Enjoy local Farmers Markets in the Nation’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.

produceBy Heather Crivellone

Sacramento is known as America’s “Farm to Fork” capital.  We are truly blessed to live in an area that focuses and produces the largest amount of agriculture in the nation. Did you know that 70 percent of our region’s land is either agricultural, forest or open space?  We are also home to close to 8,000 acres of boutique farms that provides produce, cheese, wine and other great products to more than 50 regional farmers markets in the area. As a mom and a self-proclaimed “foodie”, I find these facts extremely exciting and I love taking advantage of the fresh, local goods for my family.

One of our summer traditions is to visit as many local Farmers Markets as we can.  I love taking my children to try out samples of fresh fruits and veggies and allowing them to pick out the produce for the week. The atmosphere is always upbeat and family friendly at the markets and they always come home with a smile on their faces!

Luckily for us, we have many markets to choose from in Sacramento… And for some, it’s more of a fun family outing than just going to shop for produce.  Some markets even have Food Trucks on site, so you can purchase dinner and make it a fun-filled evening out.

On Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings, head out to Davis for their “Picnic in the Parks”. Located at Central Park on 4th and C Streets in Davis- from mid-March until the end of October, you can take the family out to find seasonal goodies and enjoy live music from local bands, have dinner from vendors at the International Food Faire and even purchase beer or wine! Other entertainment includes bounce houses for the kids, pony rides, clowns, face painting and more!

If you are looking to stay more local than a drive out to Davis, then check out the popular Farmers Market on Sunday mornings “under the freeway”. Every Sunday (year round) from 8am-noon on 8th and W Street, you can purchase fresh fruits, veggies, meats, seafood, cheeses and more. Not as much entertainment for the kids at this market, but it is located next to Southside Park, a great kid-friendly destination.

On Tuesday mornings, visit Freemont Park located at 16th and P streets.  From 10am-1:30pm local vendors are on site around the park.  Also at Roosevelt Park on 9th and P streets on Tuesday from 10am- 1:30pm you can enjoy fresh fruit and produce with your family.

On Thursday evenings, join locals at the West Sacramento Farmers Market at 1110 West Capital Ave. From 4:30- dusk, enjoy dinner from one of the local food vendors, listen to live music and see what is happening each week as they have different events and entertainment each week. One week they had a family story time, another was a visit from Dilly Dally the Clown…check out the schedule to see what’s next!

On Wednesday mornings, take a stroll through downtowns Cesar Chavez park located at 910 I Street. From 10am-1:30pm through October you can visit local growers and purchase some greens.

For a list of local markets in your area check out http://www.california-grown.com/Market-times.html You will find a market on most days of the week through the greater Sacramento area.  And in September, Sacramento will be hosting the annual “Farm to Fork” Celebration.  From September 13-28, you will find restaurants throughout our region hosting events and specials.  This is a week for us Sacramento natives to celebrate and enjoy the real “fruits of our labor” and praise the local farmers here in our region.

If you have kids, you know it can be a challenge to get them to eat their veggies. However, if you include them in the process of picking them out, preparing and serving them, they will be more likely to try new things and hopefully eat their veggies.

Although, sometimes this tactic doesn’t always work with my 5-year-old, but I still try…heck, I spent the afternoon baking Beet Cookies! They were definitely NOT a hit in our house, but as long as we keep going and he gets the opportunity to pick them out and try new things I feel like I’m doing the best I can as a mom to get him to eat his veggies!



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