People of all ages showed up at the secret venue on Thursday night ready to taste homemade jams, buy foraged mushrooms and tinctures with intriguing names like “Penetrate the Heart.”

Iso Rabins, founder of Forage SF, decided to organize the first underground farmer’s market three weeks ago to allow people who make fresh foods but cannot afford to rent a commercial kitchen yet, to sell at an event. With some help from friends, he found a house and called vendors to participate.

Seeing how many people were there, the word spread. People piled into a small bathroom to get drinks, and a bedroom to listen to live music.

For vendors, the event was a success too. Within a couple of hours, Shakirah Simley of Slow Jams had only two canned fresh jams and butters. At the next table, Lauren and Jon Bowne had sold most of their three pans of sweet Jewish noodle dessert and all of their corned beef sandwiches.

Rabins, who organizes underground dinners for Forage SF knows that these events can bring on legal issues but he hopes he can organize another market soon. “The health department showed up,” Rabins said, “but they were very nice.”

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Hélène Goupil is a former editor at Mission Local who now works independently as a videographer and editor. She's the co-author of "San Francisco: The Unknown City" (Arsenal Pulp Press).

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  1. Thanks for the post, and thanks for everyone that came out to the market! It was a really great time for all involved, and I’m already planning the next one. Which will include backyard farmers, pickling workshops, and more music.


  2. Hi All,

    Just a quick clarification: My company is actually called “Slow Jams”, our motto is Jam for the People. I appreciate Mission Local coming out and spreading the word about the Underground Farmers’ Market! I met a lot of wonderful folks and can’t wait until the next event.

  3. I loved it! Three cheers for noodle kugel. Sodas and beer were great, too. And you could even buy an herb garden! Thanks to the organizer, hosts, and vendors at this event for making it a success.