Coastal Voices: Coastal Voices: Farmers Market brightens community

By Teri McCune-Oostra November 17, 2011 01:26 pm

Congratulations to our community! It is because of you and your continued support of the Crescent City Farmers market that this year has been the most successful in our history.

You may not realize it, but as you shop our local vendors every week, you have been supporting up to 50 local small businesses. Your hard-earned dollars go to a local family, which in turn spends its hard-earned dollars locally.

This year also saw the expansion of our EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) program.  This program allows participants in the “Cal Fresh” food program to scan their cards and receive market tokens.

Sutter Coast Hospital, through a generous donation, helped support this endeavor by donating to new recipients who scan their EBT card for a minimum of $10, an additional $5 in market tokens.

The Community Assistance Network (CAN) also received a grant to help advertise and market the EBT use at the market, helping our local vendors boost their income from EBT sales by over 200 percent.

Each year, community members have told us to start the market sooner and make it last longer, into the fall. This year, the market started two weeks sooner and will continue until the last Saturday in November, extending the season by one and one half months. We still have two more weeks for the market, so just in case it is raining and you don’t see the vendors in the Del Norte County Fair’s parking lot, they will be waiting for you, in the Arts and Crafts Building.

This last Saturday was not only a beautiful postcard day in Crescent City and a great day to be at the market, it was also a very special day.  Local musician Steve Berg entertained the crowds with his one-man band, and folks strolled the aisle, supporting our local artisans, eating hot dogs, delicious fudge and purchasing their salsa, pesto and vegetables for the week ahead.

Steve made an announcement asking for the market manager, “Farmer” Ron Phillips, to come forward.  “Farmer” Ron was presented with a very beautiful card signed by all of the vendors and a gift certificate for Ron and his wife, Nita, to enjoy a delicious dinner as a “thank you” for a job well done. Ron has done an amazing job of building the market and making it a pleasant experience for both vendors and visitors.

Rural Human Services is very proud of the Crescent City Farmer’s Market.  It has become what we had hoped it would be; a community asset, a place for people to gather each week and a place to buy and sell locally produced and grown products.

Again, thank you, to all of our community members who braved cold weather and wind, and still showed up when the sun was shining, for supporting the market!

Without your support, the Crescent City Farmers Market would not be what it has become today. Remember to look for us in the Arts and Crafts building through the end of the month

Teri McCune-Oostra is executive director of Rural Human Services.