CUESA's Farmers Market Thanksgiving Guide | CUESA

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market »

Sat 8am–2pm | Tue & Thu 10am–2pm | SF

Jack London Square Farmers Market »

Sun 10am–3pm | Oakland

Mission Community Market »

Thu 4pm–8pm | SF

October 23, 2017

CUESA's Farmers Market Thanksgiving Guide

At CUESA’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and Jack London Square Farmers Market, you’ll find a variety of locally and humanely raised meats, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, and made-with-love sweet treats to fill your Thanksgiving table. Hearty winter squashes, beans, grains, and mushrooms even make it possible to have a sumptuous meat-free Thanksgiving (veggie turducken, anyone?).

The local bounty provides ample inspiration to create our own California food traditions. After all, the original 1621 celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts, was an entirely local feast, and did not feature the canonical Thanksgiving dishes: no can-shaped log of cranberry sauce, no fluffy mashed potatoes, no pumpkin pie with whipped topping. The main elements of the first feast were most likely deer, shellfish, and wild turkey, not the Broad Breasted Whites bred for modern industrial agriculture.

In Northern California, the fall harvest is worthy of our gratitude. Please join us in giving thanks for the abundance, and for every hard-working individual who helps bring it to the table. Here are some shopping tips, special market offerings, and recipes to inspire your farm-fresh feasts.

CUESA Farmers Markets Schedule

CUESA farmers markets are open on the following days to satisfy all of your holiday needs:

Note that there will be no Thursday market at the Ferry Plaza on Thanksgiving Day, November 23. Instead, we will have a special Thanksgiving market on Wednesday, November 22, for all of your last-minute holiday feast needs. See the full list of vendors.

Humanely Raised Meats

Find these locally and humanely raised meats at CUESA farmers markets:

The Gunsell family of Mountain Ranch Organically Grown is offering a limited number of certified organic turkeys this year at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Over the last 10 years, they have developed a flock of birds that are 75% Western wild and 25% heritage. More like wild turkeys, they weigh between 7 and 12 pounds, are richer in flavor, and require a longer, slower cooking time. They also will have “jumbo” Cornish Cross chickens up to 11 pounds, and guinea fowl, which are closely related to turkeys and share a similar flavor. You can reserve your for pickup at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market by visiting the Gunsells’ stand on Saturdays, calling 209-754-5253 (between 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.), or emailing Saturday and Wednesday, Ferry Plaza.

On Saturday, November 18, farmer Dede Boies of Root Down Farm will have a limited number of large (19-24 pounds) pasture-raised, heritage breed turkeys at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Show up early to get your pick! Alternatively you can preorder at for pickup at her farm in Pescadero. You can also reserve a holiday ham from Root Down. Saturday, Ferry Plaza.

Massa Organics has bacon and pork fat (for pie crusts!). The pigs are all heritage breeds, including Glousteshire Old Spot, Red Wattle, and Berkshire, with a small amount of wild boar mixed in. The pigs live in temporary pens in and around the fields, and most of their feed comes directly from Massa’s rice, wheat, safflower, and hay crops. Saturday, Ferry Plaza.

Stemple Creek Ranch will be offering tenderloin roast, New York strip roast, and leg of lamb, from animals raised on certified organic pasture without artificial hormones, growth promotants, or antibiotics. All animals are grass fed and grass finished, with no supplemental corn, soy, or grain. Please call 415-883-8253 or email ahead of time to confirm availability. Saturday, Ferry Plaza.

At Jack London Square Farmers Market, you can find pasture-raised chicken, prime rib roasts, whole hams, heritage pork and bacon, and grass-fed lamb from Casa Rosa Farms in Capay. Sunday, Jack London Square.

Handcrafted Sweets

Three Babes Bakeshop is offering made-from-scratch holiday pies at the market on the Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Enjoy seasonal favorites like Pumpkin, Classic Apple, Salty Honey Walnut, Bourbon Pecan, Blackberry Crumble, and Vegan Blackberry. They are also offering gluten-free options in Blackberry, Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan, and Sour Cream Pumpkin. They will have a limited selection of pies on hand at the market, but to ensure that you get your pie of choice, pre-order now for pickup at the farmers market. Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Ferry Plaza.

Marla Bakery will be offering special Thanksgiving menu items, including Parker House Rolls, Savory Squash Boule, Classic French Apple Tart, Opal Rainy’s Pecan Tart, Sugar Pie Pumpkin Tart with Sugared Sage, and more. Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Ferry Plaza.

Prefer cheesecake? Crumble & Whisk is offering fall flavors like Harvest Pumpkin Spice, Apple Spice, and Pecan Crumble, crafted in small batches using produce sourced from local farms. Saturday and Wednesday, Ferry Plaza.

