Wow… Over a thousand people visited the market last month. On my left: Boris was selling homemade Demi-Glaze on my right: Treat Street Granola. Over forty vendors from the Bay Area, ranging from wild boar buns to sourdough bread, the warehouse was packed with food producers and food lovers. A close friend in Colorado is starting a Denver/Boulder version of the West Coast phenomenon, hopefully this kind of experience will spread East. It has been especially encouraging to see how many new vendors sprout up at each new market. Check out these pictures from the market and then start one in your city:
Raw Oakland Honey
The market is set up as a food club where patrons can “donate” cash for food items. Finding a legitimate farmers market spot is no spring chicken. Most Farmers markets require commercial kitchens, certifications, multi-year commitments and more. That’s if they even let you in. “Sorry there is already a honey vendor.”
HONEY HONEY HONEY
Check out all these Hungry People:
Going to need a bigger spot next time for this little dino egg. Started in an empty Victorian living room where I was selling honey out of a bathroom. Now it’s a colossal monster vehicle. Seriously think about setting something like this up any place where people like to eat food.
Not all vegetable sections are created equal. Some nurseries concentrate on culinary herbs while others focus on ancient Italian heirlooms. After staring for several minutes at a laminated placard describing scarlet runner beans that failed to mention nitrogen fixation, ediblity or perennialization, I decided to develop a “permaculture rubric” to evaluate our local nurseries. In the next few weeks I will be piling on tweed sports coats, fake mustaches and flower print dresses – doing a little investigative work. Which nurseries are selling what edibles? Where do they buy their plants from? How many perennial edibles do they carry? What are their top sellers?
I hope that conducting some on the ground research will not only direct readers to nurseries that stock useful plants, but will also illuminate current trends in the retail vegetable market. How much demand exists for what vegetables? Is there an opportunity for nurseries to be educational and demonstration sites for unusual, but incredibly useful and important plants? I would like to know how the retail market is positioning itself to attract the burgeoning wave of well-informed urban gardeners.
To begin this investigation. I would like to see what your favorite East Bay nurseries are. Please vote below. I understand that certain nurseries maintain specific niche markets. Perhaps vote on the nursery you most regularly attend. Thanks for your input.