A popular farmer’s market in the East Bay has a strange policy.
“No pets.” Nothing strange there; most food service places don’t allow them.
“No smoking.” That’s pretty standard in California, too.
“No smoking pets.” Now that’s different!
Yes, one East Bay farmer’s market specifically prohibits smoking pets. The market in question backs up this policy with a humorous sign showing a dog cheerfully smoking a pipe.
Bay Area Quirks
The policy, of course, is a joke. It’s probably meant to lighten the mood of the otherwise serious sign greeting people at the entrance to the market.
The farmer’s market in question is the Orinda Farmer’s Market in the East Bay city of Orinda, California.
The sign is a perfect reflection of the quirky, personal vibes you’ll find at California’s many excellent farmer’s markets.
In Orinda, that’s reflected in the funny sign, but also in the warmth and friendliness of the vendors, who are always happy to provide samples, tell you about the origins of their food, and perhaps crack a joke of their own.
It’s a totally different experience from shopping at a big-box grocery store. The inclusion of live music from volunteer musicians adds to informal community feel.
It helps that Orinda’s farmer’s market is small—there are typically around 15 vendors by our very rough estimate after attending 3-4 times. Unlike the massive farmers market in San Ramon, for example, the Orinda event feels like more of a community affair.
Want to check it out? The Orinda Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 9am-1pm in front of Orinda Community Center Park.