At the Market: McK farmers’ market, others blooming with booths

Thursday afternoon in McKinleyville: friends, live music, fresh vegetables and fruits, plants and starts, something delicious to take home for dinner. 

It’s all there at the weekday Farmers’ Market from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Eureka Natural Foods, 2165 Central Ave.

 Already out of the salad mix you bought on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday? No worries.  

Don’t feel like cooking dinner? No worries.

Ready to work in your garden now, not Saturday? No worries.

The McKinleyville Farmers’ Market is open from June 1 until October, featuring such booths as Leo’s Plants, Luna Farm, Luscious Gardens, McIntosh Farm, Pizza Gago, Misty Meadow Farm, Rain Frog Farm, I&I Farm, Sistah’s Vegan and Woody Ryno Farms.  

If I’ve left off any other vendors, you’ll just have to come and discover them for yourself. As the season goes on, more vendors usually join in the fun. I bought huge blueberries there late in the season last year from Noble Berry Farm.

Woody Ryno Farms is a good example of the incubating nature of the McKinleyville Market. Chris Moore started off at the Thursday market in 2016 as a regular, also getting a space at the Arcata Market when it was available to work up his seniority there. He sold a fantastic array of sausages and bacon, with the farm’s Honey Lavender Bacon a big hit. (Mad River Union, July 27, 2016) 

I saw Moore at the Plaza last Saturday and was stunned by his beautiful display of Asian greens, each with its intricate leaf shape and color variation. He had, to name a few, Komatsuna, Tatsoi, Shiso, Bok Choi, Tokyo Becana (a cousin to Napa cabbage), and both Red and Green Mizuna, as well as stir fry mix, salad mix, and sweet and spicy mix.

 “I’ve tried to branch out into a bunch of different Asian greens,” he explained and it was clear that he had been successful. He’ll bring this green joy to McKinleyville Thursday but may have to leave early this week as his daughter is in a play. Catch him early or in the following weeks for these healthy and lovely additions to your summer salads and veggie dishes.

Parking is plentiful and if the market doesn’t have everything you need, pop into Eureka Natural Foods for that missing ingredient and be sure to thank them for hosting the market. The Farmers’ Market is also teaming up with the McKinleyville Community Services District for their Thursday late afternoon events. McKinleyville is hopping on Thursdays!

CalFresh/EBT cards are welcome; visit the information booth to find out about the Market Match program. Shoppers can sign up for both programs at the booth. The helpful staff at the booth are also good sources for recipes and nutrition advice.

I love the friendly vibe of this market with its tables and chairs in front of the bandstand. I usually run into Allie and Kathy there, always a pleasure. See you at the market!

Farmers markets offer fresh food bounty all around the county

North Coast Growers Association

HUMBOLDT – The Summer Farmers Market Season has arrived in Humboldt County, with the opening of six weekday farmers markets beginning the first week of June. With local markets in Eureka, Fortuna, McKinleyville and Willow Creek, community residents and visitors alike can celebrate the bounty of fresh, Humboldt-grown food at their neighborhood farmers’ markets. 

Eureka farmers markets have something to offer to visitors throughout the week, with three locations and times. Mid-day markets at the Old Town gazebo on Tuesdays and in Henderson Center on Thursdays are conveniently located and the perfect lunchtime stop to freshen up the week.

 The vibrant Friday Night Market at Clarke Plaza, hosted in partnership with the Eureka Visitor Center, promises a wide array of agricultural and prepared food products with even more vendors than last year, offering a fun activity for locals on Friday evenings.

The McKinleyville Farmers Market, located at the Eureka Natural Foods McKinleyville store, is once again teaming up with the McKinleyville Community Services district on Thursday late afternoons during the summer for their “lawn games in the park,” offering even more vendors and products than before. 

Late spring rains made for a slow start this year, but do provide water for a long and bountiful growing season. With something for everyone, local farmers are ready to share the fruits of their labor including a wide variety of delicious and affordable fruits and vegetables, humanely raised meat and eggs, goat cheese, honey, wine and flowers, along with nursery starts for the garden, native and ornamental plants and more. 

Hot prepared foods are also available at the markets, with offerings ranging from hand-made brick oven pizza to barbecue to vegan baked goods, sandwiches and soups, and everything in between. As always, farmers’ market festivities include free, local live music and a fun, family-friendly community gathering place open to everyone. 

Featured items at the farmers’ markets for June include strawberries, snap peas and summer squash, along with spring onions, broccoli, salad greens, meat, eggs, honey and flowers. Neighborhood weekday farmers’ markets are also great places to find nursery starts, seeds and ornamental plants for home gardens – whether they be in pots, straw bales or in the ground. For those who may be new to gardening, the farmers at the market are always happy to share helpful growing tips.

Customers with CalFresh/EBT cards are welcome at all of these North Coast Growers’ Association Farmers Markets, and Market Match is also available at every market to help make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable. CalFresh can even be spent on plants and seeds that produce food. 

Visit the info booth to learn more about CalFresh and Market Match and to sign up. The Market Info Booth also offers free nutrition information including recipes featuring local seasonal items from the market, food preservation guides, and growing guides for a variety of vegetables including both inland and coastal climates, to help make farmers’ markets accessible to more people.

Weekday markets are open every week rain or shine, starting the first week of June. More information like market dates and times, live music schedules and Market Match can be found at or by calling (707) 441-9999. 

Market schedule

• Arcata Plaza: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p,m, April through November; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., December through March

• Eureka Old Town, Second and F streets: Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., June through October.

• Eureka Henderson Center, Henderson and F streets: Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., June through October.

• Eureka Friday Night Market, E Street and Opera Alley: Fridays, 5 to 8 p.m., June through September.

• Fortuna Farmers Market, 10th and Main streets:  Tuesdays, 3 to 6 p.m., June through October.

• McKinleyville Eureka Natural Foods, Central Avenue and Pickett Road: Thursdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., June through October. 

• Willow Creek Community Commons, Veterans Park, Kimtu Road: Thursdays, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., June through August.