Beginning in December, 2003, the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market has been a source of inspiration and hope in Noe Valley. Each Saturday, this small neighborhood market meets the community's needs for fresh, local produce, helping to create a community dedicated to caring and social justice..
Stroll into the market on Saturday mornings and find fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit, organic fresh-squeezed juice, grass-fed beef, honey and lavender, almonds, Indian food, and many other offerings.Listen to local musicians, chat with your neighbors, watch the kids dance, pet the dogs galore, and bask in the supportive feeling of being part of a weekly community gathering.
The market was born when a group of Noe Valley neighbors and activists shared their dismay and disbelief at the sudden closure of the local natural food store. The Real Food Company, which had been a part of Noe Valley for 25 years, closed its doors Thursday night before the 2003 Labor Day Weekend, dismissing 30 workers, the majority of whom had been organizing a union.
Recognizing an injustice, Noe Valley neighbors immediately set out to support the workers, farmers, merchants, and neighbors who missed not only their source for organic produce, but an anchor store in the heart of the retail district. As a direct response to the shuttering of Real Food, community members organized weekly meetings at the Noe Valley Ministry to open a farmers’ market.
From the start, the community at large was behind the neighbors' efforts. In the spirit of community and service,The Noe Valley Ministryagreed to co-sponsor the market by offering its newly completed parking lot at 3865 24th Street as the venue
David Frieders, then acting director of the San Francisco Department of Consumer Assurance (Agriculture), helped the market's founders wade through myriad papers, permits, and unknowns of city government. Throughout the process, Dave reminded the founders, "You can do this! You can start a farmers’ market in your neighborhood." Bevan Dufty, the District 8 Supervisor, Noe Valley's elected representative to the city's Board of Supervisors, also guided, advised, and interceded at many crossroads of dealing with city regulations. Dan Sirois from the Department of Planning proved invaluable when helping to simplify the confusing permitting process.
On the morning of Saturday, December 6, 2004, a mere three months after Real Food closed, a group of volunteers gathered opposite the empty parking lot before dawn. Bracing themselves with coffee at Martha and Bros., these hearty souls got to work setting up tents and tables, trashcans, and beautiful signs announcing Opening Day. Farmers arrived as the sky brightened and by 8:00 a.m. the first NVFM was up and running. Reverend Kelsey Keenan, pastor of the Noe Valley Ministry, provided the blessing, praying that the new farmers' market would find success and create abundance.
The success of the market led many local merchants, neighbors and volunteers to see that interdependence would sustain the health of Noe Valley.Martha and Brothers’ opened its storage space to keep market equipment, Flowers of the Valley presented the market a beautiful bouquet on its first year anniversary. Thanks to the market, circles of friendship and connection continue to flourish, as well as a renewed sense of community in Noe Valley.
The Friends of the Noe Valley Farmers' Market support the former employees
of Real Food who were abruptly fired and, we believe, without cause. In fact,
you may well recognize some of your friends from the store at the market.
The farmers' market will serve in the economic sense of a market, but also as a place where neighbors will meet each other and develop relationships with farmers and market volunteers, including former Real Food employees.
Food is front and center at a farmers market. Produce grown in healthy soil free of pesticides and petroleum–based fertilizers is healthier for the humans who consume it and and the workers who grow and harvest it. It also sustains the health of the farmland, the surrounding watershed, and everything that lives downstream from the farm.
A farmers' market is just a part of a food economy built upon a web of small local farms. Compared to large–scale industrial agriculture, this employs more people, provides more food security, and promotes crop diversity. And the dollars you spend at a farmers market stay closer to home.
The Farmers Market will operate every Saturday, providing a regular, high–quality food source for the community. Products sold at the market will include fresh, seasonally available vegetables and fruit, as well as honey, nuts, and dried fruit. Join us, find some wonderful fresh produce, enjoy the music, and spend some time getting to know your Noe Valley neighbors.
2007 Coming soon!