May 14 start date in 2018 is earliest in Market's 20-year history

The Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market is beginning its 20th season earlier than ever with the first of 22 market days scheduled for May 14 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on N. Mt. Shasta Blvd. in downtown Mt. Shasta.

Co-managing the Market as a program of the Jefferson Economic Development Institute, Nancy Swift and Pandora (Paj) Kane say they are challenging growers “to find more and more ways to produce food earlier in the season.”

All farmers and ranchers in Siskiyou County are encouraged to call and consider bringing your goods to the market.

The Market’s mission is to support local agriculture and local foods, and organizers are “seeking to expand and grow the market in an effort to provide the community with the best our region can offer in terms of locally grown produce, meats, poultry, value added food products and more,” as stated in a press release. “We maintain a rigorous balance between farmers/ranchers and producers and other products. We are looking for new farmers to sell with us.”

Stepping down as manager, Market founder Kirsten Olson, with John Tannaci, will return to the work of running Cornerstone Farm.

“With heartfelt gratitude, we want to thank Kirsten and John for their tireless effort and vision of how successful this market could be for farmers,” the new managers state in the release. “They will continue to be at Market selling their produce and lending a helping hand to guide us through this transition.”

Swift and Kane say their focus this season will be on growing the market, supporting local agriculture and providing more education on resources available to CalFresh, Senior and WIC shoppers.

“It is not an easy task to be a farmer in Siskiyou County,” says Kane. “We hope the community will come out to support and encourage our growers to continue their hard work so that everyone can enjoy fresh, locally grown produce.”

The 2018 Market Rules and Application are available online at: www.mtshastafarmersmarket.com or by calling 530-925-0187. Organizers encourage growers to apply as soon as possible.

Matching dollars available for some shoppers

Some shoppers can get matching dollars to spend at the Market with the Market Match program, now in its third year.

CalFresh recipients can receive up to $15 in match per market day when they use their EBT card for purchases of fruits and vegetables.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers will be available later in the season, and matching dollars will be available for that program.

The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and the Fruit and Vegetable Check program also provide incentives to purchase fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets.

As the vouchers become available, the Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market will provide matching tokens so that WIC families can have increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables, according to the release. Call Siskiyou County WIC Program Director Dana Kent at 530-841-2173 for more information on WIC incentive vouchers.

Through the Market Match and the Senior and WIC FMNP programs, eligible participants can receive matching funds and increase their buying power at the Farmers’ Markets.

Local musicians, food producers, crafters, artisans, too

Along with local food growers, local food producers offer handmade products at the Market as do selected crafters, artisans, woodworkers, and potters.

The market continues to be located on the 400 block of N. Mt. Shasta Blvd. including the Parker Plaza behind it.

“We are so grateful to the City of Mt. Shasta and the surrounding business owners for all their support to make the market happen in the middle of town each week,” Nancy Swift states in the release.

Opening day is May 14 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. and will include live Latin-style guitar playing from Rick Garret. Local musicians will be featured every week, and musicians may apply to play through the website.

For more information, visit the website www.mtshastafarmersmarket.com, see their Facebook page or call Pandora Kane at 530-859-1726.