After a long, wet, cold winter, rev up your senses with farm-fresh spring fruits and vegetables.
Every chef will tell you if you eat with the seasons, and buy local, your meals will taste amazing, even when simply prepared. That means it’s time to change up your weekly rotation to include what our farmers are harvesting now: Set out a big white bowl of fresh cherries on the kitchen island, for example, and watch how quickly your kids gobble them up through the day. Steam artichokes with garlic and lemon and serve them with melted butter or herbed aioli. After dinner, cut up fresh strawberries, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top, then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. All easy, all seasonal and all so satisfying.
Think farmers’ markets are only a summer luxury? Think again. Here’s where to find delicious and locally grown produce this spring:
Boa Vista Farm Market—located in the Apple Hill region of Placerville, 2952 Carson Road, Placerville, CA, 530-622-5522, open daily year-round.
Lake Tahoe Markets—place your order for produce on the website by Friday for free local delivery on Monday (Incline Village to the Y in South Lake Tahoe), laketahoemarkets.com, available fall–spring (until the summer farmers’ markets begin).
Mountain Bounty Farm, Nevada City—offers pick-up points for fresh farm boxes throughout Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee, Tahoe (including Incline Village and Kings Beach), South Lake Tahoe and Reno (see mountainbountyfarm.com for a specific list), available year-round.
Nevada City Farmers’ Market—held at Robinson Plaza on Union Street in Downtown Nevada City, CA, first and third Saturday of each month, 9 a.m.–noon, now through May 18 (the summer market begins June 1).
Nevada County Certified Growers’ Market—held at the Historic North Star House, 12075 Auburn Road, Grass Valley, CA, Saturdays, 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (starting mid-April), and at Western Gateway Park, 18560 Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley, CA, Thursdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. (starting in May).
PlacerGROWN Farmers’ Markets—two locations: Old Town Auburn Courthouse parking lot, (Auburn-Folsom Road at Lincoln Way), Auburn, CA, Saturdays, 8 a.m.– noon, open year-round; and Commons Beach in Tahoe City, CA (Commons Beach Road and North Lake Boulevard), Thursdays, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (starting mid-May).
Sierra Bounty—crop boxes from a collaboration of Eastern Sierra farmers can be picked up at Stellar Brew & Natural Café in Mammoth Lakes, Mondays, 2–4 p.m., available year-round, sierrabounty.org.
Sonora Farmers’ Market—held in Downtown Sonora, CA, Saturdays, 7:30–11:30 a.m. (starting in mid-May).
Apricots (May), Blackberries (May), Blueberries (May), Cherries, Grapefruits, Kumquats, Lemons, Limes, Nectarines (May), Oranges, Peaches (May), Plums (May), Raspberries (May), Strawberries
Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoli Rabe, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Dandelion Greens, Fava Beans, Fava Greens, Green Garlic, Kohlrabi, Lettuces, Mustard Greens, Nettles, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Radicchio, Rhubarb, Rutabagas, Shallots (May), Sunchokes