Mt. Shasta Farmers' Market reports bountiful 2016 season

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Mount Shasta Elementary School's Kindergarten Healthy Snack Day, which featured three Farmers' Market booths offering snacks from six local farms. Submitted

The Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market reports that its 18th season of operation “was a bountiful one with record numbers of vendors, including four new agricultural producers and several new ag-related craft vendors.”

It was also the longest season yet, open for 22 market days from May 23 to Oct. 17.

The market again offered Market Match coupons to CalFresh/SNAP customers, which provided up to $15 extra per market day to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.

The market had more attendance and foot traffic than last year and sales were strong throughout the season, according to a press release.

“We are grateful to the community for how they have embraced this market,” said Jefferson Economic Development Institute Director Nancy Swift in a press release. “The City of Mount Shasta staff is to be commended for their efforts each week. They re-routed detour traffic differently this year and it made a positive difference for downtown merchants and market goers.

“Customers came out to the market rain or shine and this made for some very happy farmers. We are looking for more farmers to sell at market and for farmers to expand their offerings. The customer demand is strong and this means opportunity for new and existing farmers,” said Swift.

One of the highlight’s of this year’s market was a special Healthy Snack Day at Mount Shasta Elementary School on Sept. 20. In cooperation with the kindergarten teachers at the school, inspired by a vision of Kirsten Olson and Leslie Marconi, three market booths were set up offering seven different snacks, representing six local farms who sell at the market including Scott River Ranch, Mountain View Organics, Windborne Farm, Homeward Bounty Farm, Hunter Orchards, and Marble Mountain Farm.

Kindergartners could select the snacks offered at the booths, similar to shopping at the farmers’ market. In addition to farmers Nicole Stewart, Ute Micklos and John Tannaci, sixth graders from Ms. Micklos’ class at Sisson School helped distribute the snacks to the kindergartners along with journalists from the Edible Shasta Butte magazine.

The Market Team distributed a map showing the location of the many different Siskiyou County farms that are represented at the farmers’ market, and it included a $3 coupon redeemable for fruit and vegetables at the Mt. Shasta Farmers' Market.

“We loved introducing the farmers and their produce to the kids and encouraging the kids to choose something healthy for their snack,” said market founder and co-manager Kirsten Olson. “We hope to grow this program over time and have the parents use the coupons distributed by bringing the kids to the market on Mondays and shopping. The middle school students were a great hit with the younger kids and very helpful with this event.”

The market has a new logo created by local artist Nadine Aiello and a new season poster using the artwork of Gail Domanski.

“We were also so grateful to the four volunteers who were essential to the market’s success this year and helped out at the market booth,” said Olson.

For more information about the market please see www.mtshastafarmersmarket.com or like them on Facebook to be notified when the season opens next May 2017.

The Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market is a project of the community nonprofit Jefferson Economic Development Institute. Founded in 1997 with a mission to increase the economic well-being of people and communities through business development and local wealth creation, JEDI is committed to running projects that build our local economy.

This Farmers’ Market provides a market opportunity and supports the development of agriculture and farms in Siskiyou County as well as community health and wellness.