North Coast Growers Association — Winter Market

The Farmers Markets throughout Humboldt are one of the best ways to assure your produce (and other food items these days) is locally produced and as fresh as possible.  Other ways are joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture farm) or buying your produce at a farm stand.

Throughout the years winter has been a tough time to get local produce.  Sure, there are plenty of greens and other crops that grow year round, but the farmers market ended in the fall and didn’t start up again until April.  Even then, in April, the actual food items were pretty few and far between, it seemed that the farmers market was mostly a place to get plant starts.

Why not have a year around market?  For years many people thought that would entail having an enclosed space since the inclement weather was thought to be a major obstacle to an outdoor market.  As many of us know, though — the rain isn’t as bad as you think.  Surely that is one of the secrets of Humboldt that has kept the communities small — if the word ever gets out, we will be overrun!

Several years ago, a few persistent farmers and Henry Robertson of Henry’s Olives, made an arrangement to sell their items in front of Cafe Brio.  This was pretty successful, so a couple of years ago the North Coast Growers Association took on the Winter Market and it is now a blooming and bustling operation, and occupies two full sides of the plaza.  The produce choices have expanded as well, and now, when the regular market begins in April, there are a lot more food items available.

Listen here for the interview with Laura Hughes

 

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2017 Local Food Month

While every month is local food month for some of us, the effort to draw focused attention to all of the wonderful local products is especially noticeable in September.  All over the country people are celebrating the bounty that comes from their region and in Humboldt we are are rich with all types of food in the month of September.

Years ago when the Eat Local Challenge began I participated and, excluding only a handful of ingredients, was able to complete the challenge.  For me, that challenge just helped me to think more consciously about the foods that I eat — and to develop a plan for acquiring those foods (like albacore tuna, canning 100 lbs of whole fish each year), and to incorporate them throughout the year.

There are many activities planned this year and you can go to the website to check them out.

Listen to the interview here with Ivy North (NCGA – Farmers Market) and Ann Anderson (Locally Delicious).

Laura Hughes, North Coast Growers Association — Farmers Markets

I’m not sure if everyone knows — but the North Coast Growers Association brings us many of our fabulous local farmers markets.  Because I live on Humboldt Hill, my regular grocery buying market is Hendersen Center; my social market is the huge Arcata Plaza Saturday Market; and my new “imagine if I lived in Italy” market is Willow Creek.  I have made so many friends at the markets over the years and have also bought the best produce imaginable. I’ve bought tomatoes for canning (seriously, $20 a lug? super-bargain!), tomatoes for eating (no, I cannot grow cherry tomatoes — stop teasing me!), and every other item of produce that I can’t grow in my garden.

Farmers give you the opportunity to grow the things you enjoy and are successful at.  I’m thrilled that I grow the most amazing garlic — and that I don’t have to grow carrots because they always get those little maggotty things in them.  When talking with Johnny Gary from Organic Matters recently — he gave me a real insight by saying that it is actually easier to farm than to garden!  What?!  He explained that with his dense planting of crops, if an insect eats the outside area of his crop he still has a lot that has survived, whereas a gardener’s “outside area” is pretty much the entire area of the crop. Wow…I never thought of it that way.

Anyway, back to NCGA.  I had a chance to interview the ever amazing Laura Hughes!  to listen to the interview, click here.  Go to the website to find your closest farmer’s market and shop there!

Ivy Matheny, North Coast Growers Association

Farmers Markets are lovely events, lots of happy people shopping for fresh local produce.  In Arcata, there are booth surrounding the entire plaza and in the center, food vendors dishing up some fabulous grub.  While it seems like pure entertainment — it is actually the place where farmers can bring their goods to market and receive the proceeds for the products.  While Farmstands are becoming more popular with the larger operations, staffing on a regular basis can be tricky when farmers need to be out in the field doing farmer things.

One of the issues that comes up when people talk about Farmers Markets is the concern that not everyone can afford this lovely bounty.  The North Coast Growers Association’s Ivy Matheny is working hard to remedy this.  People can use their Cal Fresh funds at the market — and there are incentives for people to do that.  Want to learn more? Listen here and check out the happenings at the North Coast Growers Association website!

North Coast Growers Association Farmers Market

The eating local rubber hits the road at a farmers market — and the Saturday Farmers Market in Arcata is the best I’ve ever been to.  Whenever I travel I always make it a point to check out the local farmers market scene — whether in or out of the country, that’s the place to see the people who raise the food and share it with the rest of us!

So Jessica Eden and I decided to take a little field recorder to a Saturday Farmers Market in Arcata — and we started out with a bang.  Laura from NCGA asked me if I wanted to ring the bell — are you kidding?  I was like a kid in a candy store — and if you were at that market you were probably wondering why the bell ringer wouldn’t stop ringing the bell (just doin’ my job…)

We talked with lots of people that day — people waiting in line for peaches, farmers who were also shoppers, children with strawberries tucked into their red lips!  Listen Here

2011 Farmers Market Season Update, Portia Bramble

Every year we invite Portia Bramble to give an update of the North Coast Growers Association certified Farmers Markets.  This year she talked about how the growing season went, and the addition of more providers of locally produced meats.  To listen to this interview, click here.

Farmers Market, Humboldt – Portia Bramble

We had a chance to catch up with Portia to get the update of the 2010 growing season — click here to listen.

To listen to the interview with Portia Bramble:

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/
09_FFT_Portia_Bramble_09.mp3

This show aired on the KHSU Homepage on July 31, 2009

To find out more about the North Coast Growers Association and Certified Farmers Markets in Humboldt County go to:

www.humfarm.org