September is always a month of big changes at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. As the days become a little shorter and summer turns into fall, we see berries and figs side by side with the first pomegranates and early winter squash varieties. As we relish the last few weeks of summer, we’re also looking forward to some of our fall favorites. Here are five not-to-miss items this month:
New-crop dates: The sweetest treats of fall are almost here. Flying Disc Ranch returns on September 7 with the first of their new-crop dates, which are harvested by hand through December. Starting this week, they’ll have fresh varieties like Medjools, Khadrais, and yellow Barhis. The last of these have a concentrated sweetness and a slightly crunchy texture, and they are only available in September and October.
Pepper Celebration: Some like them hot and some like them sweet, and at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market we’ll be enjoying them all at CUESA’s Pepper Celebration on Saturday, September 14. From 10 am until 1 pm you can sample a variety of pepper-based pinchos (small, tapas-style bites), learn all about pepper heat (capsaicin) and watch pepper-centric cooking demos. We’ll also be joined by our friends at Tastemade, who’ll show us how to use their new app to make bite-sized videos about your favorite foods, restaurants and tasty spots in the Bay Area and beyond.
Warren pears: On 26 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas farmer Carl Rosato of Woodleaf Farm grows some of the tastiest organic fruits around. His stone fruit season has come to an end, but he will soon return with a new crop of Warren pears. Warren pears are prized for their crisp texture and rich buttery flavor. Find them at Woodleaf’s stand at the Saturday market starting on September 14.
Last chance for guest chef tacos: For the past eight Thursdays, we have enjoyed a different guest chef taco at Tacolicious’s Ferry Plaza stand. This Thursday, September 5, will be your last chance to try one for yourself as we welcome guest chef Brett Emerson of Contigo, who will be making smoke-braised lamb shoulder “agridulce” with pimentón, pickled raisins, romanesco, and cumin yogurt. All proceeds from the Tacolicious guest chef series benefit CUESA’s educational initiatives like Schoolyard to Market and our seller scholarship programs.
San Marzano tomatoes: Field-grown tomatoes are at their absolute peak right now, and there is no better time to start preserving them for the winter months. At Everything Under the Sun’s stand on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, you’ll find boxes of the Italian plum variety—San Marzano—just waiting to be roasted. San Marzanos are plump and meaty with a low acidity and rich sweetness that make them ideal for sauces. Get a 20-pound box for only $30 now through the month of September at Everything Under the Sun.