Organic For the PeopleI often tell people that letting me loose in a farmer's market is like giving a gambling addict a ticket to Vegas. I spend all the money I have, and then head to the ATM for more. That was certainly true at the Ferry Plaza Market down on the Embarcadero. Just thinking about it, with its myriad temptations and delights, makes me sigh.
That said, I am very happy about the Farmer's Market situation up here. There are numerous markets in Marin, offered at different times throughout the week, so that if you miss one, you can hit another. Here is the list I've compiled thus far:
FARMER'S MARKETS IN MARIN COUNTY
Sunday - 8am to 1pm - San Rafael Civic Center (year around)
Sunday - 10am-1:30pm - Sebastopol Downtown Plaza (May through October)
Tuesday - 4pm to 8pm - DeLong Avenue in Novato (May through October)
Wednesday 12-5pm - Tamalpais Drive @ Hwy 101 in Corte Madera
Thursday - 8am to 1pm - San Rafael Civic Center (year around)
Thursday - 6pm-9pm - Downtown San Rafael @ 4th Street (April through September)
Saturday - 2pm-5pm - Walnut Park & Petaluma Boulevard
Saturday - 9am-1pm - Point Reyes Station (June through October)
It makes me happy to know that all that wonderful produce is so accessible. I do have pangs of sadness over the fact that I can't slip into Recchiuti for the Rose-Caramel truffle that I adore, and that if I want a hunk of my favorite cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery, I have to drive up to Point Reyes to get it. But these are minor quibbles - and not having those places so handy has saved me quite a chunk of change.
I've put myself on a Market budget, in fact. I did it for a couple of weeks as a lark, and now it has become a game. Before I go, I stop by the bank and withdraw 2 twenties. That's it! You simply cannot imagine how much stuff 40 bucks will buy. When I recall that ridiculous article by Julie Powell in the NYT last week, proclaiming that buying local and organic is out of the price range of most people, I scoff.
Each week, I literally have to take a trip to the car halfway through to unload, and then go back for more. This morning, at the San Rafael Civic Center, I got a dozen large brown eggs, fresh flowers (including the artichoke flowers pictured to the left), baby beets, swiss chard, pluots, grapes, herbs, pink chard (gorgeous!), enough basil and garlic for a bowl of pesto, baby squash (look at those blossoms! How adorable are those?!), sweet white corn, arugula...
AND a croissant to get me started. 40 bucks, people. That's awesome.