Editor's Note: Patch columnist Alexis Petru has moved on from Patch. Mary Bell Austin will now be picking up where Alexis left off as Patch's Peninsula green columnist. Please welcome her to the team.
For many of us on the Peninsula, a trip to the farmers’ market is a treasured weekly ritual.
Some of us even know where and when several are available so we can catch one on our way home from work on a weekday, another on the weekend and still have a backup if we miss those.
And, yes, we play favorites.
Maybe we love our own hometown market best because it’s ours. Or we stick with another one nearby because of particular vendors, the music or the friends we run into there.
Every market has its own particular flavor.
In this part of the Bay Area, we are blessed with an abundance of markets to choose from with an easy walk, bike ride, Caltrain stop or short drive from our homes. The mild climate and fertile soil nearby delivers a wide variety and high quality of produce for remarkably long seasons.
We needn't travel to Europe or Asia for the romance of a genuine open-air market experience. We can be agri-tourists right here at home, chatting with our own local farmers about the food they bring to our tables. How do I cook this? When did you pick it? Did you use pesticides on it? How long will it be available?
Ask the experts while you shop from them!
Peninsula markets also reflect the change in season, as the abundance of produce scales back, along with the number of vendors, at some. In some cities, such as San Carlos and San Bruno, the market takes a hiatus from late September until the following spring.
Others, like the 25th Avenue market and King Park market in San Mateo and the South San Francisco market, continue into October.
Redwood City and Foster City stretch into November, while Coastsiders Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, along with Burlingame, brave the elements right into December.
If you live in a city whose local market takes a winter break, change that loss into an opportunity and go explore one of the handful that run all year. Sites like Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association, California Farmers' Market Association, Urban Table and Local Harvest can provide a bushel of leads.
A mild-mannered civil servant by day, Mary Bell Austin uses her time away from her environmental work for, well, environmental play. Her adventures in healthy eating and her explorations into the wider green world can be found at Bite-size Green. Her column appears biweekly on Saturdays.
Peninsula Farmers’ Markets and Their Seasons
In Belmont, the news is particularly good. The Sunday farmers’ market at El Camino and O'Neil operates on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. all year long. For directions, specials and more, visit .
In Burlingame, the market at Park Road and Burlingame Avenue operates on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April through December. For directions, specials and more, visit the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce's website.
In Foster City, the market at 800 Foster City Blvd. operates on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April through November. For directions, specials and more, visit .
In Half Moon Bay, the market at Shoreline Station operates on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April through December. For directions, specials and more, visit .
Menlo Park’s market on Chesnut Street operates Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., all year. For more information, visit Localharvest.org.
Redwood City’s market at 850 Winslow Street operates on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, April through November. (The Wednesday market at Kaiser Hospital from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ends in September, coming back next May.)
In San Bruno, the market on San Mateo Avenue between Jenevein and Sylvan operates on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May to September. For more information, check out San Bruno Patch's .
In San Carlos, Hot Harvest Nights are just ending for the year. The market normally starts in May and runs through mid-September on Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m. on the 700 block of Laurel Street. Visit for more information.
In San Mateo, there are four markets to choose from. The 25th Avenue market (at Hacienda) operates on Tuesdays from 4 to 7:30 p.m., May through October. The King Park market operates on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., June through October. The Event Center market, at 2495 S. Delaware Street, operates on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from April through mid-November. And the College of San Mateo market operates on its campus every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., all year. For more information, visit San Mateo Patch.
In South San Francisco, the Kaiser market (Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and the Orange Memorial Park market (Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) both operate from May through October. In the off months, a trip to Daly City may be worthwhile to check out the Serramonte Center market, which operates on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., all year. For more information, visit .