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Oct 10th
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Foodie Road Trip

dining_ferrybuildingThe Ferry Building Farmers Market is a community celebration

San Francisco's Ferry Building Farmers Market is considered one of the best in the country for its diversity of produce and the uniqueness of artisinal foodstuffs. Each week, its three markets attract 25,000 visitors, the largest one on Saturdays.

In the spirit of sustainability I gathered canvas bags, a trio of reusable mesh produce bags ($7.50 Bed Bath & Beyond) and stepped onto Metro's 17 Express bus just before 7 a.m. to catch Caltrain at San Jose's Diridon Station. From an upstairs seat overlooking homes and fruit-laden citrus trees I pondered the juxtaposition of graffiti-tagged warehouses and backyard tennis courts.

The Sunnyvale Caltrain parking lot was covered with farmers market canopies, a scene that would be repeated at the Belmont and Mountain View stations on Sunday. I envisioned a future in which our own little train would connect us with North Coast farmers at a Davenport market.

Cater-corner from the San Francisco station I hopped on the Muni's T-trolley for a short ride down to the rejuvenated Embarcadero, disembarking just past the Bay Bridge. It was a short walk along the bay toward the clock-faced spire of the 1898 ferry building.

At the pier's entrance, cooks griddled pancakes and French toast for the hungry hordes. I worked my way back to find the farmers. Like a kid in a candy store not knowing where to start, I waited at Healdsburg's Downtown Bakery for a sweet glaze-drizzled, currant-studded hot cross bun ($2). I savored its flavors of ginger and orange peel as I took my first pass around the booths.

Purveyors, mainly from the North Bay, included our own Dirty Girl Farms. The line was long at Primavera Mexican where corn tortillas are made on the spot. The wait was even longer at Rolli Roti where rotisserie chicken turned on long spits in the back of the truck. There was Pea Sprout Pesto from a vegan-raw deli, sustainably farmed Tomales Bay Oysters from Hog Island Oyster Company, bags of multi-hued potatoes, goat summer sausage, eerily shaped mushrooms, and aromatic smoked fish. Marin Sun Farms sold fresh meat, sausages, and a stock kit complete with chicken feet.

From Napa's Fatted Calf Charcuterie, I chewed on long fingers of old world sausage sec ($2). From the Coachella Valley came Flying Disk Ranch's eco-dynamic dates. I chose big, dark, sugary Medjools ($8/lb.) and milder tan Zahidi ($4/lb.). I picked a hefty one-and-a-half pound Olympia brown-skinned Asian pear ($3.25/lb.); white-fleshed, crisp and sugary, and a thick-skinned one-pound grapefruit ($1.25/lb.) crossed with a pomello for sweetness. The strong flavor of Petaluma's Point Reyes new blue cheese is perfect for salads. Also strong was Cowgirl Cheese's organic soft-ripened Red Hawk that puts Camembert to shame.

Although the round trip ($31) cost more than driving, the reposeful ride was worth it. But I was dismayed to learn that Caltrain is considering discontinuation of weekend and Giants' game service altogether on July 1, which is a huge blow to my personal environmental footprint reduction. Share your opinion at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Embarcadero and Market Street, San Francisco. Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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