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RED Menace Threatens Civic Center Farmers' Market

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"Buying local" has always been a popular idea in this city, but now it seems that the city itself has turned to buying out the locals. The Heart of the City, the Civic Center farmers' market, is the poor man's alternative to the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market; for the past 27 years, it's been run by a nonprofit with a board of directors composed mostly of local farmers. Now, the city wants to involve itself in making the show run "more efficiently" (since that's what they do best and all). Specifically, the San Francisco's Real Estate Division (SFRED) is looking to take over operation of the market. The change, they say, would have no effect on either farmers or patrons, though farmer's remain rightly suspicious, as the city's track record for working in the best interests of small business or local farmers isn't so golden. Take the Alemany market, for example: the SFRED moves vendors around like pawns, and have raised their fees by 50 percent. Choice quote from local farmer Rosa DeSantis, who works at both markets, "They don't ask what we think. What is this, Russia?"
· S.F.'s sights on Civic Center farmers' market [SF Gate]

[Image via Flickr photog Steve W Lee]