Every year, the market joins with Slow Food Russian River to honor the Gravenstein Apple.    It’s a party with a purpose.    Slow Food Russian River was also a factor in bringing back the Bodega Red Potato.   Thank you Slow Food Russian River for bringing back food – where the most important factor is that it tastes good.

This Saturday August 24 is going to be a great market.  Chef Una demonstrating apple recipes, activities for kids, and apple tastings.

Tomorrow is the Gravenstein Apple Celebration!

Food Demo by Jennifer Una

Apple Juicing by the Gravenstein Apple Committee

Balloon Animals by Pop the Clown

Live Music and FUN!!

Tomorrow is the end of the season for Branch & Brine

Sonoma Woodworks will be here!!

Here is the line-up!


Armstrong Valley Farm

Beet Generation Farm

Bellwether Farms

Bernier Farms

Bohemian Wellbeing Farm

Branch & Brine

Canvas Ranch

Daffodils’, Dahlias, Lilies Oh My

Dry Creek Peach

EGB  Farms

First Light Farm

Foggy River

G&S Farm

Hectors Honey

John Fords Ranch

Karlonas Farms

Kays Bo Kays

Laguna Farm

Leap Frog Greens

Ma & Pas Garden

Min-Hee Hill Gardens

My Wild Iris Rows

Natures Spirits Garden

Neve Roses ll

New Family Farm

Offerings of the Land

Orchard Farms

Owen Family Farm

Oz Family Farm

Pepper Ranch

Ridgeview Farm

Salmon Creek Ranch

Sebastopol Berry Farm

Singing Frogs Farm

St. Benoit Creamery

The Black Sheep Farm

The Patch

Tusque Farms

Twin Palms Farm

Two Rock Valley Cheese

Walkers Apples

Weirauch Farm & Creamery

Williams Ranch

Williamson Farm

Prepared Foods

Chef Henderson Catering

Green Grocer

Guerilla Foods

Lata’s Indian Cuisine

Penang Kitchen


Aroma Floral Designs

Bumble Bee Seafood

California Coops

Costeaux French Bakery

Damselfly Designs

Dominique’s Sweets

Earth Temple

East West Gourmet

Edgeworks Sharpening Services

Franco’s One World Sausage

Full Circle Bakery

Gaga Café

Gandolf’s Fine Chocolates

Grizzly Bear Sweets

Hilltop Honey

Home Maid Ravioli

Leon Day Condiments

Mama Baretta

Mi Fiesta Catering

Not yer Mommas Granola


Philisophers Stoneground


Pure Puer Tea

Raymond’s Bakery

Royale Hare

Run Around Brew

Sia Baskets

Sonoma Garden Design

Sonoma Woodworks

Starting from Scratch

The Beet Generation Juice

The Garden Wild

Threads of Time

Vicki Kemp

Waterhorse Ridge

Willow Designs



Every year Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market celebrates the Gravenstein Apple.   This year the August 24th party includes tastings, fresh pressed apple juice, crafts for kids and lively music.

Lee Walker brings Gravensteins and thirty other varieties of apple to the Santa Rosa Original Certified Market each.   His efforts are written up in this wonderful LA Times article

“Today only one commercial shipper of fresh Gravensteins remains in Sebastopol, 80-year-old Lee Walker. As he related on a recent visit to his orchard, his ancestor Joseph Walker discovered Yosemite Valley in 1833, a little more than a decade after Russian settlers introduced the Gravenstein to Fort Ross, on the Sonoma coast. Joseph’s brother settled in Sebastopol about 1850 and raised cattle and apples on 7,000 acres. A neighbor named Griffeth established the first real Gravenstein orchard in the 1880s, and in 1910, Lee Walker’s maternal grandfather planted the Gravensteins on the home ranch where we strolled.

Lee and his son now farm 50 acres of apples, about half of them Gravensteins, which are easy to spot because the trees are huge. Partly because it’s a triploid, with three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two, Gravenstein trees on seedling rootstock grow 20 feet high or more, too tall for convenient access — one of several quirks that caused the variety’s decline, despite its excellent flavor and versatility. ” read more

The fresh pressed apple juice is provided by Slow Food Russian River

“…if the Gravenstein could be had throughout the year, no other apple need be grown.”

