Special events & announcements
Announcing a new Tuesday culinary program!
On May 15, CUESA is launching Easy Market Meals, a new culinary program at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Every other Tuesday this summer, come down to the market for a FREE cooking demonstration designed for the busy home cook. Each featured dish can be prepared in about 20 minutes using the fresh, local ingredients found right within the Tuesday farmers' market. Every attendee leaves with a sample, a recipe and a suggested shopping list.
Easy Market Meals will take place in the north side of the market on May 15 & 29, June 12 & 26, July 10 & 24, and August 7 & 21. Demonstrations begin every 30 minutes, at 11:45 am, 12:15 pm, 12:45 pm and 1:15 pm.
A Pivotal Time for What We Eat: Why the farm bill matters and how you can act now
On Wednesday, June 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, a farmer, a chef, and food and farm advocates will discuss the 2007 Farm (and Food) Bill’s impacts on farms, consumers, and the health of our nation. Find out what’s going on with the Farm Bill right now, why it matters, and how you can make a difference. Time is running out for influencing legislation that will shape our entire food system. Reception with light refreshments starts at 6:30; program begins promptly at 7pm.
Speakers: Ann Cooper, “Renegade Lunch Lady” of the Berkeley Unified School District and author of Lunch Lessons; Grant Brians, Farmer, Heirloom Organics; Larry Cohen, Director, Prevention Institute; Kari Hamerschlag, Director, California Coalition on Food and Farming; Paula Jones, Policy Director, San Francisco Food Systems
Event sponsors: Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), California Coalition on Food and Farming, San Francisco Food Systems
Location: Port Commission Hearing Room, 2nd floor of the Ferry Building, Embarcadero at Market St., San Francisco
This is a free event. For more information, contact: Julie Cummins, email@example.com or 415.291.3276 x106
Saturday, May 12 ~ Market to Table Events
10:30 am - Farmhouse cooking
Eva Bruins of Bruins Vegetables
11:15 am - Seasonal cooking demonstration
Chris Borges of Taste Catering
Tuesday, May 15 ~ Easy Market Meals
11:45 am, 12:15 pm, 12:45 pm & 1:15 pm - Seasonal cooking demonstration
Ann Martin Rolke, author of Hands Off Cooking: Low Supervision, High Flavor Meals for Busy People
Saturday, May 19 ~ Salmon Celebration
The local wild salmon season has begun! Come celebrate with a day of activities and talks. From 10:30 am to 1:00 pm, there will be salmon cooking demonstrations, educational discussions, salmon hat coloring and gyotaku (Japanese fish printing). Organizations working to protect and restore salmon habitat will be at the market from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm to help shoppers learn more and take action. Presenters include Larry and Roz Miyamura of Shogun Fish Co., Chef Mike Weller of California Culinary Academy, Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke, and Jon Rosenfield of the Save our Wild Salmon coalition. Northern Californian wild salmon populations are in peril, and the Salmon Celebration will provide an opportunity to find out about this most important issue.
All events take place in our Dacor teaching kitchen in the arcade north of the Ferry Building's clock tower.
Summer is on its way, and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is changing. Cherries and peaches recently reappeared, and we’ll see the first blueberries this weekend. Tender summer squash is soon to be followed by the rest of the summer produce we so eagerly anticipate. In addition to these seasonal cycles, the market has also faced some more challenging changes. In the past twelve months, the Saturday market has lost five long-time farmers. Sally and George Oliver (Cache Creek Farm) and Wally and Nancy Condon (Small Potatoes Farm) retired from farming. Ruth Hoffman of Hoffman Game Birds transitioned into semi-retirement, reducing the size of her operation. Mariquita Farm withdrew from the market to concentrate on CSA and restaurant sales, and Fitzgerald’s, because of declining sales, chose to scale back to only one farmers’ market. These departures, especially the most recent two, have led to some speculation and fear about the future of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. In this article, we hope to address some of these speculations and invite your feedback on how we can make your shopping experience better.
CUESA’s goal is to support innovative local farms and to connect consumers with fresh, sustainably produced food. It is deeply disquieting to us to learn that some farmers aren’t making enough money to justify their attendance of the market, though others have seen steady increases in their sales. We are also concerned that many Ferry Plaza Farmers Market farmers—like farmers across the country—are approaching or are well beyond retirement age and some don’t have plans for younger farmers to take over. But we’re trying to keep it all in perspective. Every farmers’ market is dynamic. Most long-time shoppers can probably think of many farmers who have left for various reasons since the market’s inception in the early 1990s; from 2000 to 2001, we said goodbye to 10 farmers.
While it’s always hard to see farmers go, we are working to keep the market vibrant by bringing in great new farmers. We’ve recently welcomed our first rice farm, Massa Organics, and Catalán Family Farm, which grows vegetables and strawberries. We receive many requests from prospective sellers—far more than we can accommodate—but we are always keeping an eye out for new farmers with unique and high quality produce.
We are also working to keep our customer base strong by making it easier to shop. When the market moved from the Green Street parking lot to the Ferry Building in the spring of 2003, we encountered a new set of logistical problems. Parking (always a challenge) remains difficult. The Ferry Building is more transit accessible than our previous location, yet our hopeful attempts to encourage people to take public transportation or park and walk a bit farther have had limited success. To help alleviate parking stress, we validate parking for the closest parking lots and have created a Veggie Valet service so that people can leave their purchases at the information booth and pick them up at the loading zone.
Also an obstacle (sometimes quite literally) at our new location is that the market attracts more of San Francisco’s many tourists. We attribute this higher number both to our location at a beautifully restored landmark building and to the increasing public interest in fresh, local, ecologically produced food. In the end, we appreciate that visitors from out of town are interested in our region’s agriculture and hope the market inspires them to support local farmers in their own area. Many regular shoppers avoid these crowds by coming to the market on the earlier end or patronizing the Tuesday market. For all its complexities, the Ferry Building has served our educational mission well and has increased awareness of our market, farmers and mission.
While the market is always changing, some things will stay the same: our commitment to supporting regional agriculture and to connecting urban residents with sustainably produced food from local family farms. Do you have practical ideas for ways to improve the market? We’ll respond to your ideas in next week’s e-letter. Click here to respond anonymously, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the most up-to-date information about which sellers will and won't be attending the market as of Friday, when we send this letter. If there are no changes to a seller's status, they will not be listed. To find out which farmers regularly attend each market, click here. Please understand that there are often last minute changes--it's the nature of farming!
Saturday, May 12
In/Returning: Kashiwase Farms, Blossom Bluff Orchards, The Peach Farm, Triple Delight Blueberries
Out: The Apple Farm
Moving to a new location: Allstar Organics, Alive Restaurant, and Blossom Bluff Orchards. Please check in with our Information Booth to find out where these sellers are located.
Tuesday, May 15
In: Triple Delight Blueberries, Blossom Bluff Orchards, Frog Hollow Farm