Califonia Bountiful

Bay Area market becomes a California landmark

Ferry Plaza Building in San Francisco houses shops, restaurants and one of the most famous farmers markets in the state.

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San Francisco is known for a lot of things—dazzling views, historic buildings and, of course, its food. At the Ferry Plaza Building you can get all three of those.

Called the people's marketplace, the Ferry Plaza Building and marketplace serves residents, chefs and travelers alike. The historic building is home to world-renowned shops and restaurants that celebrate food in all of its delicious forms. In addition, the building holds one of the most famous farmers' markets in the state.

A century ago, the Ferry Building was just thatëa ferry terminal for cross country land and rail passengers. Its 240-foot tall clock tower stood as a welcoming beacon to some 50,000 commuters a day.

The building stood deserted until it was finally dusted off in 2003, reincarnated as the Ferry Building Marketplace and quickly became San Francisco's seven-day-a-week cathedral of local gastronomy.

The Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market is a project of the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. Its mission is to promote economically competitive and environmentally sound farms through the farmers' market and through educational programs and demonstrations. Since its opening, the farmers' market has focused on organic produce and artisan foods from family-operated farms across the state. It has lured thousands of visitors, all looking for a taste of the country in the heart of the city.

One of those growers is Ella Bella Farm near Watsonville, a 17-acre family business owned and run by Brandon and Michelle Ross.

"It's very satisfying, especially when you're out on the farm for hours and wondering if it's all worthwhile," Michelle said. "Then you come here and you get kudos from the great people here and it definitely helps."

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