San Jose Municipal Rose Garden
As the name suggests, this particular market is located smack dab in the middle of the Rose Garden – a historic residential and cultural neighborhood, near Downtown San Jose. It’s one of San Jose’s oldest neighborhoods. Aptly named for the sprawling 5 acre garden, it surrounds. You see, the City purchased an 11-acre prune orchard back in 1927, and converted half of it into the Municipal Rose Garden we know and love today. It’s exclusively dedicated to roses and features over 3,000 shrubs and close to 200 rose varieties.
Have you been? If not, I highly encourage you to check it out. It’s free, and easily accessible. In fact, I parked my car right out front the main gate, and strolled through the entire park in under an hour… stopping along the way to smell the roses, of course. Right now is a wonderful time to visit, it’s spring, so naturally all of the flowers are in bloom.
After rambling through the Rose Garden, I walked down the street to Lincoln High School’s parking lot, located on Dana Ave. This is where the new Farmers Market takes place. It’s perfectly situated under the shade of the parking lot’s solar panel covers – great for hot summer days in our near future.
A bit about the market
The Greater Rose Garden Farmers Market will take place every Saturday from 10am to 2pm. As I mentioned earlier, last weekend was it’s official launch date, quite the accomplishment for the Shasta Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association, who has been trying (since 2014) to bring a farmers market to the area. According to neighborhood polls there has been overwhelming community support – and I’m sure local residents will appreciate having access to local fruits and vegetables. It’s a terrific way to promote sustainability, supporting local farmers and other small businesses, while providing a gathering place for the community. I love it.
Although this market is new, it is part of the West Coast Farmers Market Association, who operates many of the other large locations throughout the Silicon Valley (some of which I’ve mentioned on previous episodes). While I was there, I sampled a variety of incredibly fresh produce and an exceptional pressed juice by Juice Alize. Seriously, the produce, it looked as though it had been plucked from the field hours earlier – it was that fresh. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a number of artists and other makers amongst the rows. If you live near the Rose Garden area or find yourself along the Alameda one Saturday morning, be sure to stop by – there’s plenty of parking and great products to be had.