Eating locally and sustainably grown food is widely known as being beneficial to one’s health, the local economy, and the planet. A great way to buy local is to shop at farmers markets.
Not only do farmer’s markets sell food that is in season, they offer a wide variety of foods all within a neighboring region of the market, decreasing excess burning fossil fuels, and the food is less often packaged in plastic. For Mills students who live off-campus, who live on-campus in independent housing without meal plans, or for those with meal plans looking for a way to incorporate more fresh produce into their diets, farmer’s markets are the way to go.
Almost all farmers markets now accept EBT and some accept credit cards. Here is a list of farmers markets in the East Bay or close by along with directions from Mills for those choosing to take public transportation. To be even more eco-friendly, customers should bring their own bags.
Grand Lake Market: This market, closest to Mills, happens on Saturdays year-round from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. along Lake Park Ave. in Oakland. The market features a number of food trucks and live music as well as an array of locally grown and largely organic produce. This market is easily accessible by taking the 57 or NL bus lines from Mills and exiting at Lakeshore & Lake Park Ave. The market’s website adds that bike parking is plentiful.
Temescal Market: This market is on Sundays year-round from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is held in the North Oakland DMV parking lot at 5300 Claremont Ave. This market has a great number of certified organic vendors as well as specialty services such as knife sharpening. The market is accessible by taking the 57 or NL buses to Telegraph Ave. and then taking the 6 bus to Claremont Ave.
Old Oakland: According to their website, this market is known as the East Bay’s most diverse, affordable and accessible farmers market. This market is held year-round on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. except for Black Friday. It is located at Broadway and 9th Street just three blocks from the 12th Street BART station and can be accessed from Mills by taking the NL bus to Thomas L. Berkley Way and taking the Broadway shuttle bus to 9th St.
Jack London Square: This market, founded in 1989, is located in the heart of Oakland and features performances by local musicians. Located in Jack London Square at Embarcadero West and Webster Street in an area known as Palm Plaza, this market operates year-round on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To access this market, students should take the NL bus to Thomas L. Berkley Way and walk to Webster St. where they can take the Broadway shuttle bus to Jack London Square.
South Berkeley: This market happens every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m at Adeline and 63rd St. According to their website, this market is a place to find items beyond produce such as tofu, olive oil, jam, nuts and baked goods as well as plants and flowers. This market can be accessed by taking the Mills shuttle or 57 bus to the MacArthur BART station and riding the train one stop to the Ashby station, where the market is a short walk away.
Downtown Berkeley: Operated by the same ecology center as the South Berkeley Market, this market is located at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Center Street on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. year-round. This market is located next to a park and features a number of food trucks serving Ethiopian, Indian and other international foods. It can be accessed by taking the Mills shuttle to UC Berkeley and walking a short distance or taking the 6 bus to Center St.
Uptown Oakland Farmers Market: This market occurs from April to November each year and is held on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1 Kaiser Plaza in Oakland. This market features prepared foods, baked goods and produce and can be accessed from Mills by taking the NL bus to Thomas L. Berkley Way and walking a short distance.
Alameda Farmers Market: This market located in Alameda at 710 Haight Avenue is open year-round, although it will be closed during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It occurs on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and can be accessed by taking the NL bus from Mills to Thomas L. Berkley Way and taking the 51A bus to Webster St. and Lincoln Ave. in Alameda.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: This market is pricier and a tourist attraction as much as it is a useful place to purchase produce, prepared food and flowers. Located outside of the famous Ferry Building in the Embarcadero of San Francisco, this market is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. when it is most crowded. According to their website, nearly 40,000 shoppers come to the market each week. To go to this market, students should take the Mills shuttle or the 57 bus to the MacArthur BART station and exit at the Embarcadero station in San Francisco.
Alemany Certified Farmers Market: According to the SF Gate, this market was the first in the state of California. It was founded in 1943 and now occurs year-round on Saturdays from as early as 6 a.m. to around 2 p.m. Everything from unique produce and plants to live chickens and wood fire pizza can be found at this market, which is located at 100 Alemany Blvd. Students should take the Mills shuttle to the MacArthur BART station and take the train to the Glen Park station in San Francisco, where they can take the 23 MUNI bus to Crescent Ave. and Putnam St.