Farmers Market Grilling Guide

June 23, 2023

Visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market Saturday, July 1, for all your peak-season barbecue needs, from organic stone fruit and vegetables to pasture-raised meat and plant-based proteins. Keep your cookouts fresh, simple, and sustainable by supporting local farmers and ranchers. We’ve gathered some grilling tips, farmers market picks, and recipes to inspire your outdoor summer feasts!

Grilling Tips

While your grill is hot, you’ll want throw on lots of peak-season fruits and vegetables from the farmers market, such as freshly picked sweet corn, peppers, green onions (cebollitas), and other summer favorites. How about avocados and stone fruit while you’re at it? Check out Prospect Chef Pam Mazzola’s fruit and vegetable grilling tips for inspiration.

If you’re grilling meat, whenever possible choose grass-fed, humanely raised, and organic meat from pastured animals, raised without antibiotics or hormones, and by ranchers using regenerative management practices that give back to the land. The money saved by using less meat can help to purchase better quality. See our animal welfare guide for labels to look for, as well as the list of local ranchers at our farmers markets below.

For some grass-fed meat buying and grilling tips, read our interview with rancher Loren Poncia at Stemple Creek Ranch. Find tips on how to craft burgers made from less and better beef, or no meat at all from the Better Burger Challenge.

Farmers Market Proteins and Goodies for the Grill

Allstar Organics offers an organic apple wood smoked salt as a smokey treat that ramps up the authentic flavor of a wood fire on all cuts of meat, and on roasted vegetables like potatoes and corn. It’s also a delicious addition to slow-cooked and baked beans. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Devil’s Gulch Ranch has grass-fed lamb, heritage pork, and rabbit raised in Nicasio. Pork offerings include chops, spare ribs, tenderloin, shoulder roasts, and ground. They also have ground lamb for lamb burgers and lamb leg roasts, as well as smoked and fully cooked and uncooked sausages. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Far West Fungi grows certified organic Portobello, King Trumpet, and other gourmet specialty mushrooms to provide savory meat alternatives for skewers and veggie burgers. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Farmer Joy offers pasture-raised duck and chicken eggs, along with ground beef and pork from her family’s sixth-generation farm in West Marin County’s Chileno Valley. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

H & H Fresh Fish Co. and The Little Fish Company provide fresh, locally caught seafood such as halibut and seabass. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Hodo has GMO-free organic tofu for skewers and tofu veggie burgers (organic, vegan, gluten-free, and highly grillable). Check out Hodo’s recipe for tofu satay. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Hog Island Oyster Co. farms oysters in Tomales Bay, ready for slurping fresh with Hog Island’s Hogwash or throwing on the BBQ. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Massa Organics has sustainably and humanely raised heritage pork from their organic farm, including juicy pork chops and sausages. As alternatives to hot dogs, try their linguica, bratwurst, Polish, or Italian sausages on your grill. And if making hamburgers, farmer Greg Massa recommends using a half-and-half mix of pork and beef. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

On Mountain Ranch, Norman and Aimee Gunsell raise chickens, cattle, and heritage turkeys. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Root Down Farm’s Dede Boies, a first-generation rancher, offers poultry and pork from from heritage breeds, humanely raised on pasture in Pescadero. Ferry Plaza, Saturday.

Sonoma County Meat Co.‘s owners source from local ranchers and leans on years of a culinary career to offer flavorful finds like honey lavender and Canadian bacon, Korean-style beef short ribs, lamb leg steaks, hot links, sausages, and more.

For sweet treats to complete your summer feasts, find pies and other baked desserts at Delightful Foods and Three Babes Bakeshop.

Summer Farmers Market Recipes

Here are a few delicious recipes from our local chefs and farms, plus some fresh seasonal salads.

Buffalo Corn with Point Reyes Original Blue | Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

Grilled Little Gem Lettuces with Blue Cheese Dressing and Strawberries | Jennifer Knapp, Jennifer Knapp Catering

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa | Sheldon Simeon, Cook Real Hawai’i

Whole Grilled Fava Beans | Louisa Shafia, The New Persian Kitchen

Grilled Peach, Quinoa, and Arugula Salad | Erica Holland-Toll, formerly of Prather Ranch Meat Co.

Grilled Melon Salsa | Alison Mountford, Square Meals

Grilled Corn and Arugula Salad with Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette | Joanne Weir, Copita Tequileria y Comida

Grilled Figs and Radicchio on a Rosemary Skewer with Cherry Tomato Salad | Eric Tucker, Millennium

Roasted Farmers Market Carrots with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce | Bruce Cole, Edible San Francisco

Summer Panzanella | Alison Mountford, Square Meals

Watermelon and Tomato Salad | Chris Cosentino, Cockscomb and Boccalone

Ensaladang Talong (Filipino Eggplant Salad) | Aileen Suzara, Sariwa

Frog Hollow Farm Rainbow Salad | Anna Buss, Frog Hollow Farm

Green Beans and Figs with Hazelnut Dressing | Joyce Goldstein, Inside the California Food Revolution

For more inspiration, see our grilling guide and recipe archive.

Stemple Creek Ranch ribs photo by Karen Pavone @farministasfeast.

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