                                                                                          – Luther Burbank, renown horticulturist

by Michael Elinson

The storied history of the Gravenstein apple has all the elements of a great read – discovered along the Denmark border in 1669 as a chance seedling, introduced by German immigrants to North America in 1790, then brought to Northern California by Russian fur traders in the 1800s.

By the early 1900s, thousands of Gravenstein orchards were established and the apple had become the heart of a major industry in Sonoma County as dryers, canners, apple cider and apple brandy producers took advantage of its suitability for processing. During World War II, American soldiers abroad were provided with applesauce and dried apples produced from Gravensteins grown in Sebastopol, turning the apple into an icon for the town.

Gravensteins ripen in late July – making it one of the first apples in North America ready for market. The Grav is a squat, irregularly-shaped apple with a short stem that comes in a variety of colors; most commonly, though, with a greenish yellow background covered with broad red stripes. With a crisp and juicy texture, full of old-fashioned, sweet and tart flavor, it’s widely-regarded as the best all-purpose apple for sauce, pies and crisps; naturally delicious plucked ripe from the tree and eaten fresh as nature intended.

Like any page turner, our story unfolds to embody elements of vulnerability and adversity.

The staggered ripening of fruit presents a challenge for picking during a brief harvest season; and once harvested, Gravs are extremely delicate and highly-perishable – they do not travel well, nor keep their integrity for long. The fruit is losing market share due to an alarming loss of land, as orchards are being converted to vineyards. During the past six decades, Sonoma County’s Gravenstein orchards have declined by nearly 7,000 acres, currently down to about 500…and counting!  When you add to this scenario the economic realities of apple growing – pound for pound Pinot Noir grapes fetch four times the market price – it’s easy to understand why the survival of the Gravenstein apple is in jeopardy. Adding insult to injury, growers say a huge part of the demise of the Gravs and the USA apple market, in general, is the flooding of our country with apple juice concentrate from China used to make cheap juice drinks for the masses.

Some of the apple orchards grow on land that been the property of apple farming families for generations while others are operated by tenant farmers. These farmers rely on the support of landowners who who could sell their land for grape production but have decided that the area’s apple tradition is more important than personal financial gain. Only a dozen commercial growers and two commercial processors remain in Sonoma County. Production is now only a tiny fraction of its historic high levels, and continues to diminish as small farmers struggle to market their heirloom fruit.

If this were a novel? it would be nothing short of a tragedy. But you can take heart, Dear Reader, for the last chapter has not yet been written!

For close to 10 years, a small cadre of true believers have sought to slow the erosion of Gravenstein apple orchard production. Under the auspices of the aptly-named Slow Food Russian River Convivium, a regional chapter of Slow Food USA, the Save the Gravensteins Presidium – nicknamed The Apple Core – works to promote and protect farmers who nurture their apples from tree to table. Inherent in this mission is a mandate to create and propagate a lively demand for this true delicacy through ongoing educational efforts and seasonal awareness campaigns.

FAQ: What can I do to help preserve the Gravenstein apple for generations to come?

Answer: Seek out Gravensteins at roadside stands! Ask for Gravensteins by name at your local market. Plant a Gravenstein apple tree (or three) in your backyard. Visit our local farmer’s markets this month to taste freshly-pressed Gravenstein apple juice. Support educational programs about Sonoma County’s heritage apples in your schools. Bake a Gravenstein apple pie or crisp with your children. Take a bite out of one today. Slow down and enjoy life!

To volunteer or make a donation: info@slowfoodrr.org

Source material provided by Slow Food Russian River, Cittaslow Sebastopol and The Apple Core.







Thank you Slow Food Russian River

The market’s EBT program is enhanced by a grant from Slow Food Russian River which enables the market to give CALFRESH bonus dollars to recipients shopping at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market.
Thank you Slow Food Russian River — the money goes directly to our local farmers and ranchers.

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