|UC Davis - North Quad|
|Sutter Davis Hospital|
|Hours - Central Park|
|Sat 8:00AM-1:00PM (year-round)|
|Wed 4:30PM-8:30PM (mid-Mar-Oct)|
|Wed 2:00PM-6:00PM (Nov-mid-March)|
|Hours - UC Davis|
|Wed 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (fall/spring quarter)|
|Thu 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (May 16 to Aug. 29)|
|Hours - Sutter Davis Hospital|
|Thu 10 a.m. - 1 p.m|
The Davis Farmers Market is held Saturday mornings year-round and Wednesdays evenings from spring to fall. Starting in late spring, the Wednesday evening Farmer's Market is called Picnic in the Park and features music and other activities. The Thursday Market—started in 2011 and marking an expansion to West Davis—is held at the entrance to Sutter Davis Hospital. Davis Farmers Market also manages UC Davis Farmers Market at The Silo, Spring and Fall Quarters.
The Davis Farmers Market is a must-see for any visitor and a weekly tradition for many residents. The market is held at Central Park, at Fourth and C Streets downtown, rain or shine, and is a Certified Farmer's Market... everything sold in the market is either grown or made by the seller, including certified organic produce, fresh baked goods, flowers, and many other quality products. Sample delicious fruit while mingling with vendors and neighbors. The Yolo County Health Department's "no dogs" policy is now being strictly enforced.
Sacramento also has its share of farmer's markets throughout the week, the most popular of which is on Sunday mornings from 8am until noon near 8th and W Streets. It is held under Highway 50 (Business 80), in a state parking lot and has more vendors, more venues to buy non-organic produce, and the prices are generally very reasonable. For more info on Sac-area farmers markets, see http://www.california-grown.com/.
In 2009, the Davis Farmers Market was voted "America’s Favorite Farmers Market." In 2010, it took #2 in the "Large Markets" category. http://www.farmland.org/programs/states/ca/davis-farmers-market.asp
- Read a feature blog about food at the Davis Farmers Market from a November 09 post by Davis Life Magazine.
- Farmers Markets: Love at First Bite — video featuring Davis Farmers Market
Things to Do
- Treat yourself to a hot chicken tamale and a cold pint of fantastic fresh-pressed apple juice. Or a cheese and jalapeno tamale and a fresh squeezed lemonade. Or any of the many other tasty goods!
- Go early for breakfast or brunch. Check out the new Fat Face for breakfast sammies and farm-fresh popsicles on Saturdays, who uses items from the Farmers Market vendors to create a delicious local menu.
Please give a few bucks to the musicians - they are living their dreams and sharing their talents, and it's not an easy life.
- I'm a musician myself, but I also hold down a job. Why should I give my hard-earned cash to some guy just because he's "living the dream" of smoking a pack a day and plucking strings on the street? In my opinion, give them a few bucks if you're deriving enjoyment from the performance. That's a much better reason.
- Enjoy the free samples! It's a great place to taste a little of everything!
- Attend Farmers Market special events: the annual Fall Festival, aka Harvest Festival in celebration of autumn the last Saturday in October, and Pig Day, every year around March 1st in celebration of National Pig Day.
- Listen to some good music on summer evenings during a Picnic In The Park . It's quite family friendly, and you can see kids of all ages playing in the heavily chlorinated fountain and running around on the grass.
- Ride The Flying Carousel of the Delta Breeze!
- Play Scrabble with The Unofficial Davis Scrabble Club between April and October on Wednesdays.
Vendors to Visit
Fruits and Vegetables
Buying your fruits and veggies locally means that less fossil fuel was burned to get them to you — good for the environment, plus support for local farmers. And it's fun to eat produce that's truly fresh and in season. Fruits include strawberries and apples all year round; in season, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, blackberries, oranges, cherries, nectarines, peaches, etc. Vegetables include "Heirloom" tomatoes (not just the standard beefsteak), fresh corn on the cob, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms (many varieties), etc.
