Santa Cruz County Farmers’ Markets are open for a season of fresh food

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Photo: visittheusa

The Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market is a non-profit organization that has been around since the Fall of 1990, right after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The earthquake devastated Northern California, and the SCCFM came together to sell local organic Farmer’s produce. Since then, the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market has grown from a small gathering to a large and well known market. The SCCFM has branched out since it was founded, with five different locations: Felton, Live Oak/Eastside, Scotts Valley, Downtown Santa Cruz, and Westside Santa Cruz.

In 2009, the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market merged with the Felton Certified Farmers’ Market, after it had been running independently since 1987. The goal of the markets has always been to provide local citizens with the best ingredients from the freshest, closest farms. They want to give locals the best possible experience for their taste buds, all while supporting the local economy. The Farmers’ Markets in Santa Cruz County features merchandise varying from organic fruit and vegetables, pasture-raised meats, eggs and dairy, sustainably harvested seafood, locally crafted wares and local food vendors. Over one hundred family farms have booths or produce displayed at the various markets.

Local vendors include Vasquez Farm, a fruit vendor based in Moss Landing. Shumei Farm sells various nuts grown in Santa Cruz, and Rodoni farms displays vegetables from their 1000 acre ranch in Santa Cruz. Along with the farmers, there are artisans and local restaurants selling goods as well. Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Foods sells spices along with his meals. Delicious Crepes makes dessert crepes as well as spinach crepes. Local farmers and merchants are enthusiastic about the market and pleased to have a popular place to sell their goods.

Students at San Lorenzo Valley High School are especially excited for the return of the Felton Farmers’ Market and all its products. Freshman Jordan Kittle says, “I like the shave ice there, and I’m really looking forward to going to the Felton Market.” Freshman Sarah Jane Landes adds: “It’s really nice they’re promoting and supporting the local businesses and farmers.

“I love going to the Farmers’ Market, there’s such a variety of fruit and finger foods. I love the shaved ice, and there’s usually nice music to accompany the shoppers,” says Courtney Carter.

The Felton Farmers’ Market has been closed, but recently it has opened back up for the season. The Felton market is open from 2:30-6:30pm on Tuesdays until late October. It is in the parking lot of Saints John’s Church. Other locations, such as the two Santa Cruz markets, meet year round, for all the patrons who wish to purchase fresh produce on a daily basis. Visit a Farmers’ Market near you!

By Cat Shewfelt

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