Meet the farmers who grew your produce at Mount Shasta Farmers Market

Staff reports
Mount Shasta Farmers Market is celebrating National Farmers Market Week next Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on E. Castle Street in downtown Mount Shasta.

The abundance of fresh, nutritious, locally-grown and locally-made food is increasing each week at the Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market as summer progresses: peaches, potatoes, flowers, plant starts, kale, lettuces, sweet peas, scapes, tarragon, microgreens galore, radishes, bacon and chicken, beef and bacon jerky, spring rolls, functional pottery, brick oven bread, sauerkraut, kombucha, spring rolls, tamales, chocolate, and much more.

Held each Monday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on E. Castle Street in downtown Mount Shasta, MSFM will be celebrating National Farmers Market Week next Monday, Aug. 2, with live music by RichieG, coloring pages for kids, and temporary tattoos. Everyone is invited to pick up and complete a BINGO card that day to receive a free $5 market voucher. You can also pick up a punch card and enter a raffle to win a prize if you have it punched at one of the other farmers markets in the county, held in Dunsmuir, Weed, Etna, Happy Camp and Yreka.

Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market offers a vast array of fresh-picked vegetables and fruits. Featured vendors are Marble Mountain Farm from Happy Camp with organic seasonal veggies of all kinds; Cornerstone Farm of Gazelle with certified organic veggies, fresh-ground flour and more; and Kane Family Garden of Mount Shasta.

Hunter Orchards of Grenada is offering an expanding variety of organically grown peaches; Thunderbird Produce of Mount Shasta brings microgreens and lettuce; and Shasta Market Garden of Mount Shasta offers microgreens.

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Kindred Gardens of Weed sells starts for all gardeners, including succulents, herbs, and flowers.

Bringing meat to the market are Skyelark Ranch of Edgewood and Star Walker Organic Farms of Fort Jones. Skyelark brings sustainably raised grass-fed lamb, pasture raised chicken, eggs, and heritage pork. Star Walker is a 3rd generation Certified Organic and Certified Humane family-owned organic farm.

Starlite Farm/Hole in the Earth Pottery of Yreka is now selling both hand-made pottery and veggies.

The food producer side of the market includes Pyroclastic Chocolate with chocolates inspired by the power and beauty of the surrounding volcanic landscape; hand-made, authentic Mexican tamales from Silvia’s Tamales of Dunsmuir, and Hoa’s Spring Rolls’ hand-made-in-Mount Shasta vegan and vegetarian Vietnamese spring rolls using locally grown ingredients.

Salt & Savour of Dunsmuir sells its award-winning traditionally fermented sauerkraut in a variety of flavors, Alua Kombucha provides on-tap kombucha utilizing spring water that is unique to the mountain, and The Oven Bakery offers artisan sourdough breads and French-style pastries fresh from a wood-fired oven in Mount Shasta.

This year’s National Farmer’s Market Week Celebration is scheduled for Aug. 1 to 7 with a focus on community resilience and how market operators have supported their communities throughout the pandemic.

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Farmers markets are hubs for connection and community resilience, and they rose to the occasion during the pandemic by providing a needed sense of unity and stability during a time of great uncertainty.

As an essential business, farmers market operators have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to redesign operations and create robust safety plans to continue to serve their communities. The pandemic has made it clear that local food systems with short supply chains are resilient, and can respond and adapt quickly to change, according to the Farmers Market Coalition. “Farmers markets foster direct relationships between community members and farmers which can work to create a more fair and sustainable food system. Farmers markets are a hub for connection and collective action around shared values.”

MSFM now encourages, but no longer requires mask-wearing at the market for staff, vendors or customers. Vendors, staff, and customers who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to wear face coverings for their own safety and that of immune-compromised market shoppers and vendors. It’s requested that everyone coming to market does a self-check on health before entering and to wash hands often.

MSFM has always been committed to increasing access to the freshest most wholesome foods for all. Customers can stretch their dollars with EBT, Market Match, and School CAFE Kids Coupons.

As a certified farmers’ market participating in Market Match, MSFM offers up to $20 in match per market day for CalFresh beneficiaries (EBT). Kids vouchers (two per child free of charge at $5 each), thanks to the School CAFE program, will be available for children to make purchases from ag vendors.

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MSFM thanks Crystal Keepers for agreeing to allow its vendors to use their utility and restroom facilities and ACE Hardware for being flexible with the parking situation on Monday afternoons.

“One of the many wonderful things about Mount Shasta Farmers Market is knowing that the fruits and veggies you buy were picked just hours before and have traveled no more than 100 miles to reach you,” said market manager Steve Gerace. “And you can have a great conversation with the farmers who grew them.”