- Bledsoe Pork
- Cabral Farms
- Dieckmann Farm
- Fiddlers Green
- Good Humus: Jeff and Annie Main are some of the original farmers at the market and always have excellent produce.
- Grow Rite Farms
- An Indian couple who sells Asian pears also sell nectarines and peaches when the weather gets warmer. They often have a basket of overripe fruit for just 50 cents a pound!
- Lloyds Produce
- Madison Growers aka Yolo Bulb Farm
- McDonald Orchards
- Mehl Farm
- Mt. Moriah Farms
- Pacific Star Garden
- Pasture 42 - eggs and olive oil
- Sebastopol Berry Farm
- Stenzel Farm
- Steve is the friendly guy who sells pluots (plum-apricot hybrids) in the warmer weather, apples (Fujis and Pink Ladies), and sometimes cherries and/or apple cherry juice. He's SOOOOO nice!
- Vega Farms - eggs
- Williamson Farms - Based in San Diego, these folks sell wonderful strawberries and avocados when more local farmers can't provide them.
- Yolo Bulb Farm
- Zhey's Farms
These will include cherries and apricots, peaches, plums and grapes from ; organic strawberries and eggs from Grow Rite Farms; apple juice from Ratzlaff Ranch; olive oil from Yolo Press; flowers and melons (later in the season) from Yolo Bulb; honey from McDonald Orchard; almonds and almond butter from Cabral Farms; Asian vegetables from Zhey’s Farms.
Meat & Fish
- Bledsoe Purebred John & Dan Bledsoe (Meat)
- Cache Creek Meat Brian & Kristylyn Douglas & Levings (Meat)
- Coffee Pot Ranch Bob Sorensen (Meat)
- Five Dot Ranch Five Dot Ranch (Meat)
- Mission Fresh Fish Patrick O Shea (Fish)
- Purple Pearl Vineyards Rory & Brenda Horton & Inman (Figs, Fish, Grapes, Wine)
- Schwarz Sausage Bill Schwarz (Meat)
- The Little Fish Brand & Laura Little (Fish)
- Yolo Land & Cattle Karen & Scott Stone, 100% Natural Grass-Fed Angus Beef from their ranch in Yolo County.
Hot, Prepared Foods
- Buckhorn Steak and Roadhouse steak sandwiches - only at the Wednesday Picnic in the Park
- The Hotdogger
- Jaymes' Fat Face - On Saturdays, Jaymes, the popsicle girl from Aisu Pop and the Jaymes' Fat Face pop and food shop on L Street, cooks up delicious food utilizing market ingredients! Ingredients not from the market are from the Davis Co-op! Arrive early or else you might miss some of the most incredible food available at the Farmer's Market since most items sell out before the market is over.
- Kathmandu Kitchen
- Original Steve's - only at the Wednesday Picnic in the Park
Pilar sells tamales. Son deliciosos.
- Tamales! I have never eaten a meal at the farmer's market before, but today I decided to lay down a few bucks for a pork tamale. Delicious!
- Raja's Indian Cuisine - In the mood for a dosa, momosa, or wrap?
- Davis Bread and Desserts - A market tradition for over 20 years. Hot cinnamon rolls and sticky buns to die for!!!
- OctoberFeast - Sells traditional Bavarian whole grain breads. Healthy and delicious.
- Upper Crust Bakery - Another Davis based bread maker. They sell their wares at Farmers' Market, because their bakery is not open to the public.
- Village Bakery - Excellent breads including an Asiago Loaf that pairs well with any fruit for a lunch in the park.
2 cheese vendors sell cheese curds, which are slightly salty, and slightly squeaky. Kind of like string cheese, but less oily. One of the vendors' names is Oakdale Cheese.
- Oakdale Cheese: Try the smoked gouda. Great for on crackers and whatnot. The cumin gouda is surprisingly similar with a very different finish.
- Spring Hill Jersey Cheese from Petaluma
- Ratzlaff Ranch (apple juice!)
