Local News

Is Letterman next? Davis Farmers Market makes another national top 10 list

By From page A1 | July 19, 2012

Locals and visitors alike love the Davis Farmers Market, which takes place Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons in Central Park, Fourth and C streets downtown. Farm-fresh produce, live music, a food fair, children's activities, craft vendors and booths by community organizations add to the overall experience. Courtesy photo

Another year, another honor for the Davis Farmers Market.

The local landmark added to its growing list of accolades this month when it was tapped as one of the nation’s top 10 farmers markets by U.S. News Travel. The national publication made its decision “based on reputation, versatility, online user reviews and overall atmosphere.”

“It’s always absolutely great to get recognition for the market, the city really,” said Randii MacNear, the market manager. “It’s also fun to see who else is on the list.”

The Davis Farmers Market ranked fifth on the poll, which featured markets from eight states. California also took the top spot with the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. New York had two selections: No. 2 Union Square Greenmarket in New York City and No. 10 Windmill Farmers Market in Finger Lakes, N.Y. At No. 3 was the Portland (Ore.) Farmers Market, and Chicago’s Green City Market was No. 4.

Noting that Davis’ market was tucked in with those of many large cities, MacNear said, “It shows that good things come in small packages.”

MacNear, who is originally from New York, has visited both the New York and Ferry Plaza markets.

“The Ferry Plaza market, landscape-wise, is so stunning,” MacNear said. “You can see the bridge, the water; it’s such a beautiful setting.

“It’s a similar idea with (Davis’) Central Park,” she added. “There are so many trees; it’s so beautiful.”

In May, Gretchen Mais of the American Farmland Trust named Davis among her top 10 picks with Larry Bleiberg of USA Today.

“(Farmers markets are) a place for conversation and music and to taste the actual flavor of the region,” she told USA Today. “You may not be buying sweet chard on your vacation to bring back to your hotel, but a lot of times you can buy a salad from the market to have right there.”

Mais noted the extreme social atmosphere created by Central Park’s expansive lawn, which allows for things like Frisbee tossing and children running.

In 2009, the Davis Farmers Market was voted America’s Favorite Farmers Market in a competition sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. In 2010, Davis was No. 2 behind Union Square.

The Davis Farmers Market has been a downtown staple since 1975 when it was founded by local family farmers looking for a way to sell their produce directly to the public. It is open Saturdays year-round from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 21 through Oct. 24, switching to 2 to 6 p.m. Nov. 2 through March 14.

Central Park is a Fourth and C streets in downtown Davis.

— Reach Kim Orendor at [email protected] or (530) 747-8082.

Kim Orendor

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