Today was the 5th Sunday of our new neighborhood farmers market. It's grand to see so many people outside shopping and mingling with each other. The selection of fruits, veggies and other goodies is really quite good. Now that I've been able to go to this market a few times now I've developed a few criteria to help decide which vendors to buy from. Primarily I choose vendors that are selling organic produce. Not only is this for our health, avoiding food with pesticides or chemical fertilizers but also as a vote for the kinds of food I think we should all be eating. Secondarily, I try to choose vendors that are traveling the shortest distance. Clearly nearly none of what's sold at the farmers market is actually produced in San Francisco (with the exception of the City Bees honey!) so it all has to be transported here. The shorter the distance the produce travels, the lower it's carbon footprint. Again, my purchase choice is a personal vote for how I think things should be.
This has always been a great neighborhood but over the past few months it's really started to feel more like a community. The farmers market has made a big difference. People really had to pull together to make it happen in the first place but now it's become a great place for community building too. The Inner Sunset Park Neighbors group that spearheaded the farmers market is actively recruiting people for all sorts of other concerns. Today I talked to Patrick and Ellen about Ellen's beautification committee. Ellen is organizing an Inner Sunset cleanup day on August 8th. I had already signed up via the Facebook event that she put together but I spent some time talking to her about the kinds of things that would help clean up our neighborhood. Graffiti is a big concern but it's mostly a problem on the large blank walls in certain locations. The side of the empty brewery that borders the parking lot where the farmers market is held is a great example. One entire side of the building is a drab red color that is a huge target for graffiti taggers. In many other places in SF and abroad the most effective way to deal with this is to have a mural painted. Taggers seem averse to tagging things that are already decorated. Ellen thought this was a great idea, hopefully we'll be able to made some headway in this area. Another idea we discussed is adding more planter boxes to the sidewalks in the area. There are a few planned along Irving St between 7th ave/8th ave that have been marked on the ground with tape. We're lucky that the sidewalks are wide enough in our area to facilitate this kind of thing. I think that Nicole and I might put up a planter box of some sort in front of our house, especially considering we were turned down for a FUF tree due to our power pole location.
The music at the farmers market has been great so far. So good in fact that my daughter Jula has been inspired to dance for a bit while I shop. Today Nicole hung out with Jula and the band while I shopped with Tenzin strapped to my chest. The market is 2 blocks up and 2 blocks over from our house and is quickly becoming a weekly family ritual. Hooray for farmers markets!