Buying produce at Safeway is just about the most disturbing suggestion you can make to a San Franciscan, and a good way to lose friends and alienate people. A good way to make lots of friends who respect you is by telling them that you got up at 8:00 AM on a Sunday and rode your fixie to the Farmers Market so you could buy as many beets as would fit in your basket, and then rode home and felt incredibly self-righteous about the whole situation. You don’t have to mention that last part. It’s just assumed that that’s how you would feel, because going to a Farmers Market is about as close to a Mother Theresa moment as you can get these days.

Although a lot of people would probably think of a Farmers Market as a great place to take their family on a nice day, San Franciscans don’t particularly like families, and really would rather that Farmers Markets were more like bars in that no one under the age of 21 was allowed in. This feeling is so widespread and accepted that one of San Francisco’s best known writers didn’t blink an eye before deciding to suggest via a tweet that for set periods, children be banned from these outdoor produce stands. “FerryPlaza Farmers’ Mkt: I love kids, really. Idea: Adults Only shop time? Sans screaming progeny & runaway strollers. Perhaps w/cocktails?”

There’s nothing like mentioning cocktails in the same sentence that you refer to children as screaming progeny to make you seem like a San Franciscan. God knows what a child might do to farm fresh strawberries. No, actually God doesn’t want to know. What God does know is that when a San Franciscan is enjoying several hours squeezing nectarines, they don’t necessarily want their Zen busted by the screams of a baby who doesn’t even belong to them, even if that baby does belong to them.

In other words, San Franciscans go to Farmers Markets to get closer to nature, to enjoy an afternoon thinking about how recently this apple was plucked from a tree, thinking that perhaps it was this very person who they’re handing their money to that did that plucking, thinking that they might one day move out of the city and live on a farm themselves.

Of course, should that happen they would be more than happy to let your kids come over, I mean somebody’s gotta harvest this stuff.

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