Eating fresh, locally sourced food is about more than just leading a healthier lifestyle. It’s about the entire cycle of food production from seeds to dinner tables. When you eat food produced by Marin County farmers, you can taste the difference.
In Marin County, you can do more than simply enjoy the best tasting fresh farm food — you can also meet the farmers that produce it. The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) takes pride in bringing local farmers together with the community, and in promoting the economic and environmental benefits of locally sourced food. The longest established Farmers Market collective in the county, it manages eight Bay Area Farmers Markets, its first of which was the Thursday Marin Farmers Market detailed below.
Whether you’re looking for an afternoon outing or a weekend getaway, you’ll find fresh, locally sourced food and merchandise within easy reach. There are many Farmers Markets in Marin, but you’re off to a good start if you attend these highlighted ones.
The Farmers Market at the Marin Country Mart is a year-round hub of fresh farm food, open every Saturday, from 9am to 2pm. Here you will find everything from coffee and tea, to produce, organic foods, homemade jellies and jams, and more. And to make sure the table setting is complete, you’ll want to bring home some dazzling fresh-cut flowers, all grown by local farmers. But that’s not all you’ll find at this weekend treat. There’s also face painting, storytelling for kids, crafts and live music.
The Sunday Marin Farmers Market in San Rafael, is among the largest in California. This locally sourced year-round venue is a home to more than 200 local farmers offering a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, berries, meat, breads, and seasonal specialties that make shopping here a celebration of the fresh farm experience. You can also take advantage of all this Farmers Market has to offer on Thursdays, all year long.
Both the Sunday and Thursday Marin County Farmers Markets are certified “green” businesses that incorporate environmentally friendly and community-minded practices into their professional operations. They also support educating the public on the many eco-conscious decisions they can make to promote sustainability.
Food, fun and tasting tours
Taste Marin Tours has something for everyone, from Backroads Tasting tours to culinary workshops and food-lover networking events. You can also arrange for private group tours, or take the West Marin food and farm tour for a taste of the best bread, wine, cheese and produce, all grown amid the natural beauty of Point Reyes. Each experience is tailored for its guests to have a memorable experience you’ll find nowhere else.
If you’re a cheese lover, you’ll want to follow the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail. This winding tour is an adventure that will take you through miles of lush green pastures to dozens of dairy farms where tasting farm fresh cheeses will bring your taste buds to a new level. Marin County is home to a number of outstanding cheesemakers, and you’ll want to make sure to visit the Marin French Cheese Company, Cowgirl Creamery, the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company all open daily, and the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. by appointment only.
Locally sourced restaurants
If you want to taste the advantages of fresh farm to table foods but don’t want to do all the shopping and cooking yourself, Marin County can accommodate you with a wide range of restaurants that feature healthy meals made from ingredients grown by local farmers. The culmination of the locally sourced, farm fresh experience may be found throughout Marin County.
Nick’s Cove is among a wide variety of the best places to eat locally sourced dishes in the San Francisco Bay area. This award-winning Restaurant and Oyster Bar is all about sustainable, farm to table living with a local signature that rivals none. Cradled by the hills of Point Reyes on one side and Tomales Bay on the other, nature’s timeless beauty shines through the wall of windows that wrap around this Bay-side oasis.
If you find that you can’t tear yourself away from this tribute to nature after dinner, you don’t have to. Nick’s Cove is one of many pet-friendly lodging choices, and the perfect launching point for you next adventure boating, fishing, hiking and exploring the nearby Tomales Bay State Park and pristine Point Reyes National Seashore.
When it comes to enjoying the best locally sourced food and fun California has to offer, Marin County is a world-class beacon shining just across the Golden Gate Bridge.