As the days grow longer and warmer, the change of seasons is evident at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: citrus and winter squash give way to tender spring greens, strawberries, and asparagus. This is a rewarding time to be a market regular, because shopping is like a weekly hunt for new treasures of spring! Sugar snap peas, green garlic, and fresh goat cheese have already made appearances, and before long, early stone fruit will be on its way.
From natural egg dyes to seasonal brunch recipes, we’ve put together some farmers market shopping and menu ideas to help you take advantage of the best local bounty in your spring equinox, Easter, and Passover celebrations.
See our spring seasonality synopsis >
Chickens start laying more eggs in the spring, and indeed, the egg serves as the perfect symbol for the season, representing rebirth and renewal. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market only allows pasture-raised eggs, which can be found at Eatwell Farm (Saturday) and Rolling Oaks Ranch (Saturday). Beautiful au naturel or dyed, these eggs come in a variety of colors, from creamy white to latte brown to Ameraucana blue.
The perfect hard-boiled egg: Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. Run the eggs under cold tap water or place in an ice water bath until cooled to room temperature.
Natural egg dyes: Did you know you can use farmers market produce like cabbage, beets, and onion skins to create a rainbow of chemical-free egg dyes? Check out our Guide to Natural Egg Dyes, which includes a useful color guide.
Farmers Market Easter Basket Goodies
Check out these Easter basket treats from the farmers market—just add a basket and a bow!
- Award-winning apple cider caramels from Little Apple Granola
- Candied citrus, Nordic syrups, and drink kits for Easter brunch cocktails from June Taylor Company
- Mixed dried fruit from Everything Under the Sun
- Colorful chocolate apricots and grapes from Bella Viva Orchards
- Blanched almonds from G. L. Alfieri
Rainbow honey straws from Marshall’s Farm Natural Honey
Beeswax lip balm with organic lavender essential oil from Snyders Honey
- Naturally colorful pasture-raised eggs from Eatwell Farm and Rolling Oaks Ranch
- Tender baby carrots from McGinnis Ranch
- Asparagus from Capay Organic and Zuckerman’s Farm
- Wheatgrass from Brooks and Daughters
- Pink sauerkraut in a lively spring tonic from Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
Baked Goods and Brunch Specials
- Carrot cakes from Craftsman and Wolves: Spring Carrot Cake with Lime Macarons; and Moist Carrot Cake with Citrus, Vanilla, Pastel Macarons Filled with Lime Valrhona White Chocolate Ganache (preorders suggested)
- Treats from Batter Bakery: honey vanilla bunnies, lavender sea salt bunnies, Easter shortbread, carrot cakes, strawberry buttermilk upside down cake, Meyer lemon bars
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble and Strawberries and Cream Custard from Three Babes Bakeshop
- Hot cross buns from Downtown Bakery and June Taylor Company
Asparagus, Preserved Lemon, Farm Eggs, Arugula and Chèvre Grilled Cheese Sandwich from The Farmer’s Wife
Asparagus tamales from Donna’s Tamales
Spring specials from Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoke, including Roasted Carrot Soup with Carrot Top and Toasted Walnut Pesto, and more
Easter Brunch Recipes
Basic Frittata | Amie Bailey, Williams-Sonoma
Asparagus, Leek, and Goat Cheese Strata | Adam Timney, Starbelly
French Toast with Lemon-Ricotta Filling and Fresh Citrus Compote | Thy Tran, Executive Chef, CUESA
Elegantly Simple Deviled Eggs | Sandra Keros, Healthy Focus
Pea Shoot Salad with Fava Beans | Kimberley Hasselbrink, The Year in Food
Deviled Eggs with Quick-Pickled Asparagus | Jodi Liano, San Francisco Cooking School
Strawberry Shortcake with Goat Cheese Cream and Balsamic Reduction | Susanne Stampke, Pastry Chef, The Plant Café Organic
Citrus-Strawberry Muffins | Jen Musty, Batter Bakery
Cocktail: Elementary, My Dear Watsonville | Greg Lindgren, Rye
Radish, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Salad | Louisa Shafia, The New Persian Kitchen
Spinach Salad a la Grecque | Joyce Goldstein, cookbook author
Chickpea and Dandelion Zuppa | Christophe Hille, formerly of A16
Tender Spring Green Salad with Almonds, Radishes, Chèvre, and Kumquat | Leif Hedendal, local chef
Kumquat and Basil Salad with Shiro Miso Dressing | Pooja Mottl, Pooja’s Way
Delta Asparagus and Frisée Salad | Francis Hogan, Bluestem Brasserie
Also known as Chag Ha-Aviv (“holiday of spring”), Passover is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the new season. There are many ways to make your Seder plates more sustainable, such as using fresh, local farmers market ingredients for karpas, maror, and charoset. Check out Hazon’s Healthy, Sustainable Passover Resources.
Seder Plate Shopping List
Get all your seder plate ingredients at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market:
Maror (bitter herb)
Horseradish: Knoll Farms
Z’roa (roasted bone)
Lamb shank: Stemple Creek Ranch
On Saturday, look for special Passover offerings from Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen.
No-Rise Passover Recipes
Charoset | Evan Bloom, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
Turkish Lamb with Green Garlic (Kodrero con Ajo Fresco) | Joyce Goldstein, Sephardic Flavors
Grilled Leg of Goat with Charoset Stuffing and Fava Bean, Parsley, Arugula, and Frisée Salad with “Four Glasses of Wine” Vinaigrette | Scott Youkilis, Maverick Restaurant
Spicy Carrots | Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of Put ‘em Up
Snap Pea Soup with Mint and Lemon | Kimberley Hasselbrink, The Year in Food
Braised Green Cabbage | Molly Stevens, cookbook author
Warm Strawberry Salad | Daniel Clayton and Trace Leighton, Origen
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »