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Your Favorite Farmer's Market Vendors...


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Most of the time I don't know the vendors by name-although I do have my favorites-but I thought it would be nice for us to compile a list of recommendations. I'll start:

Mushrooms: the Mushroom guy at the Jack London Market right by the parking validation stickers (who I could swear has posted on eGullet.) I am rapidly becoming too spoiled to buy mushrooms elsewhere! He has some tiny orange mushrooms called cinnamon caps that are incredible. For the last few weks I have been eating 2-3 meals/ week based on his various mushrooms.

Beans: [with profuse apologies to Rancho Gordo, who's beans I have not tried YET.] Iacopa Farms (not sure I'm spelling that right.) He is at the SF Farmer's Market on Saturdays & the Jack London market on Sundays. I've bought some nice dried Italian butter beans, but my favorites are his fresh cranberry and Romano beans in the summer.

Potatoes: there is someone at the Sunday Marin Civic Center Farmer's Market who has wonderful russets.

Artichokes: there used to be a guy who NEVER smiled or even talked at the center of the Jack London Square Market who had the best artichokes. I haven't seen him in a while, and I haven't found any other artichokes that are as good.

Your turn...

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Marshall Farm's: candles and honey, in that order. Stumbled across them a few years ago, and was regaled by a ten minute introduction to regional honeys, along with a description of why the honeys tasted different, and what was strong (or weak) this season. One week during the wintertime they had a small variety of candles made from leftover wax as an experiment. They burned with an incredible honey smell, and the 6" tall candle lasted us.. well, four hours per night for over two months. We praised them, recommended them, and asked for them off-season a few times, and they now seem to carry them all the time. Even the small votive candles last for ten hours or so. Friendly, quick to offer samples, and they have a nice variety of regional honey.

I also loved the crazy lady (lazy left eye, missing teeth in front, heavy set) who used to sell citrus fruits at the Grand/Lakeshore farmer's market on Saturdays. Haven't seen her over the last year, though. Very talkative, but would always dig through the piles for "the just ripe fruits" for me. I don't recall any signage, though.

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Most of the time I don't know the vendors by name-although I do have my favorites-but I thought it would be nice for us to compile a list of recommendations.

Ditty Deamer's Saturday Market website has profiles of many vendors at the various Bay area farmers' markets. Not updated lately, but most of her subjects are still around and actively participating. Her profiles give a face to the vendors, and provide some interesting background info.

Ditty Deamer's Saturday Market Vendor Profiles

Check our her other web pages linked at the bottom, too.

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fitz of fitzgerald farms peaches.

i used to buy peaches from him all the time. he's always trying to get people to eat the peaches to see how good they are. he'll also try to help with regard to choosing for acidity, sweetness, ripeness, etc.

fun guy.

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Mark

I have known this guy for nearly 6 years and still don't know his last name. He is at the Tuesday morning Napa market, the Wednesday St Helena Mkt and the Friday night Chef's Market. He used to have a place called Big Ranch Farms across from Nob Hill on Trancas, plus all his Farmer's Market visits.

I'm ashamed now. He knows my son's name, asks me about my car racing every time I see him, helps me with heirloom pumpkins....and I don't even know his last name.

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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Customers like yourselves who are dedicated to the market and the people who work hard to bring you the "fruit" of that labor are the best part of the markets. Watching people grow over the years is a wonderful thing that some of us who stand on the otherside of the table really enjoy. It is a strange relationship were names are not often exchanged certainly not beyond first names. These are no less relationships. However the CEO, chef,priest,mom,dad,nanny,etc., all have the same exact needs when at the market, and all have equal access. It is very democratic. Anyway what I wanted to say is your market people appreciate you too. I have worked at the markets ( not in bay area sorry) for 10 plus years and the people are the best part.

David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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I'm ashamed now.  He knows my son's name, asks me about my car racing every time I see him, helps me with heirloom pumpkins....and I don't even know his last name.

Mark Herberger.

Thanks Rancho...I knew someone local would know.

I feel minimally better about myself now.

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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  • 4 months later...

Just rousing this thread up to the top where it belongs, now that we're in the heat of summer.

I can't wait to visit Ferry Plaza and see Señor Rancho Gordo with his stuff, starting August 21 (isn't it the 21st?).

Alas, Ditty's list is somewhat outdated, like four years. I have to come see for myself, soon.

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Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce-Fan Tan Farms. Top quality produce at Farmer's markets from the Ferry Building to Santa Cruz. French filet beans, cannellinis, carrots, cippolini ionions, radishes, dry farmed tomatoes...

An all round great guy and awesome surfer...

He is one of the featured purveyors in the food section this sunday in the NY Times Sunday magazine. Check it out...

Go Joe...

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I like seeing Joe (or Jesse) at the Sunday market on East Cliff Drive. Mmm, they had a sale on haricots verts for $4/pound and I bought a lot. An embarrassing amount that I had to then invite company over to eat. Because they were there.

Hey, where is Marie-Louise? She must be out on her month-long anniversary jaunts.

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Hmmm ....

I don't know his name, but I love the "mushroom guy" at the SF Ferry Plaza market. He used to do the Civic Center FM, but moved upscale. I really don't know anywhere else I can get fresh porchini and bizarre wild mushrooms. And he's friendly.

Also, the "kiwi guy" at the Civic Center FM is wild fun. His features are 100% Han Chinese, and yet he has this very pronounced flat midwestern (Nebraska I think) accent. It's a really startling contrast. And he grows kiwis in CA. Go figure.

I'm also fond of the "dried pepper lady" at the Ferry Plaza (saturdays only). Really pricey, but where else am I going to buy woodfire-dried hot pimentos? And she sells organic wool. Imagine!

The Fuzzy Chef

www.fuzzychef.org

Think globally, eat globally

San Francisco

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  • 5 months later...

I had somehow missed this topic earlier.

We go to the Sunnyvale Farmer's Market regularly, every Saturday.

And some of my favorite vendor's are:

* ACME Bakery. We also have Le Boulanger, but I like ACME better. Their Batards are my favorite and also there Olive Bread.

* Preverdelli Farms. I never used to like eating apples. That was before I tried apples from these guys. Right now, the Fuji and the Gala are in the prime.

* The Fish Guy, (sorry, I forgot the name again) . He sells wild king salmon, among other things. Salmon is usually what we buy. Hands down his salmon is the best salmon I have ever tasted. His salmon is supposed to be sushi grade, too.

* Hamlow Ranches -- these are the folks selling the best peaches and nectarines here. This last season, the peaches were not that great, but the nectarines made up for it.

basket.jpg

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