Thursday, July 10, 2008

If It Can Work in San Francisco, It Can Work in New York

I know that lately I am obsessing over organic vegetables and farmers markets. Maybe it’s the summer season. Or maybe it’s because obsession tends to be a slight issue with me (see series of posts on mini-bundt cakes). At least this obsession has plenty of fiber.

So, when – by chance – I find myself to be staying just steps away from the historic San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (for once, the corporate travel agent has hit the bull’s-eye), I am compelled to take a stroll.

As I recently reported, the good folks at New Amsterdam Public in New York are working hard to get a permanent market established at the now-vacated site of the Fulton Fish Market. While this will probably continue to provoke endless debate in New York, San Francisco seems to have figured it out. The Farmers Market has been in operation since 1992 as part of the restored Ferry Plaza, which had been all but destroyed in the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. Today, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) hosts a range of education programs and twice a week, the people of San Francisco stream into the market for their pick of the most heavenly produce found on the face of the Earth.



A walk through the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a garden of earthly delights. I am tempted by luscious, blush-colored nectarines larger than tennis balls …



Luminous sunflowers line the pavement …


Bundles of crisp, orange carrots catch the eye …



Sweet California strawberries nearly burst with juice …



Just-picked salad greens sparkle in the morning sun …



And, a kaleidoscope of multi-colored peppers dazzle …


In the CUESA education center, the text on a placard offers food for thought:

“The Farmers Market contributes to quality of life … It provides us with fresh wholesome food, rich in vital nutrients. It also offers a gathering place where people from all walks of life, both urban and rural, come together to form a community.”


Are you listening, New York?

©2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

8 comments:

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I am headed to SF next week for the BlogHer conference, so I'll be able to pay my first-ever visit to the Ferry Plaza market. So much temptation -- do you think the airline will mind if I bring home a few extra bags filled with produce??

Colette Burke said...

This is a great example of how a farmers market should work - top quality, super fresh, delicious food. So often the quality is not there, and so the market does not attract enough customers. I do hope that the New York version gets off the ground, and that they are equally strict on quality control.Colette.

Nupur said...

All this fresh produce is making my eyes pop! I nearly pawed at the screen when I saw those gorgeous multicolored peppers.

Stella (Sweet Temptations) said...

Wish I were there!!

Tiffany said...

I think that is what I miss the most about living in San Francisco. It was my favorite :) I would love to have a real farmers market going around here.

Veron said...

Sigh, how I miss San Francisco. The pictures of perfect produce makes me wish that something like that would come to Richmond too!

Kathy said...

Don't worry--you're not alone! I'm obsessing over them in Houston too. I'm going to San Francisco in a couple of weeks and, as usual when returning from California or Washington, I'll be depressed about the lack of nice farmers markets at home. Look at those lovely carrots! Thanks for the preview.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I could spend an entire vacation at that market. Last time we were in SF for 4 days, so I filled up with fresh fruits at the market on Day 1, and had healthy hotel snacks instead of soda and chips. You really captured its freshness and beauty, TW.