With more than 85-hundred farmers markets in the U-S, it could be a little hard to canvass them all in your lifetime. Cathy Isom tells you about the Farmers Markets you might want to put on your must-visit list. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
From: Visit California.com
Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are culinary adventures, a chance to see, taste, and learn about the incredible variety of California’s farm-fresh produce and food products. They are also a chance to hang out with the farmers who grow the produce, and get their tips on how to use these ultra-fresh foods. And these weekly, often year-round events function as local gathering places, with little ones dancing to local musicians, moms cradling babies and fresh bouquets, and chefs leading walking tours to their favorite stalls. Also be on the lookout for specialty foods and handmade crafts too—great for gifts.
While outstanding markets pop up all over the state, here’s a handpicked selection to add to your travels.
Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market
Local shoppers, ferry commuters, savvy chefs, and tourists flock to the lively market that pops up outside the historic Ferry Building, along the Embarcadero. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, market tents cast their shade across an extraordinary variety of fruits and vegetables as well as prepared foods—and there’s a Garden Market selling plants and flowers on Sundays too. And every day, step inside the handsome 1898 building (still a working ferry terminal) to stroll through a dazzling food hall and market, and home to The Slanted Door and other appealing eateries.
Marin Farmers’ Market
Sample local bounty in pretty Marin County
For a less urban setting, venture north across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Farmers Market in San Rafael, where farmers, ranchers, cheese makers, bakers, beekeepers, and shellfish harvesters from Marin and Sonoma counties present their goods next to the Marin Civic Center building, a striking pink and blue building (it looks better than it sounds) designed by master architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Markets run Thursdays and Sundays year-round. On Thursdays, join the street-fair scene of Downtown San Rafael Farmers’ Market, Thursdays April through September, with live music and pop-up food booths.
Image credit: (top right) Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building – San Francisco, CA. By Daderot (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons