A little over five years ago, the North County Farmer’s Market in Atascadero returned to the beautiful location at Sunken Gardens and they were welcomed back to the downtown with open arms and a great celebration. Since then, Farmer’s Market has continued to provide plenty of fresh, farm-raised, locally grown, healthy and organic produce and many other options to take home and enjoy, including local honey, garlic, mushrooms, eggs, and so much more. Good cooks know that great recipes always taste better when made with the freshest ingredients, which of course can be found at our Farmer’s Market.

Other local vendors regularly showcase their wares at Farmer’s Market and you’re sure to find something handmade, organic and unique that you’ve just got to take home with you, like a carry-tote made from coffee sacks to put your purchases in! Hambly Lavender Farms has been a special visitor this summer, bringing great lavender products and some tasty recipes too. GreenLove regularly sells their all-organic granola, nuts, tonics, elixirs, essential oils and even fresh flowers; and if you come to browse the market while hungry (and who doesn’t?), I highly recommend buying a couple of tasty tamales from Garcia’s Tamale booth to quell your appetite, and then of course a few more to take home for the family to enjoy too!

During the summer months, the City sponsors the fun and exciting Farmer’s Market Summer Sizzle events. Each Summer Sizzle features a local chef who provides shoppers with complimentary, tasty samples and the recipe for their special dish, which can be made with fresh ingredients to be found at the market. Each of these events features great live music, plus wine and cider tasting that can also be purchased. FARMstead ED has also been visiting Farmer’s Market throughout the summer to introduce the SLO County Farm Trail map and to provide information about how to reserve fun and informational local farm tours. The final Summer Sizzle event of 2022 will be held on Wednesday, August 3rd and will feature tasty Irish samples and recipes from Chef Charles Doherty of Carndonagh Kitchen, musical entertainment by Dulcie Taylor, plus cider and wine tasting from Bristol’s Cider House and Lone Madrone Winery.

Shopping at Atascadero’s Farmer’s Market is the perfect opportunity to come downtown to explore and enjoy everything the area now has to offer. Be sure to visit the eclectic variety of new and well-established businesses along Entrada and Palma Avenues, Traffic Way and El Camino Real, such as Traffic Records, Anna & Company, Bramble Pie Company, Totum Home Goods, Atrium Mercantile, and so many more! You can plan to have a relaxing night out with a wonderful dinner, followed by a great movie at the new Colony Theater at Colony Square, and then a cool and tasty after-movie treat at LOL Yogurt at La Plaza! Don’t forget that Cielo Italian Restaurant will be opening soon at La Plaza, offering another beautiful dining option in town.

I highly encourage everyone to come visit our many wonderfully unique and charming restaurants, bistros and shops, and be sure to include Atascadero’s Farmer’s Market as a regular stop for your household grocery shopping needs. It’s held every Wednesday throughout the year, on East Mall at Sunken Gardens. The hours are from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. throughout the spring and summer, and from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. during the fall and winter months.

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other topic related to the City of Atascadero, feel free to email me at rrickard@atascadero.org.

City Manager, Rachelle Rickard

Rachelle Rickard is a native of California and a nearly 30 year resident of Atascadero. She graduated with a business degree from California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University in San Luis Obispo. In February 1997, She took a job as the Accountant with the City of Atascadero and was promoted to the position of Director of Administrative Services. At the time of her appointment to the position of Administrative Services Director for the City of Atascadero, she was the youngest person ever appointed to that role; she was also the first female Department Head ever appointed within the City. Rachelle Rickard was appointed to the position of City Manager of the City of Atascadero in June, 2013.