Derby St. between Martin Luther King
and Milvia Streets / map
Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
(winter hours: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
Market-Goer: Dylan Cardiff
The Tuesday market, the oldest of
three year-round farmers markets in Berkeley that are run by
Center, is now in its 23rd year. The market features 28
farmers and 14 prepared food vendors this time of year. The
started curbside recycling decades before most communities,
has also long been a leader in implementing environmentally
sensible policies at the farmers markets that it manages.
Almost all of the vendors at the Tuesday market are certified organic.
Genetically modified ingredients are banned, as is
produce grown with the use of methyl-bromide (a
fumigant commonly used on strawberry fields). The market was
also one of the first in the nation to ban plastic bags,
starting in April 2009, when the market was declared a “Zero Waste Zone” and refuse
containers were eliminated. Vendors
now use either compostable bio-bags or paper bags and are
required to charge customers a quarter for each bag they use. This has
acted as an incentive and educational opportunity, encouraging
customers to bring their own bags and reusable containers from
home. The plastic ban has
also been extended to packaging, prepared food containers
and utensils. If it can’t be composted or recycled, it
doesn’t have a place at this market.
On my most recent visit, it was a beautiful, mild
afternoon, a few days after the first heavy rains of the
season hit portions of Northern California. I
expected summer favorites like basil, tomatoes, peppers and strawberries to
be nearly gone from the market, but was happy to see that
the rains spared some farms.
Lucious looking summer fruit and veggies could be
found beside the first winter squash.
|With summer over, one of my favorite crops is
dates. Man, I love dates! I hit
Flying Disc Ranch,
from Thermal, Calif., for their amazing selection,
including the Derrie, Medjool, Khadrawi, and Zahidi varieties. With a bag of
dates as tasty as candy, I had satisfied my sweet- tooth
and went on to look for something
As the father of two young children, I’ve been trying to get more
greens into my family.
Sometimes I have to saute them with bacon to get the job done. Other times, I luck out and find something
they’ll eat without being doctored up too much.
Flying Disc dates
Four Sisters greens
Hoping to find something new, I cruised by the Four
Sisters Farm table, which was stocked with a couple
of different kale and chard varieties,
baby collard greens, amaranth, purslane, sorrel, New Zealand
spinach, two varieties of arugula and watercress. It was easy to walk away with two new
greens for the kids.
Brooks and Daughters
|On a healthy roll, I next checked out
Brooks and Daughters, from
, to get some sprouted goodness. I spotted some fenugreek and something called the
“Sprout Krout Salad Mix,” and never got to the other side
of the table.
Moving on to carnivorous treats, I talked to Ted,
of Highland Hills Farm in Petaluma. All of his
livestock are pasture raised and you can taste it. Wanting some sausage, either for the grill or to
complement a pan of tubers, onions, and mushrooms I had
planned for later, he pointed me toward a package of lamb and
pork bratwurst. Perfect.
Spotting some bacon, and figuring I might need it for
something kid-related, I added a package of that to my
Oh yeah, mushrooms for the pan
Solano Mushroom Farm at the market, I had some great
choices: portobellas (big and small), shiitakes,
trumpets, oyster mushrooms, matsutakes, chanterelles and porcinis.
It was not an easy choice, but settling on chanterelles, I couldn’t wait to get
home and start cooking. But not before also getting one of their Hosui
apple-pears, my absolute favorite.
Highland Hills meat
Solano Mushroom Farm
What I Bought:
New Zealand spinach
(left) and amaranth
These greens are from Four Sisters Farm in
Aromas. When I got these home, I picked some red butter lettuce from my backyard, mixed it with the amaranth and a few pinches of each of the
sprouts (see below). I topped it with chopped, roasted almonds, some tasty red and green heirloom tomatoes,
also from my yard, and a poppyseed vinaigrette.
Wow! The amaranth is fairly mild, a bit nutty, with just a touch of lingering
bitterness. Even the kids ate it!
Krout Salad Mix' (left) and fenugreek sprouts
Sprout Krout Salad Mix includes, I believe, alfalfa, cabbage, clover and
onion. The sprouts, from Brooks and Daughters, of Forestville,
are sold by the "handful," one of which is
pictured above, composed of half a handful of each
to right) two D'anjou pears, a hosui pear apple,
and two bosc pears
are from Guru Ram Das Orchards, in Esparto, the apple pear
is from Solano Mushroom Farm, in Vacaville, and the
bosc pears are from Woodleaf Farm,
in Oroville. Tonight, my family is going to have all three varieties of pears on a faux spinach salad
of New Zealand spinach (not a true spinach) with some local blue cheese and maybe a walnut or
two on top.
This is approximately a quarter pound of
chanterelles, from Solano Mushroom Farm, of
from top left) yellow creamer, purple majesty,
mountain rose, russet, and french fingerling
selection of potato varieties is from Riverdog Farms in
Hills lamb and pork bratwurst (left) and bacon
Price: $9/lb. for
$12/lb. for bacon
The almonds are from Massa Organics,
in Hamilton. The dates are the Khadrawi variety from
Flying Disc Ranch,
Price: $12/lb. for
$6/lb. for dates