Today our close-to-home Sunday noontime farmers market (that we consider our actual local market) was hopping, with a steel-drummer to amuse the other senses as well as a magician for the young organic consumers. Lots of wee consumers learning about “the organics” while enjoying music, magic, and sunshine today. It’s great to see our neighborhood’s local market expand every week, since it’s an area neither affluent or nor well-served produce-wise.

Apparently, this Sunday competes with a well-established market elsewhere in the city, which caused it to take off slowly. Every Sunday it’s been bigger, though, which is a very good sign. Honey vendors, a hand-made soap man, baked-goods vendors, flower folks, competitors for our vegetable custom, meatmen — several new stalls have made our nearby market the new place to find freshness on Sundays.

We still have some things left in the fridge and larder from Wednesday’s market, so today we focused on breads and just a few produce items.

Also! We found a swell new soup/drink from a man whose ironing board was set up right in front of Health Haven, the greatly expanded healthy food store between Grove and Hayes on Divisadero. He had coupons for mail-in rebates and little tasting cups, so we ended up buying one brocolli soup/drink that’s in the freezer now. Will advise.

Here’s today’s market basket….

Four yams from Padau Market, Fresno

One loaf of Asiago Cheese Sourdough from Beckmann’s Old World Bakery, Santa Cruz, for this week’s sandwiches

Two almond-stuffed bearclaws from Beckmann’s Old World Bakery, Santa Cruz, eaten upon arrival home…

A bag of six chocolate-dipped royal almond-coconut cookies from Beckmann’s Old World Bakery, Santa Cruz. We’ve had these in the house before; they don’t last long.

Pound and a quarter of organically grown strawberries from J & M Ibarra Farms, Reedley. Patrick learned from his new San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market Cookbook that strawberries should be transferred from their container into a flat tray left out on the counter, and then consumed within two days. That way, the berries aren’t smooshing each other, and you get a chance to remove that one at the bottom — that invariably has started to soften — before it infects the others.

Salad greens mix from J & M Ibarra Farms, Reedley. Lots of exciting purples, reds, and greens in this mix, it smells very pepper-y.

Wild Veggie Broccoli Souper Drink, all natural vegetable soup/drink from Health Haven on Divisadero

It’s very exciting to have two farmers markets — Castro on Wednesday afternoon (3ish-7) and Grove every Sunday at noontime (10-2) — just blocks from home. There are a lot more organic choices in our home menu lately, simply because of these two markets. And with two comprehensive market events nearby each week, we have much less spoilage when eyes are bigger than stomachs, as my grandmother used to say!

Have you found your nearby farmers market yet? Do you also have a backup market on days when you miss the primary market? Both of these markets have been set up within the past year, proving that a community void can be filled with the right impetus. Does your locality still need a push to organize a farmers market? Are you deprived of locavority completely?

And does your market have a kiddie magician?

Share your market tales in the comments; also please join me for Food Wednesdays over at the Seminal; I try to write-up our purchases every mid-week evening upon our return home from the market. That post goes up just before we watch Countdown. Be sure to check the Sunday Seminal for Food posts all day long as well!

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge