Farmer’s Markets are the pulsing heart of a town or city. All the colors, tastes, smells, the intensity of the busy shoppers and the characters that are drawn to the scene make for a vibrant visit. Whether you go to photograph or nosh, people watch or shop, it’s always a great idea to seek out a local Farmer’s Market.
In San Francisco, miles away from the posh Ferry Building Farmer’s Market is the Alemany Farmer’s Market. Set between two freeways and adjacent to the housing projects, it’s an unlikely spot for the bountiful harvest each Saturday morning. Lots of families, eager organic eaters and people of all walks of life and ethnicities, all just trying to fill their bellies with healthy fare, meander though the dazzling array of local products. I often see Muslim women with headscarves bargaining with the Chinese vendors, Russian couples arguing animatedly about the price of cherries or seniors out with their shopping cart. The bread stand is run by a Brazilian family and the Hummus guy is Algerian. Blueberries are sold by a Russian gal with my name (I always walk by and say hello) and the Japanese cucumbers are to die for.
The Mexican tamales are famous and an African lady sells shea butter and beautiful baskets. I look forward to a cafe con leche and all the samples. My little son walks with one hand clutching a cucumber, a pain au chocolat in his other and a strawberry juice goatee. The honey stall is my kids’ favorite stop for a little taste of heaven on a toothpick. I can get enough produce, bread, cheese, fish and flowers for less than $50; cheaper than the supermarket and way better! In our house it’s a Saturday ritual, we listen to music, chomp on kettle corn, run into many friends, chat with the vendors and when we can’t carry any more we lug our haul back up the hill.