Something remarkable sprouted up in the rear parking lot of the Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center last week: a row of white tents brimming with the bounty of the land: giant red onions, apricots and peaches, fresh baked goods and handmade aromatherapy soaps. The Antioch Farmers' Market was off and running.
Hosted by the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association in partnership with the Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center, the Farmers' Market encourages a healthy lifestyle by offering locally grown produce and natural products.
The prices and produce are wonderful, said Donna McGee, Kaiser site coordinator. I can get green beans harvested today on to my dinner table tonight.
I like the Casablanca handmade soap, made with tea tree oil and orange, said Marla Hayes from Antioch of Delta Moon Soapworks. These soaps don't dry the skin, and the scent of orange makes me happy. Happy is healthy, right?
Ann Currie of Pittsburg, who came with her son, Will, was impressed by the nice mix of physicians, patients and people from the community of Antioch and Pittsburg.
We bought plenty of cherries, added Will.
Best-sellers included Brentwood-based Tachella Farm's garlic, squash, zucchini, beets and lettuce, and Santa Rosa-based Bennet Valley artisan breads and pastries, which attracted a long line of bread lovers with visions of loaves of garlic jack, gorgonzola walnut and New York rye.
Homemade bread is always a hit, maybe because it brings memories of childhood, said Bennet Valley Bread owner Cindy Sebastian. There's nothing in my breads that you can't pronounce. It's basically eating like your grandma used to all basics. It's actually a forward approach to eating.
The bread is fabulous, said Antioch resident Beverly Sperry. I'm still working on which ones to buy.
DiBrown sausages were also a hit, boasting half the fat of regular sausages and zero chemicals in gourmet variants like chicken-apple, roasted garlic and jumbo jalapeno. Also drawing a crowd was Sukhi Indian Food, featuring chutneys, dips and samosas.
It is so great that the Farmers' Market has come to Antioch, said resident Claire Brenden. As a mom with four kids, I decided to raise them here because we have space, the conveniences of a small city and the charm of local farms. With such high gas prices, it's a pleasure that we don't have to go so far to get good food.
The Antioch Farmers' Market is held in the rear parking lot of Kaiser Permanente at 5601 Deer Valley Road every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.