Farm Market Fresh: Mid-January

Five nights of sub-freezing temperatures around much of California last week was a good thing for crops that benefit and actually thrive on freezing weather during their dormant time of the year—the grapes, plums, peaches, and apples that will be harvested later this year.

But the severe cold snap—which broke at least temporarily this past weekend—was terrible for big citrus and avocado growers and many large strawberry and leafy green vegetable farmers around the state.

At the farmers’ market in San Francisco this weekend, several growers said they would not suffer like the big growers. They said the relative small size of their crops made it easier for them to get crops harvested before they were wiped out by the cold.

Small growers have fewer acres of crops to bring in and don’t depend on the migrant workers who move from crop to crop on larger farms.

Still the price of some produce is likely to go up simply as a result of low supply and demand.

At the San Francisco farmers’ market on Saturday and Sunday, there was plenty of local newly harvested citrus to choose from, and the prices were not astronomical.

Here is a list of the crops that you will find at the farm markets in San Francisco and Sonoma and many other farm markets around the country this week:

First of season: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, kiwi, red cabbage, scarlet turnips, winter broccoli.

Peak of season: Almonds, arugula, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, chard, chipotles, collards, decorative corn, celery root, dried fruit, dried garlic and onions, herb starts, horseradish, kale, leeks, leaf lettuce, mushrooms, dried onions, mandarin oranges, pistachios, pomegranates, pomelos, potatoes, olive oil, olives, navel oranges, radishes, raisins, salad mix, scallions, sorrel, spinach, sweet potatoes, squash (delicate, butternut, Kabocha, acorn, tangerines, hydroponic tomatoes, turnips, winter squash, yams, fresh herbs including rosemary, oregano, bay leaves.

End of season: Apples, apple cider vinegars, red and white Jerusalem artichokes, bok choy, celery, chestnuts, cilantro, chives, garlic, red flame grapes, pineapple guava, mint, parsley, persimmons, potatoes, pumpkins, tarragon, walnuts.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

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How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes


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