What happens at 3am? May 22, 2006

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Dan, our produce buyer, is an amiable jokester. Quick witted with a lanky frame that can mime the backdrop to any story - he's a natural at making people laugh. He glides easily amongst farmers, wholesalers and customers. Dan walks the wholesale markets daily to understand what is coming in and how it compares to what we get direct or through vendors. In Northern California, there are three wholesale receiving markets for produce: Oakland, San Francisco and South San Francisco. The San Francisco market used to be located where the Embarcadero Center now stands. In the 1960's when the market was moved, it split in two parts - some vendors moved closer to the airport (creating the South San Francisco market) and others stayed in the city (creating the Jerrold Ave market). Joe Carcione used to give his raspy "Green Grocer" report for ABC news from the South City market. In the 1940's police officer "Hogan" walked the waterfront market and encouraged wholesalers to donate a box of produce to him (now famously known as "Hogans") for keeping an eye out for their stalls. Although bananas no longer come off the ship still on their stalks or with tarantulas and snakes tucked quietly around the stems, at 3 in the morning there still is the active tradition of fluidly hurling insults about price or quality around forklifts, lumpers (the guys unloading pallets of produce) and 18 wheel trucks. It's a place where a modern day Jack would easily lose his cow for less than three beans.
Last week Dan came back late from our banana supplier with our load of bananas. "What happened," I asked. He paused. "I got duct taped into the truck." I rolled my eyes. "It was early and I fell asleep while waiting for the banana pallets to get loaded. I woke up and couldn't open the door. All the guys were laughing - even the forklift drivers stopped to look." Another day. . .
Check out the organic mini-watermelons. These juicy and sweet organic watermelon was sooo good that we put them in all of our crates this week. Cut and share with friends. Your desk will feel like a wooden porch in summer time and the office printer will click like June Cicadas.
Enjoy and be fruitful.


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