I’ve gotten several requests lately for some Bay Area info regarding farmers’ markets, organic produce, and meetups. The Bay Area has a lot of great farmers’ markets. Unfortunately, a lot of them are expensive – it’s cheaper to go to Whole Foods to buy your produce, and it really shouldn’t be. These are just the places that I’ve been; there are more.
Some Bay Area Resources for Organic Produce, Local Produce, and CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture)
- MAGGIE’S PICK: Santa Clara Farmers’ Market (Saturday mornings; off of El Camino on Jackson Street). I went here for the first time on Saturday. It was great – romaine heads for $.50 each, heirloom tomatoes for $1.50/pound, 13 pounds of oranges for $8, etc… And these were the early deals – I was there around 9:15am. I bet they’d have killer sales towards the end. A lot of the stands here aren’t certified organic (yet), but they don’t use spray.
- Japantown Farmers’ Market (Sunday mornings in San Jose). I also went here for the first time this weekend. Unfortunately we went at the end and most things were closed, but it seemed like it would be just as good as the Santa Clara market. I got 4+ pounds of kohlrabi for $3, and a bunch of fruit for $1/pound.
- Union City Farmers’ Market (East bay; Saturday mornings). I used to go here about 1.5 years ago when I lived in Union City. It had very good prices. Maybe not quite as much selection as the big ones (Sunnyvale, Mountain View), but I always found everything I needed.
- Mountain View Farmers’ Market (Sunday mornings @ the train station). This market is overpriced. It has a lot of variety, but not many deals. If you go at the very end (after 12:30; it ends at 1pm) sometimes you can get things on sale. But at that point you don’t have a lot of options and I don’t like haggling.
- Sunnyvale Farmers’ Market (Saturday mornings). This one is just as overpriced as Mountain View. I think they have a lot of the same vendors. If you go at the end you can sometimes get deals. It’s hit or miss.
- Ferry Building Farmers’ Market (San Francisco, a few days during the week). This one is okay… cheaper than Mountain View and Sunnyvale. But I never go anymore because I don’t live near it. When I worked in SF I would go on my lunch break sometimes.
- San Jose Farmers’ Market (Fridays 10am – 2pm). I actually haven’t been here yet but I plan on going tomorrow. I’ll update this post once I know how it goes.
- MAGGIE’S PICK: Two Small Farms. From their website: “Two Small Farms is a collaboration between High Ground Organics and Mariquita Farm in Watsonville and Hollister. We grow organic specialty vegetables, greens, strawberries, flowers, and herbs for our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Francisco counties, and Silicon Valley.” I subscribed to this CSA for a few months last summer. Bobby and I split a share with another couple. It was $20/week for the share, so we only ended up paying $10/week for fresh, local, organic produce – and lots of it. The only reason we stopped is because you can’t pick what items you get. Two Small Farms just gives you whatever they have ready. I was actually thinking of starting up again because I’ve been juicing so much and using more produce that I was last summer.
- Farm Fresh To You. I haven’t done this one, but it looks awesome! They deliver to your home or work, you can cancel anytime, and they offer deliveries starting at just $23/week. Their website is fantastic; I have high hopes for this one. Here’s the review on Yelp – pretty informative. If you don’t have time to do your own shopping this would be great.
- Full Circle Farm. This place is specific to Sunnyvale. It’s a small farmstand at a middle school. The produce is overpriced, but it looks like it’s good quality. All organic.
- Terra Firma Farms. I honestly don’t know much about this one; I haven’t tried it. They serve San Francisco, north East Bay, and the Sacramento area. I hear good things. See their website for more info.
- Eat Well Farm. Don’t know much about this one either; it also serves the north Bay Area. Check out the website for more info.
- Dr. Doug Graham (a raw foodist) is speaking in Palo Alto on September 19th. See here for more details.
Is anyone interested in starting a Bay Area blogging meetup group (not necessarily through meetup.com)? Or some kind of mailing list? Email me or leave a comment and I’ll start a mailing list and maybe we can get something together.