The fourth annual Premier Mushrooms Inc. Grant Program was launched during the month of June in conjunction with the opening of the Colusa Farmers Market.
For the past three years, the local mushroom company has donated fresh mushrooms to the market, each week.
Organized by the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce, proceeds from the sale of the donated mushrooms will benefit the Colusa County non-profit groups who apply for the grant.
For the past three years, Premier Mushrooms Inc. has awarded on average $1,000 in grants to non-profit groups. The Colusa County Literacy Program, Safe Haven Drop-In Center, Colusa County Grown project, Family Action Center and various county school projects have been among the recipients of the grants ranging from $75 to $250 each.
Grant applications are available at the Colusa Farmers Market, on the Premier Mushrooms Inc. website or at Kathy Craigo Media Consulting at 430 Market Street in Colusa.
Premier Mushrooms Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh is an advocate for giving back to the community and commented that he has been pleased with the response to the first three years of the grant program.
“I hope that more groups will be a part of this year’s funding process,” he said.
The Farmers Market, which is held weekly on Thursday nights, offers a wide variety of produce, flowers, food vendors, cookies, handmade soaps and custom made furniture.
Twice monthly the Market is held in conjunction with Thursday night Concerts in the Park hosted by the City of Colusa.
During the Concert in the Park nights, area non-profits host the barbecue dinner, and Premier Mushrooms has also graciously provided portabella mushrooms to a few couple of these groups.
One of those groups is the Colusa Lions Club, who will be serving portabella burgers at its June 26 barbecue. The Colusa County Volunteer Citizens Service Unit will also be serving portabella burgers at the August 7, concert.
The Colusa Farmer Market began in 2010 with the coordination and volunteer efforts of Williams’s resident, Lynda Reynolds, who’ve at the time represented the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce. This year, Reynolds has handed the reins of the market manager to College City resident, Melissa Baikie-Rick.
Baikie-Rick commented that the market is continuing to grow.
“We are pleased to see the crowds getting bigger each week, and we appreciate the vendors who are taking part,” said Baikie-Rick, “there is always room for more vendors.”
Baikie-Rick added that she’d love to have a bread baker at the market.
One of the contributions Baikie-Rick has brought to the marked includes a raffle for market customers.
Each week anyone that purchases an item from any vendor receives a raffle ticket to enter into the nightly drawing.
The prizes vary but contain items donated by the vendors.
On non-concert nights, Baikie-Rick and her husband Aaron bring musical entertainment to the market; sharing their guitar and ukulele talents with the crowd.
Both Reynolds and Baikie-Rick commented that they continued to appreciate the support they get from Premier Mushrooms, Inc.
“It is a wonderful thing that one of our very own Ag-related businesses is so generous with our county,” said Reynolds. “It is a pleasure to have the market associated with them,” she said.