By Adam Madison
Triplicate staff writer
The farmer's market has grown from 20 booths in 2006 to more than 30 in 2007 and has continued to grow in size each year since its inception.
"It began around 10 years ago, operated by the Chamber of Commerce, with five booths in the downtown area," said Teri McCune-Oostra, the coordinator for the event.
"(The market) doesn't grow unless the community supports it," she said. "They've shown great support this year."
Oostra and her husband Kees also own The Dutch Gardener, a small nursery and landscaping company.
The Oostras, licensed contractors and greenhouse growers, landscape many local businesses.
The Dutch Gardener landscapes Trees of Mystery in Klamath, the Crescent City North Valley Bank and the grounds in front of Front Street Plaza, to name a few.
A focal-point of the market is to showcase local Del Norte crafts and certified organic produce.
"You have to produce the items you are selling," Teri Oostra explained about the regulation of booths at the market.
"I've been living here for 20 years, I wanted to keep it local," said commercial fisherman Roger Campbell, who has a booth of redwood-burl creations.
"I use driftwood found at local beaches," he said. "Some of the stuff I use I pull from my crab-pots."
The organic produce at the "certified market," brings most people to the market, according to Oostra.
"It's local too, it's from Del Norte county," said Paul Madeira, a local farmer and certified organic grower, about the produce at his booth.
Madeira and his partner Julie Joe Ayer-Williams own five acres of organically grown farmland in Ft. Dick and two acres in Arcata, where they live.
"It's kind of rough, one night up here, then one down there," Madeira said about his daily trips between Arcata and Fort Dick.
The booth has organic produce from tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, radishes, spinach and even organic eggs.
The eggs come from 35 organically raised (free-range) and organically fed laying-hens.
Madeira noted that the organic hen-feed, which is free of all hormones, is twice as expensive as the normal feed.
"Eventually we will grow our own corn, just to feed the hens," he said.
Madeira and Ayers-Williams plan to move their farm to Fort Dick, so daily travel won't be neccessary.
"It will be nice to wake up, do our chores and then be able to go to bed on our own property," Ayers-Williams said.
While the products at all booths are required to be created by the owners of the booth, certified organic produce booths have many more requirements to fill before setting up at the market.
A farmer creates a list of items to be declared as organic to begin the organic certification process.
The list is then sent to the Los Angeles Department of Agriculture.
The L.A. agricultural department then sends a representative out to check the growing process and the fields for each listed product.
After the products are certified as organic, then they are allowed to be sold at the market.
The farmer's market offers more items than just organic produce, such as photography, garden statues, fountains, many varieties of fuchsia flowers, handmade headwear and blankets.
Sammy Gensaw, a Yurok tribal member and cartoonist, has a booth with handmade hats, beanies, and calendars that he has created locally for 16 years.
"I've spent 67 years in Klamath," Gensaw said, laughing, when asked how long he'd lived in Del Norte County, adding that he'd lived there all his life.
The handmade crafts have authentic Yurok designs woven into the fabric.
Gensaw has sold his calendars for $5 since he made his first one 16 years ago.
"They (the calendars) were $5 when I started and they're $5 now," he said. "Or maybe I just didn't learn anything."
"I started making calendars at CR (College of the Redwoods), Virginia Brubaker was my teacher," he said, crediting Brubaker with teaching him how to be a cartoonist.
Dale Heilmann, Crescent City resident since December 2005, started making fountains six years ago, and this was his second time at the market.
"I had the best day I've ever had, I sold eight fountains; all of my large ones," Heilmann said on Aug. 11.
Mark Danner, Heilmann's cousin, has his "Casa de Fuchsia" booth in the same area as his cousin's fountain display.
"You can't pick a favorite, they're all unique in their own way," Danner said about choosing a favorite type of fuchsia.
"My friends call me the fuchsia guy," Danner said while tending to one of his plants.
Danner and his mother, Lee Danner, own and operate the Casa de Fuchsia, a fuchsia oriented plant shop with over 1,200 fuchsia plants.
Anyone interested in booth-space at the market, contact Rural Human Services at 707-464-7441. Booth rental is $15 for each Saturday.
What: A market of Del Norte
County locally made products
and organic produce
When: 9 a.m. each Saturday
Where: Del Norte County
Fairgrounds parking lot
SOURCE: Teri McCune-Oostra