farmers’ marketing

Sure signs of spring at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market today.

A wonderful display of carrots, radishes, fava beans, spring onions, and beets:

All it’s missing is…


And, of course, dandelion greens, gone from a godsend to a nuisance to a delicacy:

But what really makes me think “spring” are the baby vegetables. Every farmer and gardener knows that you overplant, because not every seed will germinate. But that means that, eventually, you have to cull, so that the plants don’t crowd each other out.

baby beets

baby broccoli versus big broccoli

Any part of the remaining plants that won’t be productive has to go, too.

pea shoots

elephant garlic scapes

This all reminds me of my grandfather’s story of frequenting a Houston produce market as a child, helping sellers by keeping the areas around their stalls clean. They paid him and his siblings in loose produce–the stuff they couldn’t sell to customers. Like these loose grapes at the Noe Valley farmers’ market last fall:

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