For breakfast, I eat berries (some combination of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) with cereal and yogurt. I have been fortunate to purchase California grown strawberries and raspberries at Berkeley Bowl. However, the California blueberry has been harder to find. I was so delighted to see California grown blueberries at the Derby/MLK Farmers' Market! I bought a pack of berries from Triple Delight Blueberries located in Caruthers, placing it deep in my cloth bag to prevent snacking.
As I filled my bag with other produce - peaches, Catalan Family Farm red-leaf lettuce and parsley, Swanton Berry Farm strawberries, Riverdog Farm asparagus - I realized that my last visit to the Derby/MLK market was in July 2006. I have been to other markets - Center/MLK; the Ferry Building; and various roadside stands - but I am not a consistent farmers' market shopper. I buy most of my produce from local grocery stores, primarily Berkeley Bowl. On my way into the market on Tuesday, I was asked to complete a page-long survey about farmers' markets. One of the questions specifically asked respondents to choose from nine reasons why they shop at the Berkeley Farmers' Market and then to notate the most important reason. Among the choices I selected were availablity of local produce and talking with vendors. I like shopping at farmers' markets because they are located in outdoor environments. Especially during the dry, warm season, I enjoy spending time outdoors. I sit on my stoop with lemonade and the week's papers or I go for a hike at one of the East Bay regional parks. Shopping at the market is an activity of intermediate intensity, not as passive as reading but not as intensive as hiking (though I've been jostled by eager shoppers). The outdoor factor is the reason you will find me at the market. I noted this reason on the "other" line of the survey.