Today was opening day for the Chestnut Street Farmer's Market. It's on Steiner between Chestnut and Lombard, and is held from 3-7 pm on Tuesdays. Currently, it is being held through October, but they are petitioning to have this market be year-round. The sponsor is the Marina Merchants Association.
This is a bustling, busy market. There is no "lag time" happening here, where people have to get used to a market in the neighborhood. The crowd was pretty thick. The funniest thing we saw was a man coming home from work in a suit and tie stop and say to the person on his cell phone "Woah, there's a farmer's market in my neighborhood." There is definitely a high percentage of people that seemed to be walking by, a lot of seniors, and a lot of strollers. This is a great neighborhood to have a market - everyone is out and walking in that neighborhood and something like this will attract a lot of attention.
There was a guy from Claypool's BBQ dressed up as Elvis passing out samples, which was pretty entertaining. There was also live music and a cooking demonstration by the chef from Boboquivari's on Lombard (I didn't get to taste anything -- the senior factor around the free food booth was about as intense as a Vegas Buffet)
There is a good variety of farms, and you could definitely come here and purchase everything that you needed for dinner. The selection is representative of what's currently available at most markets. The farms were a mix of booths that were new to me, and familiar booths from the Ferry Plaza and Marin markets.
One farmer mentioned that, even though there were a lot of people, he thought that people had to adjust to the idea of a market before they'd start utilizing it as a true food source.
Pros of this market: Cool neighborhood feel, nice representation of food, in an area with a lot of prepared foods - so not having prepared foods at the market is not a huge deal.
Cons of this market: Of 21 booths I noted, only 5 were certified organic. No organic strawberries. Not sure where you'd park if you were to drive to this market (Lombard/Webster Lot, I guess)
Farmers at the Marina FM that I noted include:
Tres Classique. Dressings
Esther's German Bakery. (Mountain View)
Santa Cruz Salmon (fyi ... $11.99/lb)
Rodriguez Farms. Berries (Watsonvielle)
Apple-A-Day Ratzlaff Ranch. Apple Juice (Sebastopol)
Joe Gotelli & Sons. Cherries (Acampo)
*Lagier Ranch. Cherries, Almonds.
Sorensen. Blueberries (Fresno)
Spring Hill Cheese. (Sonoma)
Rhodes Family Farms. Tomatoes, Zucchini, Cucumber. (Visalia)
Kika's Farms. Berries (Watsonville)
Bill Ferry Ranches. Oranges
*Hazel Dell Mushrooms. (Watsonville)
Hamada Farms. Stone Fruit (Kingsburg)
*Kashiwase. Stone Fruit (Winton)
Marshall's Farm. Honey
Blossom Bluff Farm. Stone Fruit (Parlier)
*Live Oak. Greens, Radishes, Olive Oil (Rumsey)
Living Water Farms. Greens, radishes, beets (Napa)
*Happy Boy Farms. Greens, pattypan squash, herbs (Watsonville)
* = certified organic