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Oct 22, 2006 09:55 PM

A perfect little gem – Sunday Kensington Farmers Market – Davis chickens & more near Solano Avenue

This is a super little farmers market on Arlington Street in the Ace Hardware parking lot.

It is not large, but it is well thought out and has excellent vendors

- The Peach Farm
- Firme Farm
- Ludwig Ave Farm (Davis chickens & eggs)
- Bennet Valley Bakery
- Big Paw oil & vinegar
- Lone Oak Ranch
- An organic coffee vendor
- A local jelly maker

I guess a few more vendors drop in since the website mentions some not there today ... a nursery, fresh-cut flowers, a chocolatier, honey and other bee-related items, fresh wild-caught fish, a knife sharpener, and cheese

The market manager, Judith Adamson, is just wonderful and there are little touches at the market that show the thought that goes into the market that makes it a little jewel ... besides the very well selected vendors. This is the best pocket market I’ve seen.

The last Sunday of the moth there is a children’s market where kids can sell the things they make or grow like produce or flowers. Music by the children is welcome. They note though that prepared items would have to be made in a certified kitchen.

On Oct 1st, to celebrate St. Francis of Assisi day, they had an animals day. Arlington Bakery introduced a new dog biscuit at the market, they had a pet psychic, there was a blessing of pets, pet rescue groups had booths and other activities took place.

The website says a Dickensian market will take place in December.

I guess the Davis chickens were a little late for some of this, and were already with St Francis, so to speak. Davis who sells eggs at the Saturday Berkeley farmers market has a refrigerated truck that he reaches into for the chickens. He also sells his eggs, pies and a larger variety of vegetables than at the Berkeley market.

Firme farm had a lovely selection of veggies. The Peach Farm had their great tomatoes and this week, watermelons. I have been enjoying the Peach Farm’s extraordinary, bargain-basement-priced melons this summer. I haven’t tried the $3 watermelon yet, but everything has been so good from them this summer, I’m really looking forward to it.

Lone Oak had some nice veggies and bagged nuts and dried fruits. I forgot the name of the organic coffee being sold by the bag. Bennet Valley is a baker I like from the Berkeley market.

I forgot the name of the jelly maker ... sorry, because the little sample of the marmalade was quite good. It was something like Kensington Jams.

The market started this year and is open year-round. The parking lot is shaded and there are a few nice places on the street for Sunday brunch like Inn Kensington and Shal’s which had chicken livers and onions on the menu today. One of the soups was lentil, lamb and barley.

I chatted a bit about the market with Adamson and told her how much I liked it and the vendors. She said if I liked it to tell people about it. So I am.

Great market not that far from Solano Avenue in Berkeley. I mention this because after decades of living in the Bay Area, I not only didn't know where Kensington was, but that there even WAS such a town as Kennsington. It is not too far by car from the tunnel at the end of Solano.

Kensington Farmers Market
303 Arlington Ave. at Amherst
Sundays, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

When they opened on July 9th they had four celebrity chefs participate ... Narsai David, Mollie Katzen, Nancy Oakes & Bruce Aidells ... the market just has nice touches like that.

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  1. "after decades of living in the Bay Area, I not only didn't know where Kensington was, but that there even WAS such a town as Kensington."

    Well, actually there isn't. It's unincorporated and shares a zip code with Berkeley ;-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gary Soup

      It is, however, in another county than Berkeley. I'll have to check it out - I didn't know there was a market there.

    2. "I forgot the name of the jelly maker ... sorry, because the little sample of the marmalade was quite good. It was something like Kensington Jams."

      Hey-that was me! Our name is Kensington Marmalade Company, and thank you for the kind words. I saw you taking notes and almost introduced myself as a Chowhound. Shoulda been wearing my button...

      We've been selling at the market for a month now, and just love it there. Very low-key, neighborhoody vibe.

      Hudson Fish was missing yesterday, but they participate every week and will be back next Sunday.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alexandra Eisler

        Great stuff, I wish I tried the syrup. I almost went back but time didn't permit. My email is on my 'mychow' page, could you send me an email? I have a non board question.

      2. rw: I had no idea there was a farmer's mkt in that parking lot. I live a block away as the crow flies! I've followed many of your leads to East Bay finds (Brazilian pizza, taco trucks, Mex mkts, Mex restaurants,etc.) w/ great results and will try this one next Sunday. Thanks.

        1. BTW, easy directions, from Marin Circle w/ the bear/giant mouse fountain in Berkeley, go North on curvy Arlington Ave for about 1 and 1/2 miles to the first stop sign. You're now in Kensington /CoCo county. Chevron station on your L, Ace parking lot 10 feet to the R. You'll prob have to park a block away in any direction. Please don't park in my driveway.