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Berkeley Farmer’s Market

Berkeley Farmer’s Market

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Spring has sprung.  It was a glorious morning as I set out for the east bay to check out the Berkeley Farmer’s Market for the Eat Boutique Bay Area Farmer’s Market update.  The air was crisp and was heavily scented with jasmine and cherry blossoms.  *sigh*  I love spring mornings.  I decided to head across the bridge to the other side of the bay to check out the Berkeley Farmer’s Market.  A bit about the Berkeley Farmer’s Market before we being.  This farmer’s market started in 1987 by the lovely Alice Waters, and is committed to supporting small-scale farmers who produce sustainable agriculture.  It is only on Saturday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.  It is merely a block in length and has that good ole homey feeling as soon as you walk up.

Bay Area Farmer’s Market Berkeley Farmer's Market

The first thing I like to do when I arrive at any farmers market is to grab a cup of coffee and walk the length of the market, once or twice, to see what is available and grabbing me.  I was in luck!  As soon as I walked into the market area, I could smell coffee, not any coffee, but very good coffee.  Not only could I smell the dark roasted brew but I could see the crowd gathering around the stall.  What a great surprise to see that Blue Bottle coffee was available.  Blue Bottle coffee is a local coffee and is based in Oakland.  They take great pride in micro roasting their beans.  Blue Bottle uses only the finest organic coffee beans, which are roasted in small batches.  Every cup is made to order using the drip method.

The nice thing about getting to the market a little earlier is being able to enjoy the serenity that is hanging over the market, as the vendors are setting up.   Hot coffee in hand, I strolled the market, planning my menu for the week.  It was very evident that spring is on the cusp of breaking through as there was an abundance of fresh asparagus, artichokes, baby leeks, green garlic, bitter but sweet dandelion greens, golden yellow chard  flowering bok choy and a rainbow of spring time beets.  I love (big inhale as I typed these words) the smell of spring time beets, musky, slightly dirty and a crispy dewy scent, it is hard to describe but I can almost taste them as I pull them to my nose.  I find it intoxicating like a big bold red wine.   How I love that!

Bay Area Farmer’s Market Berkeley Farmer's Market

The last of our favorite winter time veggies, watermelon radishes, carrots and butternut squash were still hanging on strong.  I will miss them but I am eagerly excited for more leeks, green garlic, chards, berries and the first sweet cherries, that were promised to be arriving in a couple months.

Bay Area Farmer’s Market Berkeley Farmer's Market

The Berkeley Farmer’s Market in only a block in length but they have a huge variety available.  Not only  is there a beautiful assortment of produce but they also offer fresh honey, fresh baked breads, cookies and pastries, beautiful orchids (which are a steal at the price of $5 for a small one or $10 for a larger one), multi-colored eggs more beautiful than Easter dyed ones and their yolks are the most vibrant golden yellow I have ever seen.  There was fresh chicken, lamb, beef and seafood.   I was entertained by a charming fellow at Hog Island Oyster as he shucked fresh oysters for me – nothing like a hot cup of coffee and oysters  that are merely flavored by the sea, to get you going for the day.  I ended up leaving with 2 pounds of fresh Manila clams!

Bay Area Farmer’s Market Berkeley Farmer's Market

I was in love with everything about this market.  The small time charm, the variety of the bounty, and the friendiest of the people. You will want to bring the entire family as there is not only lovely and organic produce and food to nibble on as well to bring home but there was entertainment, too.   Your children will love listening to the music and playing in the large grassy area and playground that is right next door.

Bay Area Farmer’s Market Berkeley Farmer's Market

I really enjoyed the Berkeley Farmer’s Market and I can definitely see myself making it a regular habit!  More market photos can be found here.

Vendor purchases:  Riverdog Farms, Happy Boy Farms, Happy Hen Farm, and Hog Island Oysters.

Bay Area Farmer’s Market Berkeley Farmer's Market

 

* this post was written for Eat Boutique and the local Farmer’s Market report

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S Lloyd

Wednesday 14th of April 2010

Local farmers should be encouraged all around the world. Where I live, it takes me 1 hr of driving to get to a local farmer Market and I never hesitate spending that 1hr for fresh great ingredients.

Bindu Tummuru

Tuesday 13th of April 2010

You have made me homesick all over again. I used to live a couple of blocks away from where they hold the farmer's market. It was my favorite weekly ritual...going to the gym, then walk around the corner to the market and finally my walk home with a bag full of farm fresh food. Good times.

Darya

Monday 12th of April 2010

Woohoo!! Farmers market update FTW!! Gorgeous photos!

Joy

Monday 12th of April 2010

I'm jealous. I'm tempted to hop on the plane and join you there!

Janet

Monday 12th of April 2010

I really need to get myself to that market!!