Cheers to Five Years of Local Freshness at CUESA's Thursday Farmers' Market

The farmers' market enters its toddler years.

Celebrating five years of the Thursday market at the Ferry Building Plaza, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture will be putting together an "extra festive" farmers' market tomorrow.

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CUESA Announces New Executive Director Marcy Coburn

Marcy Coburn/Twitter
As of July 14, Marcy Coburn will be the new Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, aka CUESA, the organization behind the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Coburn and CUESA looks to be a great match. She's from a farming family in the San Jaoquin Valley and was formerly the Executive Director of Food Craft Institute and the Eat Real Festival, as well as the Director of Communications at the Ecological Farming Association. There, she focused on building community, capacity, and commitment between farmer-members and a diverse stakeholder base.

See also: CUESA Farm Tours: Viewing the Small Farmer in His Natural Habitat

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Humphry Slocombe #2 in the Ferry Building Is Awesome

Pete Kane

Once upon a time, I used to make ice cream at Humphry Slocombe, whose much-anticipated second location is up and running in the Ferry Building, replacing an unremarkable gelato place and opening itself up to a whole slew of stupefied customers who just wanted regular chocolate without all that weirdness.

It was a very challenging job, especially as the summer of 2010 was a period of enormous growth, during which time the New York Times magazine profiled chef-owner Jake Godby and the queue routinely ran for 45 minutes on warm weekend afternoons. We were always operating at 110 percent of capacity, and the constant anxiety over watching twelve flavors dwindle down to ten and then eight while tomorrow's ice cream was still setting in the blast freezer gave me nightmares and a gross, persistent rash on my wrist. It was my only serious foray into a commercial kitchen, and I think I made Secret Breakfast 200 times in six months.

See Also: Harsh Dessert Conditions: Finding the Weirdest Ice Creams in S.F.

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How're You Doing On That Resolution to Volunteer Somewhere?

Evan DuCharme
Volunteer at the S.F. Food Bank this year.
Perhaps this New Year, instead of begrudgingly giving up a much-loved food group such as meat, sweets, or carbs, you are choosing to go the boldly opposite route and add something instead. Food-based volunteer opportunities abound in the Bay, and because January tends to an intensive hiring month for many organizations, this is the perfect time to start.

See also: Austerity Measures: A Restaurant Critic's Week on Food Stamps

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Put Your Baking Skills to the Test at CUESA's Pie-Making Contest Tomorrow

Bay Area pie-makers, it's your time to shine: During tomorrow's Harvest Festival at the Ferry Building, CUESA is hosting a pie-making contest (and yours truly is one of the judges). Any confident home baker can enter the contest tomorrow morning by bringing their best pie to the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) between 8 and 10:30 a.m., along with a completed entry form.

Pies will be judged on appearance, texture, taste, and use of local, seasonal ingredients, as well as by their creativity and originality. Winners will be announced at 1 p.m., and you don't have to be present to win.

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Bouli Bar Is A Veggie Winner For Its Mezze and Pizze

Trevor Felch
Hummus is normally the savory vanilla ice cream -- ubiquitous on restaurant menus and at office parties, usually harmless, and very uninspired.

A lunch at the Ferry Building's three-month-old Bouli Bar, the new sleeker, more ambitious sibling to Boulette's Larder, will convert you into a hummus believer once again. Chickpeas are mashed into a smooth consistency with a little bit of air, like a great chocolate mousse, swirled with olive oil, and finished with whole chickpeas and a dash of cumin-heavy za'tar. It's great by itself, or spread on a few of restaurant's housemade pita triangles.

See also: Cotogna's Pastas Aren't Just Great Vegetarian Dishes; They're Great Dishes, Period

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Could Ghirardelli Square One Day Rival the Ferry Building?

If the last time you were in Ghirardelli Square was to escort a visiting elderly relative who wanted to buy fudge with traveler's cheques, that's because it kind of sucks.

But as a historic pod of twelve buildings dating as far back as 1864, it certainly has potential beyond its current 55 percent occupancy rate and general forgettable-ness. (Remember, the Ferry Building used to be walled off from everything by an elevated freeway.) In perhaps a bit of recognition that it's underutilized and unloved, Ghirardelli Square has been purchased for $56 million in preparation for a big, post-recession zhoozh.

See also: Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival Offers More than Cacao

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Catching Up With an Old Friend: Il Cane Rosso's Warm Egg Salad Sandwich

Anna Roth
It's not the newest or sexiest dish in town, but every so often I get a craving for the simple pleasure of Il Cane Rosso's warm egg salad sandwich. This umami bomb doesn't deserve to be even in the same category as those sad egg salad sandwiches that they sell at gas stations. The open-faced hot sandwich has a pile of chopped, hardboiled Petaluma Farms eggs welded together with a rich slurry of anchovy-garlic butter, then topped with slices of gooey aged provolone and a sprinkle of greens, all on a crunchy slice of Acme bread.

See also: Humphry Slocombe Starts "Lickstarter" to Help Fund Ferry Building Spot

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Celebrate the Ferry Plaza's 20th Birthday On Saturday

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was just one of three San Francisco farmers markets when it opened in 1993, according to its website. And now there's a farmers market for every microhood. Celebrate the 20 years of local food contributions of CUESA and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this Saturday, where a $20 ticket gets you access to a build-your-own shortcake and mimosa bar.

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Pet Baby Goats, Eat Goat Cheese, and More at the Ferry Building's Fifth Annual Goat Festival

Flickr/Brendon Burton
Got goats? According to Flickr these adorable creatures are named Luna and Piper.
Unless you grew up with goats, there's a good chance you know little of them beyond that occasional creamy cheese you lick from your sandwich wrapper. Goatlessness is a sad condition of urban dwelling, but it doesn't have to be. Goats are wonderful beasts -- intelligent, playful, and picky eaters who get sidelined in the public imagination as mindless garbage-munching creatures.

As one would expect, Northern California is rife with advocates who are ready to change our minds about that, and they'll be here Saturday to feed you and teach you about the glory of goats and all they produce at the Fifth Annual Goat Festival. The festival is the project of CUESA, the Ferry Building Marketplace, and the Northern California Makers of Goat Milk Products.

See also: Watch Talking Goats Dressed as Elves Sell California Goat Cheese
Biscuit Bender Opens Ferry Building Kiosk

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