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Today’s Chronicle features our Bike About Town column about the Mission Community Market and all the other great neighborhood markets that are popping up across San Francisco. Thanks to members Michael Tanner for writing and Pamela Palma for photographing.
Mission Comunity Market. Photo by Pamela Palma.
Mission Community Market: Bike to fresh produce
It’s always a good time to haggle for your regional veggies in an alfresco setting. But with the advent of harvest season, it’s harder to say no to a bike basket full of Mother Nature’s free-range heirloom goodies at the peak of their virtue, at a farmers’ market near you.
So why not take advantage of the final week of daylight-saving time to visit the weekly Mission Community Market on Bartlett Street, and see how such gatherings are bringing new life to urban streetscapes?
Since July, the Mission Community Market has brought in many of the same farm-fresh fresh foods as the usual markets. This market originated in response to “a lot of community members (who) came forward asking for a farmers’ market unique to the Mission, even a community market,” says Jeremy Shaw, the market’s organizer.
The Mission Community Market stresses a more service-oriented approach. To that end, the market opens up one block of Bartlett Street (at 22nd Street) for community organizations and developing local businesses (such as jewelers and bakers), plows revenue back into the neighborhood and reserves slots for kids’ activities – including musical performances, dance space and after-school programs involving food and nutrition, sponsored by nearby schools.
“It’s a neglected part of the street that could use a little love,” Shaw says, “and that’s what we’re trying to give it.”
Pick up produce for the rest of the week, but plan to eat your dinner there. You won’t want to miss the live music and dance performances, while enjoying tasty eats from street food vendors.
“I like the local flavor of it,” says photographer Pamela Palma, who shops by bike at markets throughout the city and the East Bay. “I like the use of Bartlett Street much more.”
The market is also part of a movement to make streets safer and more inviting for biking and walking. Toddlers can be seen taking advantage of the open street by zooming their bikes around the kids’ area. Overall, Shaw says, it’s “a way to forget about the bustle and enjoy your street.”
“It’s a good strategy to bring about change without waiting for huge capital investment,” says Ilaria Salvadori, Mission District Streetscape Plan project co-manager. And though the Mission Community Market’s inclusion of neighborhood schools gives it a local feel, this unique use of the street is sparking reclamation in various corners of the city.
Other farmers’ markets are flourishing throughout the city as well, including the Castro Farmers’ Market (3-7 p.m. Wed., Market and Noe streets), Alemany (7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sat.), Fillmore Farmers’ Market (9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., Fillmore and O’Farrell streets), the Divisadero Farmers’ Market (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun., Divisadero and Grove streets), or the thronging Ferry Building (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tues., Thurs.; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.) which includes bike valet parking on Saturdays.
Of course, after you’ve securely stowed your bike and loaded up on socially and environmentally correct victuals, you’ll need to haul your bounty out, so come prepared with baskets or panniers, or at least a generous backpack. For serious sprees, SF Bicycle Coalition members can even borrow one of the Coalition’s bike trailers – it’s pumpkin season after all. Learn how to carry more things on your bike for the short (or long) haul atwww.sfbike.org/racks or reserve a trailer at www.sfbike.org/service_trailer.
4-8 p.m. today. Bartlett and 22nd streets, S.F. For more information, along with maps, vendor lists, and instructions for participating, volunteering or donating, go to www.missioncommunitymarket.org.
The bike valet at the Ferry Building Farmers Market is located in Harry Bridges Plaza across the street from the Ferry Building from 8am to 2pm, go to http://www.sfbike.org/valet for more info. More information on the Ferry Building Farmers Market is at www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com, and other markets are featured onwww.pcfma.com.