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Blueberries and Farmers Markets

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I have only been to farmers markets in Walnut Creek and Concord, but I've noticed that there is always at most only one seller per market. Is there some kind of collusion among blueberry sellers to limit competition in the East Bay? Does anyone know what's going on? Thanks.

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  1. Maybe it's a Norcal thing? There are five vendors selling blueberries at the Irvine farmers' market, from places ranging from Modesto to Puerto Peñasco.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Yes, a LOT of blueberries at that market (but no boysenberries), which I'd never seen before. Homegrown are better though!

      1. re: emily

        Kaki Farms has had boysens at the Berkeley Market for most of the past month. I think they peaked a couple of weeks ago. The ones I bought Saturday were plump but many were still on the red side.

        I did find the perfect commercial vehicle for boysens: a premium HD flavor Lehua? Hawaiian honey and sweet cream. The honey just sweetens the tart berries and not-at-all-sweet ice cream just enough.

    2. My take is that the season isn't quite here yet. The berries I bought yesterday from the Berkeley market aren't quite right yet. I think we will see more and better berries in the upcoming weeks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Dive

        Triple Delight at this Saturday's SF Ferry Plaza Farmers Market said next week would be the last week for blueberries this season. They've already had them for several weeks.

      2. It may not be collusion between blueberry sellers, but due to the planning/arrangement of the market's manager or board.

        Some of the blueberry sellers, that is their only crop. Not knowing the numbers either of those markets currently does in terms of attendees, sellers, or total volume of sales, I can't say. The boards of those markets, or the on-site managers, or the farmers themselves, may feel that the bottom line won't be enough if there is more than one blueberry seller at the market. Balancing the demands of the consumers, so they'll come, against the demands of the farmers, so they'll come, against the demands of the board, is a thankless task. More than that, I won't say. Draw what conclusions you will.

        1. I don't think that there are that many blueberry growers up here. The ones from Fresno are almost finished and the ones from the foothills are just starting. The ones that show up in Berkeley are not quite there yet.

          1. There are at least two blueberry growers at the SF Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, Triple Delight and one other. I would guess that having only one vendor is due more to the planning done by those who run the market rather than the vendors, as Louise said.

            5 Replies
            1. re: farmersdaughter

              Got two baskets from the Alemany Farmers market Sat. from Victoria Blueberries, from Holt, Ca. I thought they were the best I've had thiis season.

              I think it's true about most fruit, there iare usually one or two vendors that have the stellar fruits. I got peaches from the best vendor on Sat. nothing compares to these beautiful, sweet and juicy peaches.. i think they are better than anything I have had at the ferry plaza..

              1. re: Lori SF

                Lori--will you share which vendor has the good peaches? I go to Alemany.

                1. re: Atomica

                  Regier Farms incrediable! We got there around 9:30 ate at the el huarache loco stand which I highly recommend.. my favorite mexican stand food and be sure to pick up tamales at All Star. So we got to the peaches at Regier Farms stand around 10:00 and picked a handful.. after we finished the market it was around 10:45 and decided we really needed more peaches and at that time the pickings were getting slim.

                  1. re: Lori SF

                    Lori--Sorry, another question. What should I order at El Huarache Loco? Thanks for the info on the peaches!

                    1. re: Atomica

                      At El Huarache Loco you can't go wrong with anything.. the carne asada gordas with red chili salsa is so delicious!!! and the chorizo special breakfast is excellent. All of their salsas are excellent I love the red pepper hot one great deep flavor and nice heat. We had a carnitas green chili taco that was good as well.

                      Just for fun, next to the El Huarache Loco stand is Allstar tamales, be sure to try one or two, they had good salsa as well. I loved the pork, potato one.. they have about 12 different kinds, looking forward to sampling more. We had a green chili one that was kinda bland, dressed up with lot's of salsa made it better.

                      I hope you get some great peaches, they are lovely. BTW their white peaches were so so or maybe not there yet.

            2. There were maybe 3 vendors at the Menlo Park farmer's market Sunday. I bought some that tasted great from the potato vendor, 2 for $6. But the other ones seemed to be only or mostly selling blueberries.

              Blueberries require very acidic soil and you have to have a lot of bushes, and the bushes last a long time and have to grow to full size, so it's almost like an orchard. It's a pretty extreme low pH. So while tucking in a few strawberry plants might not be a huge deal, blueberry bushes require a long-term commitment since the acidified land won't be good for much else later without another big investment in changing the pH back to neutral.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LaurenTX2CA

                I talked to the vendor from Sorenson Farms at the Berkeley Farmer's Market today and he said this is probably gonna be their last week selling the Triple Delight blueberries. They may still be here till next Tuesday depending on how much stock they have left.