California’s first modern farmers’ market launched in 1943 in San Francisco. It was a victory garden of sorts, “a way,” writes Miriam Morgan in the San Francisco Chronicle, “for farmers to sell their excess harvests at a time when transportation and distribution systems were being used for wartime needs.” That market is still going strong, though in a different location. In 1947, what’s now called the Alemany Certified Farmers’ Market opened on the southern edge of San Francisco. Every Saturday, a diverse group of vendors sets up in mural-splashed concrete bays to sell bitter melon, honey, organic mushrooms, and dried dates. Photographer Carly Cram showed up to take a look.

It’s been called “the people’s market”: Unlike boutique farmers’ markets, Alemany is affordable, ethnically diverse, and anything but fussy.

Photographs by Carly Cram

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