Shirl Mendonca: Penn Valley Farmers Market bigger, better than ever |

Shirl Mendonca: Penn Valley Farmers Market bigger, better than ever

Please check out the Penn Valley Farmers Market on Thursday mornings at Western Gateway Park. It is bigger and better than ever. When I was there last week, there were 15 vendors and, according to Shanna Johnson, local organizer and part of Johnson Family Farms on Highway 20, more vendors are coming.

The market is sponsored by the Nevada County Certified Growers Market. Prior to market participation, the ag department must “certify” that each vendor actually grows what they sell so you can trust that the produce is local. Certified Organic refers to growing methods and is something entirely different so be sure to read vendor signs carefully if that is important to you.

2016 vendors include both organic and non-organic veggies and fruit. The James Ranch is also there with grass-fed lamb and Family Friendly Farms is offering grass-fed beef, pasture raised pork, free range chickens, meadow-grass lamb, and eggs; I did pick up some breakfast sausage and some Italian sausage and both were delicious.

Other food items include Calolea Olive Oil, Nana’s Artisan Bakery, Zia G’s Candy (great truffles), White House Goodies with granola and trail mixes, and Mc Claughry honey. Rumor has it that there may even be a BBQ vendor soon.

In addition to flowers, non-food items include beautiful handmade soaps and lotions from Ivy at Botanical Body Soaps. Karen Kelly of Handmade Crafts has a wonderful assortment of neck coolers to wear in the summer heat, along with handmade kitchen items, and sport dolls. If you are looking for some whimsy in your yard, there is also a nice selection of large, colorful metal flower stakes to accent your regular garden flowers.

Parking for the market is just opposite the main entrance on the far side of the circular driveway. The market booths are set up nearby between the basketball court and the driveway making a beautiful setting with room to grow as more vendors hear about the great venue. If you have a farm type business and are interested in learning more about the market, call Mary Glanz at 530-265-5551 or email

The Grower’s Market Association booth has lots of farm information and Shanna will be there to answer your questions. For a listing of all the other farmers markets in the area along with local farms, ranches, orchards, vineyards and CSAs nearby, pick up a copy of the 2016 Farm Guide while you are there.

Just a heads up, per state regulations no dogs or smoking are allowed at the market.

LWW Swimming Pool

The pool is now open and with all the remodeling and upgrading over the last few years, it is a beautiful spot to cool down on a hot summer day or just enjoy a picnic under one of the bright umbrellas. There are also a lot of great programs at the pool including open swim, lap swim, water aerobics, swim lessons,” flick and float” movie evenings, and swim team meets. The Lakeside Café is also open. Check with the Community Center for more information.

Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood or Penn Valley? Contact Shirl Mendonca at

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