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Quality not quantity at Oakland’s farmers’ markets

If you really want to get in touch with the possibilities of eating fresh, there are over a dozen farmers’ markets in Oakland to help you fix a local dinner plate.

Oakland farmers’ markets offer a variety of produce including heirloom tomatoes and pablano hot peppers, pictured above. People can sort through and choose their top picks. All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Lucky’s may have kale a few cents cheaper, but by going to a farmers’ market, you can get some fresh air while picking up some produce.

Most farmers’ markets take place on weekend mornings, which may make it difficult to attend for students who are not early risers.

However, there are some which accommodate more nocturnal Millsies, such as the North Oakland Children’s Hospital farmers’ Market.

Sponsored by the People’s Grocery, an organization that promotes healthy food for everyone, this market — although smaller —boasts cheap prices and freshly-prepared healthy food samples.

If you don’t want to venture so far from Mills, there’s the Laurel District farmers’ Market just down the street, which is held in the parking lot of Giant Burgers on MacArthur Blvd.

In addition to farmers’ markets supporting local growers, they often have political goals as well.  Oakland Food Connection, Inc. (OFC), an organization that promotes proper nutrition and food sustainability, describes the political aim of Oakland farmers’ markets on their website:

“OFC employs a ‘Food Justice Education’ model that integrates food, community, culture and economic development with personal and community health. We address the root causes of health inequalities among low-income communities of color in East Oakland and work towards lasting systemic change.”

If you want some fresh eats that promote social change, hop on the bus and head to some of the nearest farmers’ markets.

By attending farmers’ markets, people can seek out unusual produce they may not find at an average grocery store, such as plump figs or obscure varieties of pears and other tree fruits.


Old Oakland Farmers’ Market

9th St. between Broadway and Clay

Fridays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sponsored by the City of Oakland

Grand Lake Farmers’ Market

Grand Lake and Lake Park Ave.

Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

North Oakland Children’s Hospital Farmers’ Market

747 52nd St.

Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Temescal Farmers’ Market

5300 Claremont Ave.
Alameda County

Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 Jack London Square Farmers’ Market

Water St. between Franklin and Harrison

Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Laurel District Farmers’ Market 

4173 MacArthur Blvd.

Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sponsored by the Oakland
Food Connection

Kaiser Hospital  Farmers’ Market

Oakland Medical Center

3801 Howe St.

Weekly on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

St. Martin de Porres Community Produce Stand 

675 41st St.

Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sept. through June

Free samples and cooking demonstrations weekly

Montclair Village Farmers’ Market

Corner of La Salle Ave. and Moraga Ave.

Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Part of the Urban Village Farmers’ Association