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Kaiser Farmers' Market, Fremont

Caitlin McGrath | Sep 14, 200510:15 AM

There's a farmers' market at Kaiser Medical Center in Fremont every Thursday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. year round. It's a tiny market; there are only around half a dozen vendors, and only half those sell produce.

Best there is VB Farm/Sunshine organics, which currently has late strawberries that are very good and excellent raspberies. They also are selling green and red leaf lettuce, and once they had some spring onions. I don't know what they sell during the fall and winter months, but I'll keep buying the berries as long as they last. They're at some other markets, too; their web site has a schedule http://www.sunshineorganic.com/farmer...

They're the only organic seller there. There's a farm selling peaches, nectarines, grapes, and some other fruit I haven't tried, and a vegetable seller. The veggies all look good; there's a selection of summer squashes, eggplants, green beans, kirbies, and okra; and also some Asian veggies like bok choy, long beans, Chinese and Japanese eggplant (in addition to the globes), bitter melons, and a long green ridged Asian squash I didn't recognise (it was just labeled "Asian squash"). The vendor seems willing to give cooking advice.

There is a baked goods vendor, Alonso, from Hayward, but I have tried their tamales, sold hot for $2-2.50. They're average in size, with dense but not gummy masa. No salsa is offered, but it would be welcome, because they're rather bland (except the chile and cheese, which had good, hot jalapenos, but was made with CHEDDAR cheese). The vegetarian is filled with a mix of tomatoes, zucchini, and corn, and it all tastes very fresh, but bland; it needs salt and some herbs. The chicken, in red sauce is very mild, and seemed to be all white meat, which was somewhat dry. There's also a pork version, which I haven't tried. They seem mostly to appeal to Kaiser employees as a convenient lunch option.

There is also a cut flower vendor with nice, fresh-looking flowers and good prices (large bouquets from $3-6), a honey vendor with a table full of soap and candles, with a few jars of honey as if they were an afterthought, and a lucky bamboo stand.

I'm there for the berries.

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