The second best thing to producing your own is to buy it locally! Last week a new farmer's market opened up in the laurel sponsered by Oakland Food Connection. Our neighborhood group was also hosting its first annual block sale. Plus I needed to get a birthday present for my friend's 3 year old kid Kahlo. This meant a trip to Laurel Book Store and Komodo Toys. My morning walk was planned!
On my way to the block sale, I had the good fortune in running into neighbor John Frando who was putting up flyers/cones. I love being able to just stroll down the street and see people that I know. I haven't had that much here in Oakland so it was quite the nice change. John is working on an article for The Macarthur Metro on gardens/chickens/sustainability in the laurel and was asking me for an interview.
Not too many people were at the block sale yet but I got the chance to talk to some other neighbors. I've been talking with Stella who organized the Neighborhood Night Out earlier this month to see how we can continue these potlucks to help everybody get to know each other better. I'm trying to figure out the logistics of giving a cheese making workshop. I also got three more people on my waiting list for eggs.
Next I tried Komodo Toys but unfortunately they were closed so I went straight to Laurel Book Store. I found exactly what I needed. Children's books on ducks, chickens, and art. I hope Kahlo loves them. His sense of wonder is fun to watch when he comes over our house to see the animals. The owner Luan even gift wrapped the presents for free! I chatted up another customer about Mark Bittman's cookbook. Normally in a chainstore a person standing behind somebody getting something gift wrapped would get annoyed. But the local scene is more laid back so you have the possibility of enjoying the company of strangers.
The new farmer's market was small but charming. Only being the second week, there is just three vendors. Oakland Food Connection, Purple Lawn Cafe, and a farmer. Unfortunately the farmer didn't show up this week. If I had driven in my car and had to find parking, the situation might have been annoying. But it wasnt, instead I'm glad that something new is being created in my neighborhood. I was glad to hand over money to see this bloom. . I cant wait to see the changes in the upcoming weeks. I'll be returning.
It's nice to have an excuse for a saturday morning stroll!