As we began to walk around Bloomfield Farms my mood skyrocketed...breathing in the fresh air, taking in the views and playing bocce while sipping wine with the very people who grew the grapes and made the wine from three vineyards all within miles of Bloomfield Farms. This all reminded me of an idea I had for a business years ago but had buried deep while I built my life and career here in San Francisco. As I though about this idea again while enjoying the wine and having fun with my friends I found myself saying over and over again that this experience was making me "happy in my soul". And this was all before the food!
Bloomfield Farms in Petaluma, CA on a gorgeous summer evening in July. It was the first one they've ever done, organized by a farm friend, sommelier and restauranteur David Lynch of St. Vincent Tavern and Wine Merchant here in San Francisco. So a few friends and I met at St. Vincent on a Sunday afternoon, piled into a chartered bus and sipped rose as we rode up to Petaluma with the sun starting to set over the hills of wine country. That gorgeous view out the window of the bus was enough to make me nostalgic for the summer I spent in Napa during my MBA internship and I found myself in an amazing mood as I stepped off the bus 90 minutes later.
So first things first...I will say neither came even close to my favorite lobster roll from Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis, MA shown above. Let's be honest though, I'm not expecting to find a CA-made lobster roll that can rival an authentic New England one...but I sure will be happy trying! Now onto the first two contenders...Sam's ChowderMobile and Lobsta Truck.
When we first moved to the Marina almost two years ago we were pretty happy with our decision after 3+ years of noise & shenanigans in the TrendyLoin, TenderNob or whatever you wanted to call our old ‘hood. However, there were two things we really missed...diversity (of both cuisines and people) and the fabulous Heart of the City Farmer’s Market in the Civic Center that we used to walk to each Sunday.
For our first 6 months in the Marina we were shocked to find that there was no Farmer’s Market at all within walking distance (with all of us yuppies? what gives?!) but then last summer the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market opened up on Sundays from 9:30-1:30 for the summer only. Lucky for us it was such a success that they decided to keep it open year round and it is still going strong 1 year later.
As I was walking towards my neighborhood Fort Mason Farmer’s Market this weekend I felt a certain buzz in the air as I approached. There were more people, more smiles, more laughter and a general uplifting feeling. As I looked a bit more closely I quickly realized why...the start of the summer produce has arrived!
I grew up in Massachusetts, so to be clear eating only what produce is in season is not something that I was brought up doing but after 8 years on the West Coast this has become second nature to me (well except for my bananas and the occasional pineapple which are never in season here but I can’t seem to give up!). In climates a bit less forgiving than CA, eating only what is in season is admittedly not quite as easy but I truly believe that it is still a worthwhile and rewarding effort...why? Well, my reasons are...