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Thanks for the Market!

Original post made by Jean Forte, Evergreen Park, on Jun 3, 2007

I went to the Calif Ave Farmer's Market today and loved it! A happy, festive event with great produce, food vendors, and music. A very nice addition to Palo Alto.

Thanks to all the organizers and the City for making this possible.

Comments (7)

Posted by Mondo
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 3, 2007 at 2:16 pm

I found it *really* disappointing. Its supposed to a farmers
market, not a recurring street fair. By my rough count,
produce (i.e., fruits and vegetables) vendors were far less
than 25% of the vendors.

Instead, there uninteresting prepared food stands (kettle corn
anyone?) and others that were just bizarre for a farmers market
(calypso jazz?).

Prices were ridiculous, also. Nothing for under $2 per pound.
The fish monger was selling salmon for $17.95/lb. Someone else
was selling tiny jars of pickled beans for $8.

I went home and then went to the Mt View farmer's market, where
I bought salmon for $8.95/lb and had a vastly wider choice of
fruits and vegetables, at prices that were at least 20-30% lower.

What a disappointment. Perhaps it will improve over time and I'll
definitely check it out again in the future as its the closest
to me of the local markets (downtown PA, MPK, and Mt View).

Posted by Jean Forte
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 3, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Wow-- sorry you were disappointed. I don't eat Kettlekorn but they were doing a brisk business, so some people must like it.

I bought delicious organic strawberries, sweet cherries, flowers, avocados, mixed greens, nectarines, garlic, tomato plants, pastries, and a half chicken, and found the prices to be about the same or better as those of other outdoor markets.

Not all the salmon was that price, and the jazz music was quite nice, IMHO.

I ran into a friend there who was buying veggies like crazy saying how great the prices were compared to the Los Altos market... My neighbors in EP were going back two and three times to get more stuff.

I'm looking forward to it growing and changing, but I thought today's offerings were terrific.

I will still shop at the Downtown market, probably as often as I ever have, but having this market close to home is a definite plus. I also noticed that the retailers on Calif. Ave were full of patrons, so I think it's a boost for the neighborhood in general.

Posted by Margaret Allen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 3, 2007 at 5:32 pm

Congratulations and thanks to those who initiated this project. It seems like it is going to be a great market, with lots of variety, quality, and entertainment. Everyone was enjoying themselves, including the vendors. Now, my guess is that a forward-thinking, eco-conscious community like Palo Alto would really appreciate a zero-waste event. How cool would that be!

Posted by Mariana
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 3, 2007 at 10:50 pm

Mondo, there were 63 vendors at the market - 35 of them were farmers selling locally grown produce (that's well over 50% farmers); they were accompanied by 23 food vendors who make everything they sell. the remainderI found it *really* disappointing.

There were _at least_ 2000 residents visiting the market today - that's a resounding success, by any standard. Every single person I spoke with was ecstatic at the variety of food and produce, as well as the welcoming community demeanor of the market.

There were no traffic problems.

btw, hundreds of people gathered around to listen to the band, who played a wide variety of music - everything from latin, to jazz, to easy listening. I've heard many diferent varieties of music at other markets, certainly no less in variety than we heard today.

Prices were quire reasonable, especially for locally grown produce that was picked the day before and trucked - in some cases - a few hundred miles to market. I found many bargains at the market.

The fish monger was selling fresh-caught, off-the-boat salmon for just about what you would find it in most seafood markets. The California Ave. fish monger is the same one that works the Saturday Palo Alto makrte, downtown. He's the best in the region.

btw, canning beans is a _very_ labor intensive activity; $8 for a jar of canned baby beans in a specially prepared brine is a bargain. I bought two jars - delicious!

Also, I followed up and also went to the Mt. View farmer's market and did not perceive prices to be any lower; in fact, some prices were higher.

Posted by Mariana
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 3, 2007 at 10:55 pm

Correction: I found the market FANTASTICALLY successful. My last comment had a copy and paste from Mondo's post, which I forgot to delete.

I want to correct any misunderstanding....

Thanks again to all who made this market possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by leo
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 4, 2007 at 8:23 am

thanks for the update/report mariana.
sounds like it was a success
not that i had much doubt
its amazing how some folks like
to rain on the parade
sounds like they would
like to sing the same song
no matter what the occasion

Posted by Cathy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:59 am

I also enjoyed the new market. One small correction - the fish vendor on California Ave, is not the same as the vendor at the downtown market. Pietro Paravano, who does the downtown market, is at the Menlo Park market on Sunday mornings.

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