Jack London Square Farmers Market, Oakland, Calif.

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014

slide show

The Jack London Square farmers market on Sundays in Oakland is a ghost town compared with its jam-packed Saturday counterpart just across the bay at Ferry Plaza on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. When I dropped by on the first market day of the new year, there were a dozen vendors and several dozen shoppers in the middle of the morning, in the first hour for the market, which runs until 2 p.m. The market, which has lots of stiff competition in the area, is managed by the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association .

– Mark Thompson

Jack London Square:
Water Street between Franklin and Broadway
Oakland, CA
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., year round

What I Bought

Fruit from Oakland, Calif., farmers market
(clockwise from upper left) pomelo, Cara Cara oranges, Winter Nellis pears, Korean giant and Olympic Asian pears

Price: $2/lb. for pears
$1/lb. for pomelo and oranges

Produce from Oakland, Calif., farmers market
(clockwise from upper left) kholrabi, turnips, brussel sprouts, Yukon Gold potatoes

Price: $2.99/lb. for potatoes, kholrabi $2.99
$3.99/lb. for Brussel sprouts

Strawberries from Oakland, Calif., farmers market
Price: $10 for a three-pack

fennel, winter squash, baseball pumpkin

Price: $1/lb for squash
$1/each for pumpkins

beets and from Oakland, Calif., farmers market
beets and kale

These beets were destined to become a featured dish at a dinner party I would cook for on this night at my friend Victoria’s loft in the nearby mosaic district of the Oakland waterfront.  I used a recipe reprinted in Vintage California Cuisine from a cookbook published in 1885 called Stewed Beets, Hanoverian Style. It is one of more than 1,000 recipes in that encyclopedic tome published by Jules Arthur Harder, who was chef de cuisine at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the late 1800s.

Price: $5 for three bunches

Fruit from Oakland Farmers Market on dock on San Francisco Bay

Korean Giant Asian pear, Winter Nellis pear, Cara Cara orange and pomelo. purchased at the Jack London Square Farmers Market in Oakland, Calif., on Jan. 5, 2014, photographed on a dock on San Francisco Bay