Monday, June 04, 2007

Fruit, Veggies And Music

Fruit, Veggies And Music -- Benicia Farmer's Market Inspires Connoisseurs And Conversations
By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Farmer Paul Bruins, of Winters, stacks his organically grown tomatoes at the FarmersÕ Market in Benicia. Bruins is one of dozens of vendors at the weekly event. photo by Zachary Kaufman)

For 15 years, the Benicia Farmers' Market has been a place to shop and socialize.

More than 60 vendors, many of them farmers, bring their produce and wares, said Kristin Rinaldi of the Benicia Main Street Association. "We keep away from things that are too commercial," she said, noting that artists are scrutinized before being asked to participate.

She calls the market "upscale." It features weekly entertainment ranging from classic rock to smooth jazz.

People travel from surrounding cities like Vallejo and Walnut Creek to shop. "It's a pleasant experience," Rinaldi said. "Not only is it in a shopping area, but people can see their friends here, too. And, we have food vendors so people can get their dinner here, too."

Solano County is home to four farmers' markets. They are:

Benicia: Open Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. April-October. Located in downtown Benicia, between B and D streets.

Fairfield: Open Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. May-October. Located in downtown Fairfield by the county government center on Texas Street.

Vacaville: Open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon, May-November. Located in the 300 block of Main Street.

Vallejo: Open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. January-December and Wednesdays from 4-8 p.m. June-September. Located on Georgia and Main streets in downtown Vallejo.

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