which is why farmers use them (they might be ready to harvest the same day, for example.) However, the next generation of plants won’t be so predictable because it is not a stabilized variety. Hybrids are like mutts, whose puppies might all be different. The bad thing about hybrids is not how they are made; it’s that the particular cross used to make each one is a trade secret belonging to a certain company or breeder. Hybrids make gardeners dependent on the companies who produce the seed. Hybrid seeds must be labeled “hybrid” or “F1” next to the variety name, and are more expensive than open-pollinated varieties. We don’t carry hybrids. We feel that food crops are a common heritage we all share, not a set of trade secrets.

GMO VARIETIES are not the result of traditional plant breeding, but of procedures in a laboratory. Instead of using pollen from another plant, technicians can insert genes that don’t even come from plants—they might come from a bacteria or a fish, for example. The process costs millions of dollars, and the GMO seeds are sold to big agribusiness farms who sign a contract with the GMO company. The main GMO crops are corn, soy, peanuts, and canola, used for processed food that ends up in the supermarket. The danger to home gardens is not from the seeds we buy; it’s from pollen drifting in the wind. Home gardeners who live near big factory farms might want to learn how to hand-pollinate their corn.

TREATED SEEDS are coated with pesticide or fungicide chemicals after harvest. We don’t carry any treated seed.

CERTIFIED ORGANIC SEED has to come from farms inspected by the USDA’s Organic Certification program. They can’t use chemicals and must meet other regulatory requirements. The seed can’t be GMO. Seeds grown organically but not certified by the USDA program are designated GB, B, or N in this catalog.”










An apple a day… that’s all we ask

Celebrate fresh, local apples at the market this Saturday, September 8th.  Free Tastings

Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?    This old Welsh proverb actually applies to all round fruit — but the apple does have some excellent nutritional benefits.

  • Pectin — Pectin is a form of soluble fiber than lowers both blood pressure and glucose levels. It can also lower the levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in the body. Pectin, like other forms of fiber, helps maintain the health of the digestive system. Apples are an excellent source of pectin.
  • Boron — A nutrient found in abundance in apples, boron supports strong bones and a healthy brain.
  • Quercetin — A flavonoid, this nutrient shows promise for reducing the risk of various cancers, including cancers in the lungs and breast. It may also reduce free radical damage. Free radicals develop when atoms in the body’s cells have unpaired electrons, which can lead to damage to different parts of the cell, including DNA. Quercetin may neutralize free radical damage, which has been implicated in a variety of age-related health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Vitamin C — Vitamin C boosts immunity, which helps maintain overall health.
  • Phytonutrients — Apples are rich in a variety of phytonutrients, including vitamins A and E and beta carotene. These compounds fight damage from free radicals and can have a profound affect on health, including reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

Apples also act as a toothbrush, cleaning teeth and killing bacteria in the mouth, which may reduce the risk of tooth decay. They’re also low in calorie density, one of the trademarks of a healthy food. When a food is low in calorie density you can eat good size portions of the food for relatively few calories. In addition, apples are affordable and readily available.

Supermarket shoppers can’t easily tell which apples are fresh and which from storage, but customers atfarmers’ market can expect to find the new crop, including the sought-after heirlooms.

“Apples held in cold storage for three months contain lower levels of antioxidants. With extended storage, they also lose flavor and aroma; they can go floury quickly unless kept in the fridge.”

The Saturday market has a number of farmers with a variety of apples including  heirlooms including some that are the few remaining trees of antique types.  Wednesday, Ridgeview Farm, with over 50 different kinds of apples through-out the season, attends the market.