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It doesn't get much fresher than this. Check out the Sunday Farmers' Market. It's located under the freeway at 5th and W Streets, South of downtown. Official hours are: 8AM to noon year-round, but insiders know the farmers drive their trucks up beginning at 6AM. This is a certified farmers' market which means that 'genuine farmers may offer for sale directly to the public, only those agricultural products they grow themselves.' So you will find only those items which are 'in season'. But, because the Central Valley in which Sacramento is located has several seasons, the selection is vast, the produce is first-class, and the price is right.
The market hums with activity. The bounty is indescribable - fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, baked goods - even meats and fish. The shoppers come from all races and all walks of life. And for good measure, people promoting all sorts of political causes set up tables on the outskirts of the market. There is a true community feel. Most of the farmers offer samples - sweet orange segments, ripe strawberries with juice that runs down your chin when you bite into them, slices of melon in various shapes, colors and sizes. The flowers are magnificent and last until you can come back the following week to resupply. And the price is right - large bouquets for $10 or less.
Regular shoppers look for their favorites of the season - okra for the jambalaya, sweet peas with the fragrance that brings back many a childhood memory, and the sweetest, freshest corn imaginable.
Do yourself a favor - if you are a visitor to Sacramento, make a point of visiting this market. There's no better place to get a sense of the vast amount of fresh fruit and vegatables produced in this amazing valley. And you could even sneak a bag or two of something on the plane - a whole lot better than those snack packs.