This farmer’s market update for Eat Boutique is long overdue. I apologize. The nice thing about being a bit behind is that mother earth had a chance to bring us some beautiful spring time treats!
This weekend I ventured down to Half Moon Bay. I have been jonesing about this market since I heard about it in January. You see, I love Half Moon Bay for two reasons, one of my favorite beaches is down there and 3 of my favorite people live there! I love making the scenic drive down there, even if it is only to sit on the beach for 20 minutes (not kidding, that is all Lenny can take) or to grab fish and chips at our favorite little hole in the wall.
Half Moon Bay is a seaside town about 25 minutes south west of the city. There are two routes from the city, one is mainly freeway, while the other is coastal. We prefer coastal. It is curvy, steep and winds past hidden beaches and crashing waves. Even though the city is small, it has a lot of offer as it is a fishing port as well as an agricultural mecca. It truly is a little slice of heaven less than 30 minutes from the hustle bustle of the city.
We had planned to make a day out of the venture down to the market. Yes, that is a “we”. Lenny would road bike down to Santa Cruz and then make his way back to Half Moon Bay. I would meet up with the Richards for coffee and the market. I was happy to wake up to a damp and cold morning as this gave me the perfect reason to talk Lenny into having coffee with us before starting his ride. Despite the thick as pea soup atmosphere along the coast, the morning was beautiful. The sun was stretching it’s arms as hard as it could to give us glimmers of warmth for the drive. We noticed on the way that the ocean was an unusual and unbelievable glassy blue and the sand was so shinny that it almost blinded us while driving. I love mornings like this. We met up with the Richard’s at the Blue Sky Farms Nursery and Cafe, for coffee, scones and conversation before Lenny left for his ride and we headed to the market. In my opinion this is the perfect way to start the day.
This particular farmer’s market is known as the Coastside Farmer’s Market and they offer two locations from now until December. The first is in Pacifica and it is held on Wednesday from 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Pacifica is about 10 minutes north of Half Moon Bay. The other is, Half Moon Bay and is held on Saturday from 9:00 am – 1:00pm. The market is set in the parking lot of the Shoreline Station so there is ample parking available.
As I did my first walk through, to tease my taste-buds a bit, I felt as if I had skipped Spring as there was the first glimpses of sweet summer time corn and cherries. Don’t get me wrong, I love both; but, I am not ready to say good-bye to fresh favas, spring time peas, green garlic, baby red onions and tender greens. In addition to the last of winter’s citrus there was an abundance of red ripe strawberries, that were as sweet as candy, I picked up three huge baskets. First impression of the market is that it is small and compact, which I don’t mind. As well the first thing I could smell was fresh baked tamales, not a bad thing either. The market offers a variety of fresh from the farm produce as well as pottery, French charcutier, ready made pastries, pasta, condiments and fresh roasted coffee beans. As well there is live music which will have the little ones dancing the morning away. One could say there is a little of something for everyone and the market makes you feel like you are at “home” as everyone knows everyone and there are smiles and hellos every turn.
My highlights from the market were the fresh spring time peas and fava beans from the delightful couple who run Ibarra Cruz Organic Farms. I also picked up a few big bunches of sweet crunchy kale, fresh thyme and sage (they package up a very generous amount of herbs in each bundle) and spicy arugula from Farmer Johns. Farmer John and wife Eda are a “hoot” with their funny but sweet jabs back and forth! The cherries were not quite sweet enough yet, but I could not help myself so I picked up a pint from Busalacchi Farms. I had to refrain from buying some of the beautiful pottery from Wild Woman Pottery , I loved their small colorful bowls perfect for hearty soups – maybe next time. I will also be picking up some sausage from Fabrique Delices as I love French Charcuterie. I would definitely go back to this market even though I was not able to complete my weekly shopping there. If they add some vendors for fresh fish and meats, I would be more than thrilled!