At first, I was drawn to the Handlebar Farm stand for the beautiful, fresh-looking summer veggies—carrots, tomatoes, green beans—displayed in smart-looking fashion. But I return each week for the low prices and consistent high quality of the no-spray lettuce and other greens produced on the Sebastopol-based farm, run by Emily Mendell and her husband, Ian Healy. The couple started the farm in 2012, a process documented on their lively Handlebar Farm blog; the young couple recently extended their reach from farmers markets to a pop-up veggie stand in Santa Rosa's Courthouse Square.
"There aren't really any places in downtown to find fresh produce," Healy says. "We wanted to create a place where people could buy vegetables after they get off of work." Located on the northeast side of the square, the cart is chock-full of the farm's bounty and provides a nice alternative to picking up a slice of pizza or a hamburger after work.
Handlebar Farm can be found at the West End Farmers Market on Sundays from 10am to 20pm, at the Forestville Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 3pm to 7pm, and at their Downtown Santa Rosa Veggie Cart every Thursday from 2:30pm to 6:30pm.