SF Underground Farmers Market is Back!

The Market Is Back

The first SF Underground Farmers Market was a great success! We got a couple hundred people to eat some food, drink some drinks, buy some gifts, and learn about what's being made in the home kitchens of San Francisco. Most of the vendors sold out of what they brought, with one even taking backorders. We also got some great press! So we're doing it again, Jan 28th, from 5-11pm, in a yet to be determined space. sign up for our email list at foragesf.com to keep updated.

Check out the full announcement here: http://eepurl.com/gi2e


Why we shouldn't hate on myfarm

Myfarm is done.  I first heard about this fleetingly a couple weeks ago, but no one really knew what happened. Just that they were gone, something about internal problems. Went to their website. nothing. Tried searching around the interwebs, but to no avail.   A couple days ago I got forwarded this blog post with the attached message "let me know if you need any help" from one Fred Bove. Very nice gesture to be sure. As someone who has also recently started a new kind of vegetable delivery service, I have some thoughts on the demise of myfarm, and the surprisingly vitriolic words that are being thrown around concerning this once greatly esteemed business.

Myfarm was started by a couple who had a really great idea. The idea was to put farms in peoples backyards, and with the food grown, feed the city.  To get this idea going, and see if people were interested, they put up 50 flyers around the city. immediately they were deluged with response. The chronicle wrote about them. The NY times wrote about them. They got more response, and ultimately collapsed under the pressure. I volunteered with myfarm a couple times when they were first starting out, but haven't spoken to Trevor in a while, but from what I can tell, they just grew too fast.

1. When I started forageSF, I thought that the best thing that could happen was to have 100 people sign up immediately. I would be able to support myself foraging ( and maybe even start a bit of a savings account). When that didn't happen, I was really disappointed. A couple people signed up, but as I jealously watched myfarm get bigger, my business grew very slowly.  I see now that was the best thing that could have happened. The amount I have learned in the time since the first CSF box went out is amazing. What people want (surprisingly, its less variety of foods rather than more), logistics (how to collect and distribute very perishable food in a two window), customer service (how to not piss people off). These lessons have all been learned without my business eating itself because I've had the luxury of moving relatively slowly . If, as I desired, had 100 people sign up the first month, I probably wouldn't have been been doing what Im doing at this point.

2. I think people had an unreasonable expectation of myfarm (from what the post conveys).  Myfarm was a really good idea. A revolutionary idea, to feed people from urban production. Rather than the cities being vacuums for rural production, we would sustain ourselves, and have nice backyard gardens to boot.  It was such a good idea in fact that people signed up immediatly....I can't think anymore about this at the moment, but I feel for Trevor. He tried to do something really interesting, and put a great idea out into the world, he tried to do something totally unique, so give him a break.


August CSF

boxpic This months box:

Dried Porcini and Morel Mushrooms (Mendocino/Humboldt Valley)

Dried Mushrooms, left to refresh in water for about 20 minutes, can be cooked just like fresh. It takes about 10 lbs of fresh wild mushrooms to make 1 lb dried.  Drying actually concentrates the flavor of many mushrooms, such as the bolete.  The Boletus edulis mushroom (bolete) was first described in 1783 by the French botanist Pierre Bulliard and still bears its original name. The Porcini, or King Bolete, is always an exciting find in California since they’re rare and delicious. Porcini are great sautéed with a little (or a lot) of butter.

Orange and Foraged Lemon Juice

Foraged in our own backyard, these lemons were rescued from certain rotting.  We got some fresh squeezed OJ and added foraged lemon juice to give it a good sour bite.

Sea beans (Bolinas)

Pickle weed is a small succulent, with leaves that are waxy on the outside and full of moisture on the inside. Its leaves are long, thin, and round, like little fingers. Pickleweed flowers between April and September, but its tiny yellow flowers can only be seen upon careful examination. Pickle weed grows in the low- to middle-tide zone in the marsh, which means that it gets covered up by water some of the time.  It’s delicious fresh as a garnish, or if you want to get creative in the early morning hours, check out the recipe below.

Wild Foraged Bay Leaves

The very same bay laurel leaves that you see (and smell) all over California, can be used in cooking. The aroma is a bit stronger than store bought, so use sparingly in your favorite soups.

Wild Foraged Blackberries

That’s right, collected just yesterday…they’re delicious.  We had to exercise some serious self control not to eat them all as we picked.  These blackberries come from Mendocino county.

Seabeans Sauteed with onions

This week we wanted to give you an idea of a good way to cook those seabeans you get so often in your box. Here they are, sautéed with some onions, garlic, pepper, and just a pinch of sugar to cut the saltiness. Hope you like them.

Wild Foraged Mint

Use this just like regular mint, the taste is a bit more intense with the wild variety.