- Aisu Pop: Jaymes is the energetic vendor selling the frozen fruit/veggie pops. Lots of tasty flavors, and all hand-made with produce from the market! Also check out the equally delicious Sammiches and Half-Pint Soups, available at the market during the colder months. (The Smoked Chicken Tortilla soup is sooo gooood!)
- East & West Gourmet Afghan Food, which sells Bolani — Really good stuff. They'll fill you up on samples alone and the guy (the older brother, also the son of the woman who helps to make it) is really nice. Well worth the money. I suggest eating it promptly when you get it though, because it doesn't taste as good after it's been in the fridge (cold).
- Honey! Multiple vendors. Farmer MacDonald or whateverhisname is. Great honey; it far surpasses that of anything you can find at the supermarket. 1lb for $6.50. My girlfriend and I can go through one in a week. Free samples too. Also Henry's Bullfrog Bees, http://www.bullfrogbees.com/Henry_s_Bullfrog_Bees.html.
- Gold Rush Kettle Corn is a great place to go. The always have samples, if you want to taste some without the temptation of having an open bag of pure, crunchy yumminess in front of you. It's hard to eat a bag in more than 1 sitting!
- Olinda Olive Oil — This old guy normally appears on Saturday mornings but has some of the best olive oil in terms of quality and taste. The "Yellow Mellow" oil, made out of riper olives, has a lovely buttery taste with an entrancing yellow opalescent color.
- Mike Madison and his lovely wife sell beautiful flowers most of the year and plants intermittently, presses incredible olive oil, makes preserves, and grows the sweetest melons in the summer. He has also written a fantastic book that got a great review in the SF Chronicle about the life of a small-scale market gardener.
- Monticello Bistro sells delicious seasonal prepared food in jars to take home such as soups, applesauce, lemon curd, and pesto. Caterers Tony and Rhonda Gruska plan to reopen their Winters restaurant in Davis. In all of their food, they endeavor to use fresh, very local ingredients.
- Yolo Press Olive Oil
Crafts and Other Non-food
There are some official craft vendors at the Farmers Market, and also some vendors in the nonprofit section that sell crafts. (See also the Davis Flea Market.)
- OPWES - "Ordinary Percussion with Earthy Sounds", gourd and wooden drums.
- butterbean (Saturdays only) - organic screen-printed t-shirts (formerly nina and tom)
- Rural Rap and Jewelry (Saturdays only) - sells jewelry to benefit Rural Rap (a nonprofit or charity of some sort?)
Organizations to Support
The market is also a great place for organizations to get their message out and to find new members. Tabling space is limited and available on a first come first serve basis, so organization representatives should arrive early and speak with Davis Farmer's Market organizers. Some paperwork is required once a year, and there's a $20 processing fee. Any organization offering potentially dangerous activities (Rocknasium's climbing wall comes to mind) may need to show that they are insured. It is also recommended that organization representatives bring some form of shade during spring and summer months, as it can be very hot and space under the canopy is reserved for retail vendors on Saturdays and for long-selling vendors on other days.
There's an odd assortment of organizations in this section of the market, including political organizations like the Obama 2012 campaign, nonprofits seeking donations like a group seeking to protect burrowing owls, nonprofits selling things like Davis Dollars, and high school and college student groups seeking volunteers, donations, or study subjects.
The layout of the Farmers Market - food/produce vendors on one end, nonprofits on the other end - leads to the "Farmers Market U-Turn": people frequently make an abrupt u-turn as soon as they realize they have left the food/produce vendor section and have entered the nonprofit section.
The Market was started in 1975 and has always been in central park. During the period of the 1950s to the 1970s, urban based farmers markets in the United States saw a decline. The Davis market was one of the early farmers markets that was part of the 1970's United States urban market revival (often called "greenmarkets" after the New York City project that began a year after the Davis market) and the organizers still continue to advise other communities looking to open their own farmers markets.
The California Federation of Certified Farmers Markets office is located in Davis, CA. For more information on farmers markets, visit the USDA website.
