It’s October, and I’m finally getting to my Market Report. For those of you who read this, I apologize for not getting a September report in. The fires and subsequent smoke and air quality issues, plus upcoming events and changes, kept me hopping the entire month.

Janet Ciel

Now we’re fully into fall, which is peak season for most of our area farms, so tables are overflowing with a sweet mix of late summer produce and autumn deliciousness. On top of the abundance of fruits and veggies, we always have a great selection of meat, seafood, cheeses, baked goods, prepared food and so much more. This year we’ve expanded our seasonal Craft Market into October, and Tuesday market has been extended through the end of this month.

I’m happy to say our markets are thriving.  While many businesses in town are either heartbreakingly closed for good, closed temporarily, or open with modifications, we’re having a strong year. I’ve pondered on this and figured out we’re experiencing a shift in our customer base. In prior years my guesstimate of how many tourists versus locals came to the market would be 30% tourist at the Saturday market and as much as 50% on Tuesday. This year Saturday might have 15% and Tuesday 20%. But our crowd size has been strong all season. Locals have found us! 

Hopefully those who are new to shopping the market are figuring out how much tastier the produce is and how long it lasts. You’re finding new favorite treats and weekly staples. You’re figuring out that the newly added Craft Market is a great option for gift shopping — and you’re enjoying breakfast, brunch or lunch with neighbors and friends. Outdoors, everyone masked, sanitizer stations and vendor-only product handling, the market is a safe and joyful place to shop. Support local entrepreneurs, connect with community, and keep this 42-year-old tradition alive for many more years.  

This month’s recipe is the meal I cooked last night. Everything is from the market.

Lamb Roast and Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 lamb roast (Shannon Ridge)

2 Tbsp. olive oil (Deergnaw)

Salt, pepper to taste

Chopped fresh rosemary (from my garden, but many vendors have it)

1 acorn squash (Preston Farm)

8 crimini mushrooms, diced (Duncan)

½ onion, diced (Middleton Farm)

½ sweet red pepper (Blue Leg Farm)

¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated (Valley Ford Cheese)

Butter to taste (Achadinha)

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

1)        Coat the bottom and top layers of a roasting pan with oil. I generally use spray oil to do this.

2)        Spray a smaller roasting pan with oil.

3)        Cut excess fat off roast and coat with oil. Place on top level of roasting pan and sprinkle with salt pepper and rosemary.

4)        Put the mushrooms, onion and peppers in the lower part of the roasting pan and spray lightly with oil. Place the top half of the pan with the roast, over the bottom half.

5)        Cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place face down on smaller roasting pan.

6)        Bake both for approximately 1 hour.

7)        Scoop out the squash into a bowl and mix in butter, cheese, roasted veggies, salt and pepper. Mix well and stuff back into squash shells. Sprinkle a little cheese on the top. Broil for 5 minutes. Serve with slices of lamb.

Janet Ciel is the manager of the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market. She can be reached at manager@healdsburgfarmersmarket.org.

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