Happy Ever After in the Market Place

People probably think we’re nuts for religiously shopping at the farmers market each Saturday and carrying home nearly all of our groceries on public transit. (Although I bet seeing Food, Inc. will inspire others to do the same). But rather than scale back, we’ve got to a point that one trip to the farmers market isn’t enough anymore.

So we’re going to more markets, at times, to two markets in one day: taking BART to our usual SF Ferry Building Farmers Market in the morning, and then biking to the Berkeley Farmers Market in the afternoon. Or, more often, we go to two markets in a weekend: the SF market on Saturday and then over to the Temescal market on Sunday.

Going to both SF and East Bay markets gives us the ability to still shop and visit with our Ferry Building market favorites (and still get our Primavera fix for the week), while also at least trying to be a part of the E.B. farmers market community. Plus, we get to try out farms and producers that don’t come to the Ferry Building markets, like Riverdog, Highland Hills and Phoenix Pastificio.

watermelon

Multiple markets also make it easier to get summer’s delicate fruit home in one piece. I don’t have to worry about swishing peaches or tomatoes in our already packed bags. Other seasons have such hearty, durable produce, but summer peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, and berries all need to be somewhat protected to survive the trip home on BART or on our bikes.

Given all that’s in season at the market in the summer, it also makes the difficult decision of what to buy a little easier. I can pass up the strawberries on Saturday, knowing I can get them at another market, if needed.

Mostly, though, going to more markets has just become a necessity for us, given all we are now buying locally. It’s not just produce we’re hauling home, it’s eggs, cheese, butter, meat, bread, flour, rice, and beans. Making multiple trips keeps our loads slightly lighter, especially in this super-abundant season. It allows us to buy a few pounds of flour or the heavy three pounds (!) of Primavera’s masa for tortillas or a watermelon, say, because we know we can pick up other items at another market later in the week.

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