Farmers' market a hit in Portola Valley


Late afternoon breezes in Portola Valley ruffled the flowers, set rows of delicate wire-wrapped jewelry to dancing, and caressed what fruits and vegetables were left at the town's first farmers' market on Thursday, June 13. The market had opened at 3 p.m. in the Historic Schoolhouse parking lot at Town Center, and by 5:30, half the vendors were already gone, having sold out. The tables remaining were bare or nearly so.

Webb Ranch sold all of its cargo of olallieberries, as had Jelich Ranch of its cherries and One Ocean of its local king salmon, market manager Maggie Foard said. At the table for Flour Chylde bakery of Novato, empty cake covers sat waiting to be wiped clean and packed, the gluten-free baked goods they had protected long gone.

"We've had a really great turnout," Ms. Foard said as she handed out the last of her samples of goat's milk chocolate. "The people were just delightful. ... It was a complete deluge of customers."

Portola Valley resident Kim Zamboldi got there after the rush. "We love having a local market," she said. With her sons Luke, 6, and Nicholas, 8, Ms. Zamboldi was sampling dark chocolate from Kidding Around with Chocolate, Ms. Foard's La Honda-based goat's milk chocolate operation. She had been driving to the Menlo Park market on Sundays, she said, but that will change.

"We'll come (here) and picnic and meet with friends in the community and go to the library," she said.

The Portola Valley library had come to them on this day. At the library's table, Kathryn Wiszowaty offered cookbooks to read; a recipe for red pepper, button mushroom and blue potato salad; and a sign-up list for summer reading that gathered 33 signatures, she said.

Eric Foard, 21 and Ms. Foard's son, sold out One Ocean's stock of salmon, bought that morning at Pier 45 in San Francisco. He is in graduate school for computer science in British Columbia, building on his bachelor's degree in rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. "I never considered (selling fish) as a career, but I definitely enjoy doing it," he said. "Occasionally my car smells a little like fish, but it's rare."

A woman bought a necklace of silver spoons and a turquoise flower from the neck of Jolan Bogdan, a textile designer and the owner of Penelope's Den in Skylonda. "It was really great. I had a wonderful day," Ms. Bogdan said.

Her jewelry is distinctive because she makes most of it, she said. "I wouldn't say it's easy," she added, when asked about running a business largely on her own creative efforts. She teaches textile making on "huge looms" in her shop, she said.

Under the shade at one end of the market, James Worthington, aka the Mystic Cowboy, strummed his acoustic guitar. "An excellent crowd coming through here," he said. "I love farmers' markets because everybody's here for such a positive push."


Like this comment
Posted by Nate McKitterick
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Jun 21, 2013 at 10:12 am

Regular community events like this are one of the reasons we love Portola Valley, and are perhaps especially important in a Town that has no downtown. Many thanks to the people who have worked to bring us the Summer Concerts at the Town Center (thus realizing the purpose of its design as a community gathering place) and now the Farmer's Market, as well as other community events (such as the Bike Rodeo at Town Center this year, the Craft Fair, etc.).

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