Dogs at the Market Issue
There used to be a local Labrador rescue that came to the market every week. The Yolo County SPCA also came from time to time. Both were quite popular attractions for children and adults alike, and many animals were adopted — note the number of Labs around town! Then another dog rescue, The Dog Spot started coming to the market and also was a big draw that successfully adopted out many animals. To make a long story short, Yolo County SPCA accused The Dog Spot of something (no doubt the real issue was just about turf), and in the end, all dog rescues were banned from the market, supposedly because of "health reasons." Some people think that the people who run the market are anti-dog. After all, other animals visit the market and are petted, such as the pigs on Pig Day. The market just doesn't seem the same without the dogs.
** The above information is FALSE. Yolo County Animal Control investigated The Dog Spot and found numerous code violations including Giardia. The market decided to no longer allow dogs because of the positive tests for Giardia and the risk to the public (the opinion of the market). The Yolo County SPCA Loves the location at Petco and did not have any sort of Turf War. Feel free to call YCAS to verify this information. —Ashley Dunleavy
And who called the Yolo County Animal Control concerning The Dog Spot? Is it really so unusual that animals in a rescue organization might have animals with giardia? (especially given that giardia is extremely common in this part of California — many dogs get it from just from drinking out of puddles. Aren't there animals all over the park (squirrels, birds, etc. — not to mention pony rides)? Did it really make sense to ban all of the animal rescue organizations?
None of the animal groups were happy with the markets decision. But the point is there was and is plenty of room for all 3 groups if they were allowed. As far as calling animal control I believe it was people who adopted animals that were sick. Giardia is very common. Apparently the people who run the market are not aware of this. —AshleyDunleavy
Well, I would like to know what it would take to get the market to revisit their decision, or whether they have made up their minds and refuse to budge. So many animals were happily adopted from the market. It was good for families and good for the animals.
Wow, and I thought these non-profit, animal welfare groups would be above a petty competition to see who could get the most dogs adopted...I guess I was wrong. Whatever happened to working together and striving for a better world and all that jazz? —TheShah
2008-11-19 14:44:23 Wait. Where is the Farmer's Market going?! Why no more market after November?—SunjeetBaadkar
- According to a news item dated 2/14/08 on their website, they are not operating the Wednesday market during the winter to concentrate on Picnic in the Park the rest of the year and to give farmers a break. —LillianChow
- "The plan is to no longer operate the Winter Wednesday Market next season and focus all our energies on making Picnic in the Park Wednesdays better than ever. Now everyone can enjoy this wonderful event even longer and the farmers can take a much deserved break during the winter on Wednesdays." ES
2009-05-27 15:21:43 I wish Davis would get a new administrator or manager for the farmers market. The lady that runs this thing is very rude and had 0 personality, Also what is with the 4 corn dogs that taste like 50 cent corn dogs?? why do things cost so much at this market?? I love going to markets but this Davis site needs a upgrade and lower prices period. Please I would love to here from other market goers —Brians
2009-11-20 15:03:04 I agree that things cost more (think Sacramento Farmers Market, Yolo Fruits Stand and Pedrick Produce) here compared to other market. I think it caters to a different clientele (e.g. college students who live locally and don't want to drive, people looking for "heirloom" and organic produce), and especially the people who were just visiting the market for it's festive atmosphere (which I LOVE). It's hard to swallow some of the prices there - e.g. the organic eggs there are $10 a flat, where the eggs from chickens with no hormone, naturally fed are $4 a flat at the SFM. Many farmers couldn't afford to get certified organic because of the high cost and the extra staff involved for paper work, etc, it doesn't mean we shouldn't support them. —val
2010-03-10 23:40:18 Whatever happened to Dave the Free Hug Guy!? I haven't seen him in ages. I want a free hug... —TheShah
