It’s a Saturday morning, the sun is rising and the fog is lingering as the city of San Francisco begins to wake up.
Photos by Amanda Lynn Photography ( amandalynn.co )
There are runners jogging along the Embarcadero, breathing in the cool bay air. As they run past the iconic Ferry Building, there are shops preparing to open and outside there are farmers and food vendors setting up for the world-famous Farmer’s Market.
The Ferry Building today is home to local artisanal merchants, regional producers and farmers, and serves as a transit hub for ferries from San Francisco to four different Bay Area ports. Located at the edge of high-rise offices and residential towers, the Ferry Building serves as a marketplace for commuters, locals, and tourists alike.
Completed in 1898, the Ferry Building served as the main port for tens of thousands of daily workers traveling to and from the East Bay. Every day boats carrying people and goods were brought through the Ferry Building port. However, with the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and wider use of cars and freeways, people became less reliant on ferries and the Ferry Building was eventually converted into office spaces by 1955. After the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and dismantling of the freeway in front of the Ferry Building, an opportunity to renovate the space and turn it into a world class marketplace began and the building was reopened in 2003.
Today, if you open a tourist guide or ask a local for their top San Francisco recommendations, you will hear that the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturdays at the Ferry Building is always a must see. Not only do you get to visit the iconic and historic building, but also you get to connect with regional and local farmers and vendors. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market began in 1993. It preceded and was the inspiration for the renovation of the Ferry Building interior as a marketplace in 2003.
The organization behind the world-famous farmers market is a nonprofit called the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). CUESA was founded in 1994 and they strive to “grow thriving communities through the power and joy of local food.” Since 1999, CUESA has provided farmers market patrons with products from local farmers, food artisans, and restaurants, high quality and healthy products, transparency and educational opportunities to learn about the foods sold at the market, educational demonstrations, support for small food businesses and farmers, and increased public access to fresh produce. CUESA pledges to “Work toward a healthy, just, and sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and action.”
CUESA hosts a variety of events and programs outside of the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market throughout the year that allow people to learn, connect, and advocate for healthy food systems. To assist with funding these programs, CUESA hosts a series of fundraisers that serve to invite patrons to experience and learn more about sustainable and healthy food systems. Personally, my favorite CUESA event is their annual Summer Bash where local restaurants and food and beverage vendors to serve and educate patrons, while raising funds to keep the educational programs going. This event is always a party with a mission, with unlimited food and drinks from the Bay Area’s best chefs and bartenders, all made with the freshest farmers market produce. The next one will take place on June 14th, 2020 and the equally fun Sunday Supper will be on October 4th, 2020 so hope to see you all there this year.
About Paolo Murano
Paolo Murano is a world traveler, writer, and an entrepreneur based in Downtown Las Vegas. He is a firm believer in sustainable urban living. His favorite beverages are kombucha and sauvignon blanc.