By Laura Brown
Triplicate Staff Writer
As the days grow longer, local farmers are pushing seeds into the freshly upturned earth and patiently tending the young plants as they unfurl and open to the warm sun.
With great anticipation, Crescent City awaits the 2nd annual Third Street Farmers Market where a bountiful harvest of locally farmed produce and handcrafted items will be available.
The market will be held from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday beginning June 16 and continue until Oct. 27 downtown on Third Street in Price Mall, near the big clock.
Linda LaMarr and Amber Lucero are the coordinators of the event and have been volunteering many hours to make this years event bigger than last year.
It was very successful the first time, LaMarr said, reflecting on last years market. Everybody sold out of everything.
Everything that people brought was sold, Lucero added.
The reason this was started was to create activity for businesses downtown, said LaMarr. We wanted to draw the community together.
Last year the market was held once a month but this year local produce will be available every Saturday. LaMarr and Lucero hope more growers will be participating, also.
The more growers, the better. There is plenty of space available for more growers. The fee for vendors is $50 for five markets or $15 for one day, paid in advance. A $25 fee will be charged to those who dont make pre-arrangements.
Larger growers have expressed that they are willing to pay more, but LaMarr said she wants to keep the fees down. We want to be flexible and affordable to small growers in the local area.
The money generated from the growers goes directly back into the funds for obtaining permits and paying for advertising and musicians.
LaMarr said she hopes musicians will come and share their talents and add to the ambiance of the farmers market. They are searching for acoustic artists whom they will pay $20 a day.
People need to be recognized and valued, LaMarr says of local musicians who enliven the crowds.
LaMarr hinted at the possibility of twilight markets. The idea would be to draw in folks after 5 p.m. when they would be returning home from work.
Last year, seven growers participated in the open-air market along with numerous crafters. The number of applicants are still coming in.
Some of the growers who have indicated an interest in this years market are Star Brite Farms from Willow Creek, Avalon Farms from Humboldt County, Reese Hydro Farms of Crescent City and Lazy Diamond Nursery of Fort Dick. Del Norte County Schools is looking into a grant to sell produce grown in their community gardens as well.
People attending the markets can expect to find an array of seasonal vegetables and fruits such as zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, peaches, apples, strawberries, huckleberries, beets, basil, lettuce, broccoli, etc. There will be a wide variety of fresh and dried flowers and possibly honey and eggs.
Craft items found at last years event included pottery, woodwork, painted silk scarfs and jewelry boxes.
Del Norte Child Care Council will commit to one market a month and will provide childrens crafts.
All of the farmers participating in the market are certified growers by the Department of Agriculture which means they can only sell what they grow. Many growers are also certified organic. For those who have yet to embrace organic methods, Lucero says, We give people the information they need to become organic.
People interested in being involved in the Third Street Farmers Market as a vendor or as a volunteer can contact Jeff Russell at the Chamber of Commerce at 464-3174.