Locavore: What’s Fresh, Local and In Season


At a time when it seems like everything is shipped in from China, it’s such a relief to shop where nearly everything is locally sourced, your nearby certified farmer’s market. And if you’re a foodie, or even just mildly interested in food, you are missing out if you haven’t been to San Francisco’s Ferry Building lately.  Inside, you’ll find more than 40 food-related businesses, outside on Saturdays a hundred or more additional vendors set up one of America’s most celebrated farmer’s markets.  As a cook, there’s no better way to find out what is local and seasonal than to shop at a farmer’s market, and as far as I’m concerned, nothing stimulates my creativity more than a trip to a great farmer’s market. While the Ferry Building market is the most well-known, there are, of course, highly regarded farm markets in Berkeley, San Rafael, Palo Alto, Mountain View and in most every city and town in the Bay Area (click here for farmer’s market locations in the nine-county Bay Area). One of the great perks of the Saturday Ferry Building market are the free food demonstrations given by top (and often famous) San Francisco chefs. Lots more photos of my discoveries this past Saturday, after the jump…

Buckwheat sprouts, one of hundreds of unusual items at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market

In season in April: sugar snap peas, fava beans, strawberries

Sample spreads made from flax seeds

Rancho Gordo dried heirloom beans grown in Northern California

Hodo Soy's poached soy loaf, tofu jerky, hijiki tofu salad

Seven varieties of dry-farmed organic potatoes grown by Little Organic Farms, near Petaluma

Eight varieties of dried fruit and vegetable chips

Sciabica's extra virgin olive oil infused with orange, jalapeño, basil, garlic, among other flavors, pressed from California olives

Arugula blossoms, horseradish root, lavender blossoms, all edible!

Flowers grown by Cypress Flower Farm, Moss Beach, CA.

Lots of outdoor dining, and ferries to Oakland, Alameda, Larkspur, Vallejo and other destinations

More outdoor seating on the Market Street side, street cars going by, BART two blocks away, AT+T Park, a 15-minute walk

The Ferry Building Farmer’s Market operates Saturdays, year-around, 8 a.m.- 2 p.m., smaller markets take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Mountain View Farmer’s Market, 100 Castro Street, Sundays, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Palo Alto Downtown Farmer’s Market, Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon

Marin County Civic Center Farmer’s Market, Thursdays and Sundays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Berkeley, Corner of Center and MLK Way, Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.

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