What’s At Market -via the Press Democrat

Plenty of eggs at Santa Rosa farmers market
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By MICHELE ANNA JORDAN
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The big news at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market this spring is that there are enough eggs to satisfy demand. By my count, there are six vendors Saturday and at least three Wednesday. As recently as last year, you had to arrive at the market a few minutes before official opening time or risk missing out.
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Eggs abound at the market this year

Once you’ve eaten eggs from happy hens who live in small flocks, it is impossible to return to commercial eggs. For everyone who relies on the farmers market for eggs, this is great news and just in time for Easter, too.

There’s another good reason to show up early: asparagus. Even with several vendors — Middleton Farms, Triple T Farm, Hector Alvarez, Armstrong Valley Farm — it can be hard to find if you arrive late. And nothing compares to locally grown, freshly picked asparagus; it has a crispness and a delicacy that commercial asparagus does not have.

Another reason to rise early is to snag some of Bernier Farms’ carrots. Because so many farmers lost crops during the recent heavy rains, there are not a lot of local carrots right now, though Armstrong Valley Farms may have a few bunches. Farmer Tom Noble told me he hoped some would be ready soon.

Other seasonal delicacies available at the Santa Rosa market include nettles, leeks, shallots, rhubarb, Jerusalem artichokes and the first green garlic, as thin as a pencil, all from Nancy Skall’s Middleton Farm.

Ken Orchard of Orchard Farms has wonderful sprouting broccoli, a mix of flowering broccoli and small dinosaur kale, salad mix and broccoli rabe. Both Hector Alvarez and Nancy Skall have garlic that has been stored properly and will get you through until this year’s crop is ready.

Ortiz Brothers Farm has great greens, including flavorful cilantro, crunchy radishes and excellent cabbage. There’s a good selection of mushrooms, too, and there is still plenty of good citrus, including locally grown grapefruit, Meyer lemons, oranges and tangerines.

Santa Rosa’s Saturday market is about three or four times the size of the Wednesday market. Some vendors attend both weekly markets; others attend only Saturday and some just once or twice a month.

The market is in the east parking lot of the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building at the corner of Brookwood & Maple Avenues, across from the fairgrounds. — Michele Anna Jordan