2010-03-17 17:43:26 He's still around. Several other free hug competitors have also moved into the free hug market. You now may have a choice of hugs. :-) (Since they are free, try them all!) —IDoNotExist
2010-03-20 13:20:11 the lady who runs the apple juice stall is a bit rude - i know the juice is delicious, but damn, try to be a little polite! —boing3887
2010-04-11 17:22:23 Lots of confusion and disorganization with the bounce houses. The workers aren't sure how/when to take money or tickets, when to let kids in, when and how to get kids out, and how many times a kid can go down a slide. Lots of parents are complaining, but the owner didn't seem to care. The area needs to be free or more closed off with kids wearing a sticker or something to indicate they paid. Also, they need a designated shoe box or rack because shoes get left everywhere and everyone trips over them. —NoelBruening
2010-06-04 16:26:28 I asked the owner of the dried fruit stand at the Davis Farmers Market whether she sells at the Sacramento Farmers Market (because I have friends who live in Sac) and she replied "no". When asked "why" she replied that the people at Sacramento FM are "so cheap". Personally I don't think that's true, considering Sacramento's best chefs, such as Chef Patrick Mulvaney from Mulvaney's Bulding & Loanshop frequent that market. I don't think I'll buy from someone who prejudice against shoppers again. —LeeY
* I'm trying to bend my mind around this. So a stall owner says she doesn't go to the Sacramento FM because she isn't making money because of the type of customers there, and you're angry about it because this is "prejudice against shoppers." If she's not making money there, she can decide not to set up there. That's not "prejudice," that's how businesses operate. How scandalous. Let's punish her! —EdwardNiemand
2010-08-04 13:07:03 the Sunday market in Sacramento is way better than either of the Davis ones. aside from the lower prices, the former has way more variety and I've found produce to be a lot fresher. I go to farmers markets for food, not to see pony rides or pig races. that's just not my style. —AsmaMaryamMohseni
2010-08-06 15:12:04 I have some of the BEST memories here. It's always great to go with friends, family or even take a stroll here by yourself (you're usually bound to bump into someone you know). The park is absolutely gorgeous and they've done a lot of nice work with the plantings on the perimeter (towards B street side). Lots of open space to relax and just take it all in!
Some of my favorite things about the Farmers Market are the Wednesday picnic in the park (so nice to see the community having fun and enjoying the nice weather), Fat Face popsicles, Village bakery bread and just the bounty of produce offered there. Good food, nice place :) —AmberMa
2011-03-27 03:56:56 I hit this up as often as I can. I feel deprived if I go more than a week without some Montoya's tamales, real apple juice (the kind you can't see through), and Village Bakery sticky buns... which I'm generally too slow in waking to get my hands on. Alas. That said, yeah, it's more expensive than going to a grocery store but it's also an investment which sees more return every day. By the way, if you want to learn to cook (in general or specifically healthy/organic/vegetarian food), this is a great place to start. Challenge yourself to buy the ingredients you see around you and either come up with recipes on your own or use the great, mysterious internet thing to find something new. It's really interesting and a great learning experience- occasionally tasty, too! —KBathory
2011-05-13 15:25:38 OMG THE CIDER!!! —Dozer
2011-05-14 06:55:03 I saw mulberries in one of the pictures. Does anyone know if they still sell them? —SamL
2011-06-01 15:17:12 I showed up today (wed, june 1) at 2:30 in time to see a few leftover vendors packing to go home. Just a warning to anyone else thinking of making the trek down on a rainy day, I came back damp and without produce. —EdwardRiggins
At 2:30, are you sure they were packing up rather than setting up? This time of year the market doesn't get started until 4:30PM on Wednesdays. —TomGarberson
Oops! Thanks for the heads-up, I went back later and the Loquats were Huge. I'm going back for more today.—EdwardRiggins
2011-12-08 12:07:29 I love Farmer's Market on Wednesday, but what about the food? What other types of food would you like to see at the Farmer's Market on Wednesdays? What price range are you willing to pay? —DjMisschiff
2011-12-14 12:56:20 The Bacon Classic at the Fat Face booth is the best breakfast sandwich I've ever had in my life. —sba
2012-11-03 16:01:31 What happened to Alex the Balloon Man? I haven't seen him in a year or so. —sbyun