Colusa Farmers Market season ends with plans for growth next year

dsc04006Another bountiful season has wrapped up for the Colusa Certified Farmers Market, celebrating a successful year with plans in progress for the next season.
“This year’s market went well,” said Market Manager Jennifer Diaz.
Diaz commented that the success of the event was a cooperative effort between the vendors and the community.
“We had great vendors this year and several repeat customers,” said Diaz.
For Diaz, it was unquestionably the success of the market was due to better marketing materials and the Farm-to-Fork Dinner.
“I think with the kick-off, Farm-to-Fork Dinner was a huge contributing factor to the exposure of the market,” said Diaz, “as well as the signage and marketing materials donated by Premier Mushrooms.”
Features added to the market include the implementation of the EBT Program and an increase of participating vendors.
The EBT Program allows CalFresh recipients to obtain healthy options at the farmers market.
“We are looking into applying for the California Market Match Consortium an incentive program that encourages those enrolled in the CalFresh food assistance program to improve their diets by eating more fruits and vegetables,” said Diaz. “They will provide a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $10 when they use their CalFresh EBT cards at the market. It is an excellent way to promote healthy eating.”
Diaz added that one thing she would like to improve upon for next year is the consistency of the vendors.
“I understand life happens, and things change, but I would like to see a consistent amount of vendors out here each week,” said Diaz. She added that the market often waves the weekly vendor fee for those who had a bad week or were unable to make sales.
According to Diaz’s records the Farmers Market brought in an combined estimate of $13,300 for market vendors.
“We made $1,219 for the Premier Mushrooms grant,” said Diaz.
A longtime market vendor, Barb O’Connell of Barb’s Produce commented this was one of the best markets yet and extended gratitude towards Diaz for a successful year.
“It was a fantastic year,” said O’Connell “Many kudos to Jennifer for a great year. I want to thank all those who came out and supported the market.”
Theresa Bright, the owner of Jeffreys Pecans commented the market atmosphere was positive.
“It was nice this year. We had more vendors, and many of the customers were interested in purchasing items,” said Bright. “I look forward to returning next year.”
Rick Starnater, a vegetable vendor, was extremely satisfied with the market season.
“I did exceptionally well this year,” said Starnater. “This was my first year in Colusa and was supported well.”
Starnater commented that even though he had to compete with three or four other vegetable vendors, everyone worked well together and each vendor gained loyal customers.
As the market came to a close, Diaz ensured patrons the market would be back for the 2017 Market Season in June. And the 2017 Farm-to-Fork Dinner is scheduled for June 22.
“I would like to thank all the vendors who have participated this year and invite them to return next year,” said Diaz. ■

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Lloyd Green Jr. is the Owner and Publisher of the Williams Pioneer Review. He is dedicated in publishing the news and informing the community of Colusa County. Lloyd has been with the publication since 2008, and purchased the business in 2010. Under his ownership the newspaper has grown significantly in subscriptions, publishes weekly, and obtained the title of Newspaper of General Circulation by the Superior Court of Colusa County in Sept. 2007. Lloyd is also the director of advertising, classified manager, legal notice clerk, and circulation manager. To contact Lloyd, email him at lloyd@colusacountynews.net or call (530) 458-4141 ext. 100.