I decided to break away from my usual farmers market routine and visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. There are so many reasons why I love this farmers market. It is hailed as one of the best farmers markets in the country and the diversity of farm fresh food is astounding. I believe in the summer, you will be able to find over 75 varieties of tomatoes! For all the reasons listed below, it can get very crowded and even hard to move when the weather is nice. Therefore, it is wise to go on the earlier side if you want to get the best selection.
The location is magnificent. There is an intermingling of locals, tourists, chefs, and celebrities. The farmers are all verified and have sustainable farming practices. CUESA’s website has detailed information about the farmers, seasonality charts, and recipes. They also send out a free weekly eletter highlighting the current seasonal food, upcoming events, recipes, and spotlights on volunteers and farmers.
The ever so rare and coveted ramps.
The farmers who sell at this market go through an application process and only those who meet CUESA’s guidelines on sustainable agriculture are accepted when there are openings. I definitely feel more comfortable and safer when I buy from these farmers.
Crowd sourced marriage proposals.
Sawn, the gentleman pictured, enlisted his farmer friends to recruit shoppers to help him out on the proposal. The crowd recited a question to the unsuspecting girlfriend in unison and Sawn got down on one knee to propose. The girlfriend was in disbelief, but did say yes! Oh, yeah, the ring was inside of the Cara Cara orange!
The diversity of food is incredible. Chefs and serious cooks come here early in the morning to pick up things like horseradish root (pictured), green strawberries, and ramps for their restaurants.
I know, many locals complain that this farmers market is too expensive. I agree, most things cost a bit more at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. One of the reasons for the higher cost is that farmers pay a higher stall fee to set up and sell at this market. This fee is not for profit, but goes back into all of the amazing and positive things CUESA does for the food system. Each week, CUESA puts on educational demos, classes, and exhibits for people to learn about food and agriculture. CUESA is a nonprofit organization and largely run by volunteers.
Fiddlehead Fern- Far West Fungi
The awesomeness of SF is that we have roughly 22 farmers market each week! We are lucky to be choosy about where we get our local, seasonal food.