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Cannery Farmers Market Impressions

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Cannery Farmers Market Impressions

Gary Soup | May 16, 2004 12:59 AM

The Cannery (that's the Cannery at Del Monte Square, thank you) Farmers' Market flies the "Organic" flag high, literally. The banner over the Beach Street entrance to the Cannery ATDMS's courtyard proclaims ORGANIC FARMERS MARKET, as if we didn't expect as much. Inside, the booths, tiny and tidy, are cheek-by-jowl along a woonerf-like path. The effect is one of greater intimacy than the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market. At the same time, the tighter arrangement of the produce bins in the confined spaces give the display space an aura of primness and preciosity consistent with the price tags. You'll see jewel cases in which the precious jems are Coral cherries.

In reality, though, the goods seemed less pricey than at the FPFM. I don't pay close attention to these things, as there's little I shop for at these places, but the ratio of $2's to $3's on the signs seemed higher here. Even the logoware "organic cotton" tote bags were only $10, compared to $20 at the FPFM.

The vendors included a lot of familiar names, including a number who are at the FPFM simultaneously (Jen Maiser identified most of them in her blog). Do organic farms all have road companies? Who's watching the farm? Boudin had a slot, probably in the capacity of Friend of the Court(yard). They displayed more breads than I was aware they had, but let's face it, they are no Acme, or even Premiere Moisson. Another space waster, IMHO, was Eatwell Farms with their damn "organic body scrubs." Call me a curmudgeon, but I'm so old that even fantasizing about what this has to do with eating isn't fun anymore. Eatwell farms seems to have more road companies than Quick-N-E-Z.

I stopped at the information table long enough to pick up a bumper sticker reading "Support Organic Farmers" in both English and Chinese, perhaps to help explain the concept of $3/lb. potatoes to my wife (NOT), and was rewarded with a ticket good for a free 8-oz. basket of strawberries from VB Organics. They seemed to be dispensing them quite liberally, something to watch for if you're there next week.

Overall, it is pleasant development, and one that adds a little tone to Cannery, er Cannery ATDMS, which has alway been a little less tacky than its neighbors in any event. I had two reservations: a potential congestion problem if it attracts people in the numbers it deserves, and a lack of prepeared food to eat.

Dutch Watazychyn, who put together the whole thing for the Cannery ATDMS, agreed about the space problem, but said crowding was a problem he would be happy to have. He said the lack of prepared food was partly out of consideration for the Cannery's restaurant tenants, but also due to space considerations. He also confirms that the Cannery has donated the space and does not currently charge stall rental, but that the policy may change as traffic picks up.

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