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August 22, 2008

LF Guide to Alemany Farmers Market

Alemanythumb

Market: Alemany
Location: 100 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94110 map
Days/Times: Sat 6am-5pm
Year round/Seasonal: Year round, rain or shine
Phone: 415.647.9423

Download full Alemany Guide

For months, I have been working on a post that chronicles my excellent adventures at the Alemany Farmers Market. Fed up with the high prices at Ferry Plaza, I set out a year ago to discover the hidden gems at the less-hyped Alemany. I have been pleasantly surprised. With 56 years in operation, Alemany is the oldest farmers market in the city. Every Saturday, year-round and regardless of weather, the Market draws over a hundred farmers and producers from Sonoma County to the San Joaquin Valley, many of which who sell inexpensive, quality produce. There is a wonderful diversity of farmers and product.

At first, I didn't think Alemany had much certified organic or sustainably farmed produce. The certification process is quite expensive so Certified Organic is not a requirement for me, especially with the smaller farms. Without the organic designation (and I know this isn't always foolproof anyway), one must do a certain amount of due diligence to discern which farms are growing in a manner that is clean and healthy, and to determine which are actually farmers—some of the produce at Alemany is sold by people who buy it at warehouses and their only connection to the food they're selling is that they have a truck and a drivers license. Well, I've done some due dilligence, and I'd like to share with you the farmers from which I buy.

Here are some highlights:

  1. Cheapest organic peaches ($1/lb.), pluots and plums in town—Ferrari Farms
  2. Quail and duck eggs at Haney Egg Ranch
  3. Heirloom citrus varieties at DeSantis: mandarinquats, meyer lemons, kaffir limes, rangpure limes, Buddha's Hand, Tarocco Sicilian blood oranges, Seville oranges, bergamot. Try the Colomondini oranges in drinks. Many of the city's fancy bars buy them here.
  4. Bariani, my favorite olive oil
  5. Exotics like rambutan (winter) and Thai coconuts untreated with fungicides at Family Farm Fruit
  6. "Ugly" (and reasonably priced) shiitake mushrooms from Far West Fungi
  7. Peppers, tomatoes and melons from Al
  8. Cardoons and mustard greens from Molinari
  9. Jersey butter from Springhill Cheese
  10. Unpasteurized pomegranate juice and Lisbon lemons from Twin Girl Farms
  11. Dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes from Two Dog Farm
  12. Medjool dates from Palm Springs Desert Gold
  13. Free-range Rhode Island Red and Araucana eggs from Phan Organic Farms for $4 per dozen. And carrots.
  14. Mizuna, baby chard, mixed greens, wild arugula (just like what I ate in Rome when I lived there) and strawberries from Miramonte Farms, AKA Two Crazy Ladies. Love these ladies!
  15. Sage honey and propolis from Jan Snyder.
Click on Download full Alemany Guide to open the PDF version of the guide and print it. In the guide, most of the stalls are labeled with a number so you can find them. A few are not labeled, but I will update those at a later date. Please note that not all farmers are there year round. Some are only there during the summer months.

Oh, and don't miss Jackie Jones. She performs every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon on the prepared food side near the mexican food trucks. This charming one-woman-band plays swing and novelty music on a homemade guitar and musical saws, while simultaneously acting as puppeteer for a tap-dancing cat. Adorable—kids love her and so do adults. (She'd be great at a birthday party, 415-648-0117.)

Have fun with this and let's compare notes! Report back on your experiences and make suggestions for additions/deletions to the guide.

Comments

LF, you're the best for posting this! Just one thing: you forgot the Japanese couple that sells myoga and other Japanese vegetables that they grow themselves. I think they're organic.

This is really great info. Im not in your area, but think Bauman College who are in your area can benefit. Can I post this/link your site on their forum?

Thanks, Amanda

Hi Carla,

On August 22, you posted excellent info about Alemany (which means German)farmer's market and give your readers a chance to download full Alemany guide. Sure, green markets are the best place to buy fresh fruits and veggies we only have to find the right ones.I have link to your blog and read very often your posts. What a coincidence! Today I posted "Seven-a-Day Will Keep Doctor Away."
Eat lots of powerful veggies and fruits! All the best.

I was trying to obtain some heirloom citrus seeds or heirloom citrus plants. Does anyone know where I can get some?

Thank you for putting this together!!!!!! A much needed guide to actually buying from farmers, not wholesalers

Might you update this map? Many farms have moved around, and the market has increased the number of farms carrying organic produce. I go about every other week, but I would love to hear your take on this.


Juan, I would love to update the map some day. I'm swamped at the moment. Let me know your picks!

The comments to this entry are closed.

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