Today I learned that there are two types of farmers markets: snooty and hippy. No, I probably already knew that. I have been to a couple of FMs in San Francisco, and this classification is not exactly a secret. You remember my posts about the Ferry Building and the Castro FM, right? I would classify both of those as snooty. At the Ferry Bldg, everything was organic, and as a result it’s all ridiculously expensive. And at the Castro, I felt like a second class citizen because I buy produce at Safeway. It’s like people went there because they want to be seen shopping at a farmer’s market. Ya know what I mean?
Today I went to the Alemany Farmers Market (A-leh-main-ee), and it was the complete opposite of the other two. It was totally casual and low-key, with no status or social connections whatsoever. Everyone I saw was a regular joe like me, who just wanted to enjoy a sunny day and eat tangelos.
Unfortunately, since there are only two categories, this one would be labeled as a hippy market. You know… you’ve been there… The smell of “incense” wafts through the air, the continual thump of bongos plays in the background, and nobody has on shoes. This was definitely one of those kinds of markets, but I didn’t mind. I was so happy to be able to shop and taste free samples without being judged. And honestly, it was more fun to be with those laid-back people and just “hang out” anyway.
The market was set up with two rows of permanent pavilion structures, each with 20 bays… it’ll be easier if I call them booths. The booths had parking on one side and sidewalk on the other. That way, the farmer could back his truck right up to the booth and unload his wares, and the shoppers walked on the other side, under cover from the weather. And each spot was painted with beautiful colors so the whole market was colorful and fun!
In addition to the 40 permanent booths, there are 50 or so tents with vendors set up around the perimeter.
The Alemany Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday from sunrise to sunset. I found it on Alemany Blvd at the intersection of Hwy-101 and I-280 (google maps. there is no website). I was there at 2:00 today and the market was pretty quiet. But I imagine it’s a hoppin joint in the early morning. There was a lot of free parking, clean bathrooms, and several vendors selling meal-type items. So that means I could’ve shopped for a while and then get tacos, or pizza for lunch. Yeah I could have, but today I just ate tangelos.