Batter Bakery will have holiday baked goods galore, including pumpkin pie, bourbon pecan pie, apple cranberry pie, honey rye apple cider cake, pear buckwheat upside-down cake, pumpkin cake biscuit dough, hand-decorated fall shortbread cookies, and full quickbread loaves. Saturday, Ferry Plaza.

June Taylor Company offers mincemeat, a deeply concentrated fruit mixture that’s ideal as a stuffing for meat dishes like roasted pork loin, venison pie, or game hen, as well as sweeter uses, such as tart fillings or baked apples. June offers both a traditional version made with beef fat and a vegetarian one made with sweet butter. Saturday, Ferry Plaza.

At Jack London Square Farmers Market, look for carrot pie with a healthy spin from Way to Life Foods, and sweet potato pie, pumpkin bread, cranberry oat bars, and other sweets, cakes, and baked goods from Dot’s Baking Pantry. Sunday, Jack London Square.

Other Not-to-Miss Items

For veggie mains and sides, you’ll want to stock up on winter squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, collards, and other locally grown veggies. (Click on the links for details on specific farms.)

If you’re baking pie, Glashoff Farms (Saturday) and Old Dog Ranch (Saturday); quince from Casa Rosa Farms (Sunday); or apples and pears from a number of our farmers.

For appetizers, be sure to check out our selection of locally made cheeses (like Old World Port and IPA cheeses from Tres Bien Creamery) and breads and baked goods.

On the libation front, you’ll find Triple J Cellars popping up at the Ferry Plaza (Saturday) with ginger ale and plum and apple wines. Wash supper down with hard apple cider or juice from Hidden Star Orchards (Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Ferry Plaza; Sunday, Jack London Square).

Farm Fresh Thanksgiving Recipes

Make fall produce the star, and nourish your family and friends with these seasonally inspired recipes shared by local farmers and chefs. For more ideas, browse our recipe archives.

Tastebud Teasers

Lightly Pickled Fall Root Vegetables | Alice Waters, Chez Panisse

Root Vegetable Chips with Roasted Carrot Hummus | Joanne Weir, Kitchen Gypsy

Persimmon Pickles | Sophina Uong, Revival Bar + Kitchen

Fall Harvest Punch | Dillon Lockwood and Alex Smith, Novela

Soups and Salads

Curried Persimmon Soup | Bryce Loewen, Blossom Bluff Orchards

Della Panzanella | Kathleen Weber, Della Fattoria

Cauliflower Zahlouk | Joyce Goldstein, Inside the California Food Revolution

Asian Pear, Persimmon, and Almond Salad | Margo True, Sunset Magazine

Savory Sides

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey, Rosemary, and Hazelnuts | Craig Stoll, Delfina

Rainbow Chard with Squash Seeds | Annie Somerville, Greens Restaurant

Cauliflower Cheese | Leanne Brown, Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day

Roasted Winter Squash with Brown Butter, Sweet Spice Gastrique, and Pecorino | Mark Gordon, Terzo

Hearty Vegetable Entrées

Tamale-Stuffed Winter Squash | Donna Eichhorn, Donna’s Tamales

Nutloaf-Stuffed Delicata Squash | Green Gulch Farm

Wild Mushroom Brioche Pudding | Andrew Court, The Fairmont San Francisco

Butternut Squash Galette with Roasted Garlic, Caramelized Onions, and Toma | Jennifer Luttrell, Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.

Meaty Mains

Spinach and Shaved Root Vegetable Salad with Moroccan Spiced Chicken | Joanne Weir,

Three-Ingredient Prime Rib Roast | Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats

Honey-Glazed Roots with Smoked Ham, Lacinato Kale, and Pickled Mustard Seeds | Isaac Miller, Maven Restaurant

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Lamb Loin with Persimmon Chutney | Francis Hogan, Bluestem Brasserie

Turkey Gravy and Sweet Potato Mash | John Fink, The Whole Beast

Farm-Fresh Pies

Classic Apple Pie | Lenore Estrada & Anna Derivi-Castellanos, Three Babes Bakeshop

Lorraine’s Sweet Potato Pie | Lorraine Walker, Eatwell Farm

Kabocha Crème Fraîche Pie with Candied Pecans | Ze Lin Xiao, Pie Contest Winner

Sautéed Quince and Pear Pie | Reggie Harris, Pie Contest Winner

Root Down Farm photos by Federica Armstrong. Pie and ice cream photo courtesy of Smitten. Panzanella photo by Ed Anderson.


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 »