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May 31, 2007 02:38 PM

Marin Farmers Market - please share your favorites

I want to explore the Marin Civic Center Farmers Market and would love to get a nice topic going of favorite products and vendors at that market. Here are a few topics I could find. I would love to add a bunch more, so please add your favorites! Thanks.

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  1. My favorite purchase - ground beef from Prather Ranch

    1. You asked for it: here is my tour which may take as long to writer as actually to do. Some of my favorites are discussed in the links above, but to summarize....I usually do a tour first, up one aisle and down the other, just to check out what is new or just looks good. Then I return to my favorites, including the following. Mission Fish for local salmon is in the front row, parallel to the roadway. In the row to the right, perpendicular to the roadway you will find Marshall's honeys, and coming soon we hope, a stall with Brentwood corn and please let them have yellow corn this year. Good dry-farmed west Marin potatoes are also in this row. There is toward the end of this row, one of two fine Asian vegetable stands. Across from that, and easy to miss because she has no big stand or signage, is Deanna of Black Sheep Farm. They have the best pork I have had (much superior, in my opinion, to Prather) and will soon have lamb and chickens. The center of the three aisles has the second of the two Asian vegetable stands and I usually end up getting gai lan, Shanghai bok choy, etc, here. Also Bruins tomatoes, the best hot house tomatoes and my choice until the field-raised goodies come in. Toward the middle of this row, Zuckerman's champion asparagus. At the street end of this aisle is Iacoppi Farm from Half Moon Bay, with wonderful English peas, good favas (but the Asian stand had equally good favas for half Iacoppi's price for a while) and soon to have broad beans. They also will have cranberry beans later in the season and these alone are worth a trip to the market. Up the next and last aisle, Star Route Farms for greens, the mushroom stand featuring both domesticated and foraged wild mushrooms (like morels @$24 per lb and chanterelles in season), also Prather meats. The back row of the market has Roti Roli, a large fish stand with volumes of shellfish and a variety of both wild and farm-raised fish and you can see them breaking down whole salmon into fillets while Mission Fish has them already cut into roasts, fillets, etc. There is another aisle, an extention of the one along the roadway, which features more prepared foods (I like the Afghan guys) and bakeries. I am a fan of Brickmaiden Bread, my wife likes Panorama, also there is Flour Chylde for fine dessert items and a choclatier. Then come a bunch of crafts and the large inflatible jumping things for kids. Really, these favorites of mine are just a hint of what is there. In between where I usually stop are other stands I sometimes patronize which are also wonderful. There are only a few which I generally pass by for my own odd reasons. I hope you have a great shopping experience and report on what you find. I can always use a reason to spend even more time and money there; I have never regretted it so far.

      1. The two Chinese veggie places are a destination and if they have beet bunches with great-looking greens I will get that. If their snow peas or sugar snap peas look good, that's a must-get. Also long beans, which I haven't seen yet this year.

        There's a guy who sells bags of kiwi fruit - nice to have on hand and they keep well. The samozas at the back of the market are a good snack, and a crepe from the stand in the food and music area takes care of breakfast.

        If I'm going to be visiting someone, I'll pick up an orchid plant.