Colusa County non-profit groups will have an opportunity this fall to apply for funds generated through the sale of Premier Mushrooms at the Colusa Farmer’s Market. The local mushroom growers have donated the mushrooms to the Market since it opened for the season in June, and Market coordinator Lynda Reynolds is hoping more commercial growers will follow the example.
Reynolds announced recently that the total season’s proceeds from the sale of mushrooms will be awarded to local non-profits through a grant application process at the end of the market season. “We will announce the criteria for applying for the funds at a later date,” she added.
Reynolds has been involved with the Colusa Farmerís Market since its inception three years ago. She said she has had many requests for the mushrooms at the market, and this year, they were able to make it happen with the generosity of Premier Mushrooms L.P. and its CEO John Ashbaugh.
“The mushrooms have consistently sold out each week,” she said adding that it has been wonderful working with Premier.
“I swing by their offices at 3 p.m. and they set me up with three flats of mushrooms; two portabella and one crimini. The mushrooms have been harvested within hours of me picking them up.”
Reynolds said she is hoping the mushroom donation is just the beginning.
“I would love other growers here in the county take the same steps Premier has done to have their product featured here at the market. Because of the location at Memorial Park at Market and 10th Streets in Colusa, we get lots of out-of-towners who love seeing and buying local products. Donating to the market is a great way to promote your business and at the same time give back to the community,” she said. “We exist as a community because of the agriculture that supports us and our families.”
“This is the first year we attempted this, and Premier was a natural fit. The market supports local farms and farm produce. Premier has been such a great supporter of Colusa County. When we first started the Colusa Community Garden they were among the first to ask to help. Our raised beds located at the Business & Visitors Center are filled with Premier Mushroom compost, the best growing medium I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” Reynolds said.”SAKATA Seed also supported the community garden project by donating the seeds,” she added.
Reynolds said that she has always been a supporter of Farmers Markets. She recalls that she used to drive up to Chico on Thursdays to attend the one there. “When Mary Fahey started the one in Arbuckle, I thought we needed one in Colusa, too,” she said.
“At that time Melanie Jacobs was working at the Business & Visitors Center and I was there with Economic Development Corporation (EDC). We thought we should just go for it,”Reynolds said.
“Melanie first managed the Market, but last year after she left for another job, I stepped in to manage the market for the Chamber of Commerce,”said Reynolds.
The market originated on the Colusa Industrial Properties’ Business & Visitors Center parking lot. Last year it moved to the cooler, shadier Memorial Park. This year the market is sponsored by the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Colusa.
Reynolds said she’d like to see the market’s vendor base grow. “You don’t have to have 100 acres to come and sell produce,” she said. In future, Reynolds said she’d love to see the market grow to include musical entertainment and perhaps cooking demonstrations. “Last year we included flu and whooping cough clinics during our market hours,” she said.
“I would love to see the market become an economic engine for the City and County of Colusa, but most importantly I’d like to see it be a benefit to the City and County whether as a place to purchase healthy local foods, socialize, share ideas, come to learn how to prepare healthy foods for your family, get your flu shot, listen to music or learn about the clubs, organizations and people in the community or promote ourselves to those just visiting,î she said. “The Market should be seen as a gift from the Chamber of Commerce, Colusa Industrial Properties, The Colusa Business and Visitors Center and the City of Colusa to the people that live, work and play here in Colusa County,” she said.
The Colusa Farmers Market is now approved by the USDA to not only to receive market vouchers, but EBT cards. For more information contact Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (530) 473–5975. There is a $10 flat fee to sell, and no charge to non-profits for booth space. The Colusa Farmers Market is from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Mondays. ■