ISSUE 39  |  Old Meets New

Farmers’ Market Find: The Sprout Man

September 26, 2012 5:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

The Sprout Man has one of the more unassuming tables at the farmers’ market–no piles of lipstick red tomatoes screaming for attention, no hawkers offering toothpicks of free samples, no Egg Lady wearing a hat shaped like a chicken (with dangling chicken feet). All he has are sprouts–possibly the biggest (and most delicious) selection in the world:


Above: Buckwheat sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, onion sprouts, garlic sprouts, sprouted beans, sprout mixes–all lined up in flats on a long, folding banquet table. Jim Brooks is the Sprout Man, and he travels weekly to five farmers’ markets in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Above: At the Marin Civic Center Farmers’ Market (his Sunday haunt), Mr. Brooks sells sprouts by the fistful ($3) and wheat grass juice by the two-ounce shot. Some high rolling regulars get “triple shots.”


Above: Mr. Brooks transports his sprouts to market in the back of his pickup truck. Sprouted seeds are especially nutritious because they contain a complete range of nutrients (vitamins, protein, fiber, etc.)


Above: To find Mr. Brooks’ stand, turn right after you pass the “last honey comb of the season” from Sonoma.


Above: A flat of wheat grass.


Above: A tangle of alfalfa sprouts. I usually buy a fistful of several varieties — I toss them into salads or eat them on sandwiches.


Above: Mr. Brooks (L) also sells bags of sprouted legumes. For more information, contact Mr. Brooks at


Above: Around the corner from the Sprout Man, I got an idea for a perfect sandwich…


…and executed it later at home: poppy seed bread, End-of-the-Day-Special tomatoes, a couple of slices of gruyere cheese…


…and sprouts. (N.B.: For more of our Farmers’ Market Finds, see “Glashoff Farm Preserves.”)