Summer produce tastes delicious, but is also fun to buy—especially when you ditch Safeway for an evening of art, music and kids’ activities instead.
This time of year, you almost feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t live here. Delectable berries, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, peaches, watermelon—you name it, we have it in abundance, and fresh from the farm besides. Best way to enjoy it, of course, is to not only buy it from a local farmer, but to make an evening out of it, so check out the many fun farmers’ markets masquerading as street fairs throughout our region. Dance with your spouse to live music, sample chefs’ bites and local wine, let the kids jump in a bounce house or have their faces painted. (You can’t do that at the grocery store.)
3rd Thursday, 39 North Marketplace Farmers’ Market, Sparks, NV—Farm-fresh food and food demos, local artists, live music and dancing, family movies, creative and educational activities for kids, Thursdays, 4–9 p.m.
CalaverasGROWN Certified Farmers’ Market, San Andreas, CA—Fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey and jams, baked goods, live jazz, free children’s activities, second Thursday of each month, 4–6 p.m., through September.
Incline Village Farmers’ Market, Incline Village, NV—Locally grown produce, including olives and flowers, as well as handmade candles, soaps, lavender products and baked goods, Thursdays 4–7 p.m., through Aug. 29. (New location: 845 Alder Ave., Incline Village.)
Old Town Clovis Friday Night Farmers’ Market, Clovis, CA—Fresh produce, juices, bread and pies, food vendors (including kettle corn and shaved ice), live concerts and dancing, 5:30–9 p.m., through September.
Ski Run Farmers’ Market, South Lake Tahoe, CA—Organic fruit and vegetables, local bites, locally made arts and crafts, live music and a bounce house for the kids, Fridays 3–8 p.m., through August.
Thursday Night Market, Historic Grass Valley, CA—Farm-fresh produce, flowers and herbs, as well as a free summer concert series; restaurants, shops and wine-tasting rooms are also open late, 5:30–9 p.m., June 27–Aug. 1.
Thursday Night Market, Chico, CA— More than 100 vendors selling fruit and vegetables, jewelry and art, plus live entertainment and the Imagination Playground for children, 6–9 p.m., through September.
Don’t forget apple season, which starts up in August and runs through early October. Best place to head is Apple Hill, just east of Placerville on Highway 50, where you’ll find dozens of kid-friendly places to pick—or just run in for a box of apples to go. Most farms also have on-site bake shops, chilled ciders, picnic areas and nature trails. See applehill.com for a harvest schedule, lists of apple varieties and where to find them, as well as a map of you-pick farms.
Apples (August), Apricots, Avocados, Blackberries, Blueberries (through August), Boysenberries (through July), Cherries (through July), Figs (through July), Grapes (July), Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears (August), Plums, Pluots, Raspberries, Strawberries
Arugula, Broccoli, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green Beans, Kale, Lettuces, Mushrooms, Okra, Olives (August), Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Shallots (through July), Summer Squash (including Zucchini), Tomatillos, Tomatoes