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Food & Drink

Sacramento Late Summer Produce Guide

July 9, 2014 5:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Summer’s in full swing and as the season heats up, it’s prime time for some of California’s best fruits and vegetables. Vegetables like summer squash, tomatoes and peppers are at their peak and will last well into the late summer. Corn and cucumbers are some of the best summer foods and continue to be at their peak into the fall. When it comes to fruit, look for berries, especially strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Melons are a summer staple and with the warm Sacramento temps, these are still available late in the season. If you had to pick one fruit that is iconic in the Sacramento region as the signal of late summer, it’s obviously the apple. As summer winds down and fall kicks in, a visit to nearby Apple Hill is a yearly tradition. In the meantime, if you are looking for the best markets to pick up late summer produce, consider one of these spots in the greater Sacramento area.
Sunday Farmers’ Market
8th St. and W St. (Under Freeway)
Sacramento, CA 95816
www.california-grown.com

Date: Every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Open year round, the Sunday Farmers’ Market at 8th and W Streets under the freeway is one of the most popular farmers’ markets in Sacramento. The Sunday Farmers’ Market is a CFM — Certified Farmers’ Market. This means the markets are strictly governed by the high-quality and growing standards set in place for the state of California, but it also allows farmers to bring delicate fruits and vegetables deemed too fragile for packing and shipping. A lot of people do not necessarily realize that as one of the most tightly regulated farming states in the world, farmers are often at a disadvantage when it comes to providing competitive shipping rates on produce. By visiting a CFM, you are buying direct from the farmer, helping these local family businesses survive.

Midtown Farmers Market Sacramento
2020 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 442-1500
www.midtownfarmersmarketsac.com

As its name suggests, the Midtown Farmers Market is located in the heart of Sacramento’s Midtown district. It’s on the corner of 20th and J Street, and even offers free bike valet from the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA). The Midtown Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., year round – no matter what the weather is. This trendy spot in town offers fresh local produce, prepared food stands and even an arts and crafts section. Be sure to hit Midtown during Sacratomato Week (July 21-27, 2014) when Sutter District restaurants, bars and nightclubs come together to showcase the beloved tomato. This is the inaugural event so come out and show your support in hopes that this becomes an annual event.

Davis Farmers Market
4th Str. and C St.
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 756-1695
www.davisfarmersmarket.org

Head out of Sacramento and towards the city of Davis and you will find one of California’s oldest farmers’ markets. Taking place every Wednesday, visitors can enjoy “Picnic in the Park 2014″ now through the end of October. From 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. each week, there will be an International Food Faire and a beer and wine garden. Kids can check out a number of cool activities including Bouncing Bungalows, a rock-climbing wall, face-painting and a bicycle-powered carousel. Local bands will be on hand playing a wide variety of live music — everything from blues to “surf music.”

Related: Best Farmers’ Markets In The Sacramento Area

Sunrise Mall Farmers Market
6196 Sunrise Blvd.
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
(916) 484-7000
www.facebook.com/SunriseMallFarmersMarket

If venturing downtown or out to Davis is too far, check out the Sunrise Mall Farmers Market every Saturday. It takes place in the parking lot behind Sears each week from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. This market may not be as large as some of the others, but there is a good selection of local produce, flowers, baked goods and even artisan cheeses. Look for cooking demonstrations, live music and various other events. Some of the upcoming events this summer include the Peach Festival and Tomato Taste Off.

Apple Hill 
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-7692
www.applehill.com

If you can’t wait until September when apple season is in full swing, there are some shoppes that stay open year round in Apple Hill. It’s an ideal time to take a leisurely drive and still try a number of apple specialties for your late summer picnic — sans the hectic fall crowds that usually flock to the region. Pick up an apple pie or stop by a local winery or brewery — many of them have events going on during the summer before the busy harvest season begins. Apple Hill is not that far out of Sacramento; take Highway 50 towards Placerville and get off anywhere starting with Exit 48, Schnell School.

Related: Best Eats And Drinks At Apple Hill

Annual Banana Festival
3800 S. Landpark Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822
www.sacbananafestival.com

Date: Aug. 9-10, 2014

The annual Banana Festival is in its fifth year and takes place August 9-10 in William Land Park. The Velocity Circus Troupe will be performing and this year’s theme is ‘Banana Royale.’ Events include a chef challenge, a 5k run/walk, a health pavilion, live entertainment, carnival games and rides and, of course, lots of banana-themed dishes.

Erin De Santiago is a freelance travel and food/wine writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. She is a regional membership coordinator for the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and writes for a number of publications in addition to publishing her own blogs. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents in search of the best food and wine around the globe. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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