Thursday, March 13, 2008

only in berkeley....

today was a nice day to visit the berkeley organic farmer's market. the thursday market is tiny in comparison to the saturday market. yet, i find myself visiting the thursday market more often. it provides me with a nice break from work and the opportunity to grab some great seasonal produce.

the thursday market starts at three and i typically like to get there right after it opens. it can get get quite crowded. i arrived a bit later than usual, at about 3:25pm…as you can see from the pictures, the crowd was just starting to build.

two stalls that i consistently visit are riverdog farm and frog hollow farm.

here is a shot of riverdog's stall:

the lines can get a bit long at riverdog. yet, i kept myself happily busy with taking some foodie shots of riverdog’s produce.

at the time, little did i know that my happiness would be intruded upon. a woman with political literature saw the line and must have thought “eureka, a trapped audience!”…because who is really going to walk away without paying for their produce? that would be literally taking money away from the farmers! not to mention the time you have invested choosing just the right bunch of purple kale, beets, fennel, artichokes, and early spring onions. she started near the front of the line and proceeded to hand each person her flyer and a sound bite or two. i could hardly believe that the 3 people in front of me took this! i mean really, they must not be from berkeley. when you live in berkeley for a while.... you figure out how to deal with the hundreds of acolytes that seek new converts to their causes or religions… call it a survival tactic. also, only in berkeley will someone try their political pitch on people standing in line at the tiny farmer’s market.

now, dear hearts, those who know me so well, how do you think i responded when she got to me?

i was, of course, polite.

i did say “no, thank you”. quite firmly of course. well, maybe it came out more like a command... and well ... maybe i didn’t wait for her to begin her sound bite. i just waited for her to turn toward me and open her mouth…and that is when i said my firm “no, thank you”. i could see the range of emotions and thoughts that ran across her face…the surprise, the processing moment….her thinking “do i start a political argument right here?” at this point, i was quite annoyed, waiting, and very ready with a few scathing remarks if she took it further. she decided to move on and i paid for my vegetables.

by this point, i was quite ready to move on to frog hollow farm for my medicinal pastry.

unfortunately, the frog hollow berkeley stall doesn’t stock my favorite frog hollow savory pastries (i.e, carnitas turnovers, mushroom leek turnovers, and butternut squash turnovers… opposed to carnitas, mushroom, leek, and butternut squash turnovers…which sounds like a yucky mixture….just wanted to add that in case you wondered why i repeated the word “turnovers” three times). it seems that frog hollow only stocks them in their permanent stall at the sf ferry building market. yet, they do stock some tantalizing tarts and fruit pastries at the berkeley location. after pursuing the options, i decided upon the crostata and hurried home to enjoy my snack.

not only was the crostata yummy to look at, it was yummy to eat. it was filled with pears, raisins, and surprisingly, orange rind. the fruit filling wasn’t overly sweet and it complemented the light dough very nicely.

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