I wish I had a reason (and the time!) to go to the Bay area. If I were there, I would make a point to go to a few markets; one I'd really like to see is the Sunday market in Marin, which is the third largest farmers market in California, though in mid-summer it swells to about 200 vendors, which must be an amazing shopping experience. The Wednesday Santa Monica market is called the largest in the State, in case you are wondering; I think they have about 100 vendors.
There are eight markets each week operated in the San Francisco area by the Agricultural Institute of Marin. That's a fancy name, but from what shoppers in Marin tell me, these are some of the best markets in the United States. Some of the most creative food minds are in the Marin and Napa areas, to be sure.
You can go to their website HERE. They offer guided and self-guided tours of the markets including meeting the farmers and purveyors of cheeses, baked goods and other fine and locally produced food. That would be a really fun thing to do, wouldn't it? I would also like to have one of the personal chef's take me on a tour of the market.
In addition to organizing fabulous markets, they also provide a tremendous amount of information on their website, and continue what they call "the Greening of the Markets" to lower consumption and move towards a zero-waste market. One of their goals is to have water stations, to eliminate the need for bottled water. Part of the way they green the market is to offer alternatives to plastic bags at their own manager's booth. Their produce bag of choice? French Basketeer's, of course!!
They carry the large (13" x 16") and the small (8" x 9") produce bags at all their markets; today I shipped another box of 250 large bags to them; the proceeds from the bags also help to offset the cost of running the market.
They carry the bags in the natural:
But I also sell them at my markets in colors; my favorites are in shades of blue and green: Because greens look amazing in a blue bag:But I also love the shades of pink, yellow and orange; after reading Joni's post this week, these look like produce bags custom made for Mary Douglas Drysdale!! Ha ha:But in reality, I take my cues from nature: inspiration for the blues came from my favorite Blue Willow china and blueberries, and the yellows from my favorite Sungold cherry tomatoes; this pic is from the Agricultural Institute's website:This is what my tomato harvest usually looks like; a nice array of color and size, and displayed in a basket, of course!