Finding fresh: an insight to farmers’ markets in Marin

Lucie James

Farmers market runs through Corte Madera, town center mall selling fresh fruits and vegetables.
Farmers market runs through Corte Madera, town center mall selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

Corte Madera Farmers’ Market: 2.5 stars

Located in the Town Center shopping center, the Corte Madera Farmers’ Market is open year-round on Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m. Tents are lined in the walkway by restaurants and shops, each one offering a different assortment of food, from vegetables and fruits to lotions and soaps. While the farmers’ market is not very large in size, overall the food is appetizing and each sample was delectable. Most of the produce appeared fresh, although some stands were offering less-than-ripe fruit and vegetables such as strawberries and lettuce.

The Town Center can be a popular place for students to shop and grab a bite to eat, but due to the farmers’ market operating during school hours for the most part, students are unlikely to be at the mall when it is open. The market was bustling with mall shoppers and patrons of the various vendors, creating a boisterous environment.

Marin Civic Center Farmers’ Market: 5 stars

Crowded with mostly young families and individuals, the Marin Civic Center farmers’ market offers a variety of items varying from food to homemade baskets and clothes. Open on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., a more convenient time for students and families, the maze of tents offers samples of cheese, beverages, crackers, and pastries for all ages to enjoy. The produce and wares were being offered at prices comparable to the same products in commercial stores, a refreshing change from sometimes overpriced organic produce. Majority of the food sold is satisfactory; the vegetables are fresh and the fruit is ripe and ready for customers to enjoy.

Marin Civic Center farmer’s market offers several tents with a variety of products.
Marin Civic Center farmer’s market offers several tents with a variety of products.

Due to its location in San Rafael, this farmers’ market is a longer commute for Redwood students. However, it is on the weekend and there is much more offered at the Marin Civic Center than at the Town Center. In addition to are several stands for fruits, vegetables, pastries and meat, the farmers market also has stands where customers are able to purchase a full meal. Pizza and dim sum are offered, as well as a truck to purchase coffee. As customers walk through the tents, live music is played. The Marin Civic Center farmers market offers an amusing experience for families and students to spend their morning or afternoon at.  


Marin Country Mart Farmers’ Market: 3.5 stars 

Marin Country Mart hosts small farmers market behind the mall.
Marin Country Mart hosts small farmers’ market behind the mall.

Conveniently located directly by the freeway, the Marin Country Mart offers a farmers market every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located behind Belcampo and Rustic Bakery. This market is less crowded than the others due to its smaller size and more limited range of items for sale. The limited variety of food sold consists of fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and homemade granola. Additionally, the market is small in size, which adds an intimate feel and allows for more interaction between the clients and vendors.

The customers of this market consisted mainly of families with young children, although students may be drawn to it as well due to the other stores and shops located in the Marin Country Mart.

The absence of any kind of music or entertainment contributed to the lack of a distinct atmosphere at this farmers’ market, and the addition of this would have improved the experience.