Have you noticed these days so many recipes include the suggestion, "ask your local farmer"? Luckily, the PlacerGROWN Foothill Farmers' Market on Auburn Folsom Road is open year round, so any Saturday morning, Auburnites can do just that.
What's the best way to clean a strawberry?
Is this egg from a free-range hen?
Are your dairy cows grass-fed?
How does one prepare a Jerusalem artichoke?
What's so great about organic?
Rain or shine, the farmers are there, and they have answers.
A few of the local farmers include Sinclair Family Farms of Penryn with fresh eggs, beef, pork, chicken, goat and mutton; Twin Peak Orchards of Newcastle with orchard fruit; Tadlock Nursery of Garden Valley with an assortment of produce and plants -- including blueberry bushes; Produce Alive of Loomis with bouquets of lettuce; Hillview Organic Farms of Auburn is known for its greens but has a wide variety of produce as well, including beautiful onions.
And each week brings Rodriquez Brothers Ranch from Watsonville with their sweet-like-candy delicious strawberries.
If you haven't tried these strawberries, get yourself to the farmers' market as soon as possible. You'll never again return to the grocery store berry.
What's that you say? Produce isn't your thing? I've heard tales of people who prefer not to eat fruit. If that's the case, the farmers' market still has plenty to offer: Local honey, bread and pastries, fresh flowers, olive oil, salad dressings, cookies, mediterranean spreads, kombucha and something called Garlish that will give your mayo some competition.
Oh, and don't forget the pizza!
Each Saturday, Bella Familia is on the spot with its wood-fired pizza oven. The pizza is so good you'll have no trouble gobbling it down for breakfast each week.
But possibly better than all of the delicious treats is the atmosphere. You're likely to run into friends new and ... vintage ... while listening to the sounds of stall minders peddling their wares over the notes of a solo trumpet, saxophone or guitar.
It's a community-boosting way to spend one morning each week.
For more information about the Foothill Farmers' Market or to find other farmers' markets in the area, visit PlacerGROWN: http://www.placergrown.org/