Market value

Illustration By Mark Stivers

I recently got back from a trip to Montreal, where a highlight was shopping at the Marché Jean-Talon, a huge covered market with dozens of produce stalls, ringed by permanent stores—the cheese and butter shop with local dairy products, a boulanger with fresh-baked levain baguettes, the butcher shop and more. We picked up wild blueberries (my daughter ate them by the handful) and fragrant local strawberries, tasted other fruits and ogled the bounty of vegetables. It all made me wistful. I love the farmers’ markets here, but a permanent, daily market overflowing with local products would be bliss. Sacramento certainly has enough local products—and you would think enough local interest—to support such a market. Perhaps it’s just out of step with the way we live and shop, but a permanent, big, daily farmers’ market would be a fantastic addition to this city, particularly as an alternative to some of the more venal forms of downtown redevelopment that are currently on the table.