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Fresh farmers market season begins

It's that time again when our agricultural bounty is celebrated weekly in Petaluma.

On Saturday, May 17, the Petaluma Certified Farmers Market will open for the season, and will be open every Saturday thereafter from 2 to 5:30 p.m. through Nov. 22. Located at Walnut Park, at the corner of D Street and Petaluma Boulevard, the market is now in its 28th season.

As it has for years, it will host vendors of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, plants, fresh-baked goods, cheeses, meats, seafood and hot food to enjoy at the market. It will also feature music, art and a variety of hand-made goods.

But if Saturdays aren't enough, the Wednesday evening market, located on Second Street between B and D streets in Theatre Square, will open for its eighth season on June 4. Held weekly through Aug. 14, that market is open from 4 to 8 p.m.

Many of the markets' most popular vendors return this year, with standbys such as Krouts Sunset Ranch, Bussalacchi Farms, Laguna Farms, One Ocean Seafood, From Ghana with Love, the Hat Lady and Spring Hill Jersey Cheese. But there are also many vendors who are new to the market this year, including Gnarnia Farms, First Light Farms, Tortillas de la Tierra, the Sonoma Spice Queen, Bloomfield Bees, Pat's Warm Blankets, Physis Foods, Suchernova Farms, Shisho Sushi, Monica Navarro's gifts and handbags and Luminous Juice, to name just a few. A complete list of vendors according to market is available at petalumafarmersmarket.org.

The Petaluma Mothers Club paid for the machine needed to process EBT/CalFresh cards, so that customers can also use those benefits to buy fresh, local food.

The atmosphere of the two markets is decidedly different, by design. According to market manager Alyx Cucci, the Saturday market is "a traditional farmers market, where you do your grocery shopping" for the week. The Wednesday market "is more of an evening out, a street festival where you mingle and maybe eat dinner."

Both markets are planning several special events this season. The Saturday market will host a preschool and childcare fair June 14, an apple festival Aug. 23 and the Halloween costume parade Oct. 25. It also offers farm-related crafts on the last Saturday of each month. The Wednesday market will host a kids' scavenger hunt July 2 and an heirloom tomato and cheese tasting event Aug. 13, among other events.

Visit petalumafarmersmarket.org for more information.

(Contact Lynn Haggerty King at argus@arguscourier.com)


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