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Farmers Market on Ashmount Avenue

You can't always be sure the things you do will bear fruit. However last week on Wednesday, February 7 [correction the 5th]

, the Walking on Wednesdays group was confident their walk would bear not only fruits, but also vegetables. One week earlier, they saw a sign on the corner of Crocker and Sea View Avenues for a farmers market on Ashmount Avenue, so the local farmers market made Ashmount the destination for the day.

The interest in a little-known farmers market coupled with a beautiful late winter morning generated a near record turnout of 31 walkers and one K-9 best friend. The group was pleased to welcome Police Officer Nicole Casalnuovo, the department's new juvenile officer. Her new PPD role started last summer and was funded by the California Department of Justice's Tobacco Grant program. She described her efforts to help Piedmont students stay out of the juvenile justice system, and also her work with the Piedmont Scouting Police Explorers pro- gram. In answer to a question, she confirmed that the police department doesn't have a quota of tickets that officers have to write. Walking past the Community Hall, everyone saw the beautiful, flowering Yulan Magnolia tree in full bloom, a welcome sign that spring in Piedmont is nearby close. They went up Highland to Sheridan and Wildwood Avenues, and through the Hall Fenway to Crocker Avenue. The first daffodils were popping up in the Fenway, but it would be a week or two more before they would be in full bloom. Going down Crocker to Ashmond mount, the Piedmont/Oakland border, they came to a sign reading "Organic Farmers Market". About 100 yards up the street, they came to a driveway that led to a garage packed with fruits and vegetables, but no one attending them. We read signs with the prices of the different items, and also a sign that said we could make purchases by weighing our items and putting our payments in a slot at the front of the house. A young, barefooted man, Noah Stein, came out of the house and was pleased to tell us the story of his farmers market. He engaged the Ground Stew Farm in Castroville to provide him with a weekly truckload of produce. Every Tuesday Noah mans the market, but on Wednesdays he conducts sales based on the hon- or system. After that he sells the remaining produce at a farmers market in San Francisco. He was surprised to see the large number of people, and clearly pleased with the purchases being made. In a stroke of coincidence, it turned out that regular walker Alicia Rivera was once Noah's teacher in an Oakland school, providing for a delightful reunion. The return trip to the Exedra included bags of fruits and vegetables, making it a full and very enjoyable morning.


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