Farmers’ Market draws entertainers, too

BERKELEY, Calif. — Every Saturday, farmers fill Center Street with fresh produce and hopes of a profitable day. From pastries, vegetables, fruit, meats, fish, flowers and bread, almost anything organic can be bought at the Farmers’ Market. Along with farmers, street entertainers seek the attention of market-goers. The market is run by the Ecology Center, an organization “committed to supporting small-scale farmers who practice sustainable agriculture,” according to its website.

Vendors selling fruits and vegetables Photo by Alexa Rose

Vendors selling fruits and vegetables on a recent Saturday in Berkeley.
Photo by Alexa Rose

Vendors who go by Lucky and Shadow have been at the market for three weeks. “We do well here,” Lucky said. Lucky is a disabled student at Berkeley Community College trying to make money for tuition.

She and her boyfriend sell handmade jewelry and charms at the market. Along with her merchandise, Lucky also provides Tarot readings, fortune-telling using cards, something her mother taught her as a child.

In addition to her boyfriend, Shadow, Lucky brings along her cat, Sativia, on a leash. “You have to really train them to do it,” she says.

Lucky and her cat

Lucky and her cat, Sativia, sit on the lawn just outside the markets’ many booths. Photo by Alexa Rose

One longtime regular at the market is New Jersey native Dozo the Clown, who said, “I came to San Francisco as a cultural refugee.”

She attended New College, which is now closed, and graduated after writing a thesis on clowns and their impact on society through American history.

Dozo offers balloon animals to children every Saturday for an average tip of $2 per balloon animal — or she accepts a joke in exchange. Dozo said, “I love it, I get paid to have fun with kids and all the vendors are super friendly.”

Dozo the Clown  Photo by Alexa Rose

Dozo the Clown with her balloon creations.
Photo by Alexa Rose