By Brie Cadman

The Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Tuesday along San Francisco’s embarcadero, is not a traditional place to pick up groceries. When my coworker and I visited last week—an unseasonably warm day in late March—vendors from local farms packed the sidewalk while shoppers bustled between the stalls, filling their canvas bags with seasonal goodies. For late spring, this meant piles of arugula, sweet tangerines, and big heads of broccoli. There were no grocery carts or ATM machines, and you couldn’t find bananas, mangoes, or other items that necessitated thousand-mile journeys. What you could find however, was a cashier with soil-caked fingernails who could tell you how to cook your mustard greens, how best to store them in the fridge, and what was going to be in season next month.
At the Farmer’s Market, you can find something you’ll never be able to at Safeway: the farmer.

The Local Lore

Locally grown, seasonal foods aren’t the norm for most Americans, who shop at large grocery stores supplied by industrial scale farms and producers. But scenes like that of the Ferry Building are becoming more and more mainstream. The popularity of buying foods from local farms was evidenced in 2007, when the New Oxford American Dictionary named “locavore” its Word of the Year. As they explain, “the past year saw the popularization of a trend in using locally-grown ingredients, taking advantage of seasonally available foodstuffs that can be bought and prepared without the need for extra preservatives.”

To read the rest of this article, check out the Fall Issue of WE Magazine for Women