Nearly two hundred attended the Colusa County ‘Farm to Fork’ event, which highlighted local farmers and agriculture.
Attendees enjoyed a number of locally-inspired dishes including Angus beef, rice, lettuce, pecans, mushrooms and a medley of vegetables.
Community members enjoyed their meals in Veterans Memorial Park in Downtown Colusa where the weather was pleasant.
“This event puts the ‘Farm to Fork’ into visualization,” said Colusa County Chamber of Commerce Past President, Gary Teragawa, “Instead of talking about it, we are actually doing it.”
Not just Colusa County residents were in attendance, one couple traveled from the Sacramento Area to enjoy the evening with friends and family.
“This is a wonderful evening and good food,” said Lorina Poland.
The feeling was mutual by attendees and many could not wait for next year’s event. Farm to Fork organizer, Jennifer Diaz commented that a 2017 event was in the works.
“Top notch evening in every way! Really amazing community event. Thank you to all who made it happen,” said Therese Harper.
Loretta McLoughlin Salveson commented, “Wonderful evening, outstanding meal. I loved the strong community feel of this event. Well done.”
Others praised Diaz for all of her hard work.
“The event was amazing. Thanks to the chamber, volunteers, and sponsors. It takes a leader with vision, dedication and involvement in the community to pull this off,” said John Ashbaugh, Premier Mushrooms CEO, “I am looking forward to next year. Congrats, the event was top notch.”
How farm to fork began
Colusa County Chamber of Commerce President, Donna Phelan, commented that the market has been through several market managers, and last year they were imposed with the task of finding a market manager once more.
“If we didn’t find a new manager, we were going to have to shut it down,” said Phelan, “The market was just to essential and a great community event to let go.”
With what seemed to be fate, Phelan commented that she was enthusiastically contacted by Jennifer Diaz.
“She was optimistic about taking over the farmers market and I was very excited to hear that,” said Phelan, “shortly before last summer season began, Jennifer Diaz and Carolyn Froelich took over, and did a beautiful job and turned it into a great success.”
For Diaz, the market was important to her because she started her business at the market.
“One day I had too many chickens, and too many eggs that I didn’t know what to do with,” said Diaz, “So I brought four dozen eggs down with me to sell at the market. I was sold out in less than an hour.”
Since then her business has grown and she now provides farm fresh eggs to customers all across Colusa County.
“There are times I don’t have enough eggs for everyone,” she said.
Diaz commented that her dedication to the market also comes with supporting its vendors.
“Vendors can make or break our market,” she said, “if the vendor is not having a good week, we need to cut them a break. That is one of the most important things with our market.”
“We are so grateful to Jennifer and Carolyn, for all of their blood sweat and tears, and their hard work. The chamber and the community is grateful as well.”
Why Farm to Fork
“We decided we needed to raise awareness for our Colusa Certified Farmers Market,” said Diaz, “We wanted people to know that we are here and that they’ve got something great going on in their community.”
After months of planning, Diaz and a group of individuals hashed out the plan.
“We are thankful everyone came out and supported the event,” she said, “most especially the restaurants who prepared the meal.”
Those restaurants included Rocco’s Bar and Grill, Market Street Grill, Sweet Bean Bakery, and Colusa Casino Resort.
Other contributors were John Vafis, Grindstone Wines, and Steelhead Lodge.
Many of the items were locally sourced for the meals, including the lettuce that was served by Colusa Casino Resort.
“Myself, Denise Carter and a few other volunteers went out to her organic lettuce field and picked over 20lbs of lettuce,” said Diaz.
The money raised will benefit local nonprofit organizations and their projects through the Premier Mushroom Grant program.
“We will match the sales of Mushroom Sales to help make the pot bigger to help benefit the local organizations,” said Diaz.