Monday, April 6, 2015

Adventuring // Castro Valley Farmers Market

Finally getting around to checking out our local farmers market {is there an apostrophe there or not? I always get confused}...


Who: Janelle, Dad, and I
Where: Castro Valley Farmers Market
When: Saturday at 10:30 AM

The Place: Every Saturday morning, from 10 AM until 2 PM, the Castro Valley Farmers Market is set up along the street in the BART parking lot. A single aisle of vendors and stalls, this is one of the smaller farmers markets in the surrounding area, but the people are friendly and the parking is plentiful.

While most of the stalls are produce-centric, there are also several baked goods places and a few hot food stands on the ends of the aisle. For a couple years, there were food trucks as well, but those have recently started going to neighboring farmers markets because they get more clientele over there. Hazards of being a small town. :P

What We Did: Wandered. Made one trip up and back down the aisle to check out what was available and what the prices were like at different stalls, and then made another trip to actually purchase whatever we had decided on.

I had read in several different places online that one has to try the pot pies, so we got a few of those. They were really good; we had them for lunch yesterday after Easter service and the crust was amazing and the filling excellently done. We are not usually pot pie people, but we would definitely recommend these.

I liked the look of the greens that were available at a couple stalls-- for one to two bucks per very good looking bunch, that's not bad at all. We got some yu choy {they're the greens to the left in the photo above} and kale. Janelle and I lingered over those cosmetically challenged apples for a moment and thought about whether we'd actually make something during the upcoming week or if we should come back another Saturday when we had a recipe in mind. We decided on the latter. Those apples ARE really good though-- we tried the samples. Delish.

The padre ended up buying some rye sourdough bread at one of the stalls because it's super low carb/low sugar, which works for him. Janelly picked up some cilantro/avocado hummus. She and I tried that on the vendor's garlic pita chips... yes.

Tips: A few suggestions...
+ Go a bit closer to when they open because some of those stalls were almost out of their bestsellers by 10:45 AM. This Farmers Market IS a bit smaller than others you can go to in Hayward or Dublin, but that slightly smaller selection means that the produce and goods that ARE there go quickly. For instance, there's a bread/baked good booth that had three long tables worth of stuff when we started our first trip down the aisle and by the time we made it back to her stall, she had a single table's worth. Impressed.

+ Don't go TOO early though because then a bunch of the vendors won't have finished setting up yet. It's a delicate balance.

+ Bring your own bags to carry your purchases in. Makes life a lot easier if you don't have to balance everything in your arms.

+ Parking isn't really a problem since it's Saturday and you're in a BART parking lot and it's free on weekends. You should be fine on that front.

Conclusion: While I am a big proponent of sleeping in whenever possible, I also think that this was worth waking up early for every now and then. We unfortunately won't be able to go back these next two upcoming Saturdays since Janelle and I will be helping run Ruth's wedding party bonding day this week and next week she'll be at the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival, but maybe the week after we'll try to go back and get some apples for baking. I'm not sure if I'm a hardcore Farmers Market person, but I definitely enjoyed myself this weekend.


Castro Valley Farmers Market
3301 Norbridge Drive
Castro Valley, California 94546

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