BERKELEY, Calif. — The Maevey family skips the supermarket. They come to the Berkeley Farmers’ Market to shop for their groceries and to teach their daughter, Shannon, how to be healthy, they said. They are trying to turn an ordinary trip to the grocery store into a fun and educational family event. When first approached and asked what they like about the market, 5-year-old Shannon, was the first to answer, “Peaches!”
John and Jennifer have been going to to the Berkeley Farmers’ Market for about six years, every weekend. And when their daughter was born, they knew that the passion they have for the market and heathy eating was something they wanted to pass on to her. For John, this passion started when he worked at Chez Panisse. “Kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they can pick it up,” and pick it out themselves, said Maevey.
The couple enjoy seeing and meeting the people who grow their food. They said it was nice to know that these people are making a sustainble living. Maevey said, “with a corperation, there’s no person” and there’s nothing to relate to, but with someone like chef Alice Waters, who created Chez Panisse, you get “to face the food” and meet the people. The vendors can become your friends and when you go to a restaurant that uses vendors’ names on its menu, you can recognize those vendors.
“So it really comes full circle,” said Maevey.
His wife, a landscaper, said that the market helps with her job. With all the fresh produce around she can know what vegetable or fruit looks like in season and she can even ask the vendors how to grow something. This market helps to, “continually grow the community,” they said, and they also said that they were proud to have their daughter experience this firsthand.