On a sunny Friday, Preston Maring, M.D., the associate physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland hospital, leaves his office to go food shopping. Just downstairs, on the sidewalk in front of the hospital, a farmers’ market is in full swing. Roberto Rodriguez is arranging flats of organic strawberries so fragrant you can smell them from 10 feet away. In the stall next door, stalks of rhubarb and artichokes are piled high near bouquets of garden roses. On a table, paper bags are overflowing with a potpourri of market produce and flowers. "Pick-of-the-market bags," Maring explains. "If you are too busy to shop, you can just reserve one of these." Everywhere, people are smiling and saying, "Hey, Preston!"
If it seems as if Dr. Maring, a tall, graying man, knows everyone at this farmers’ market it’s because he does: he started it. Read more.