Hello Healdsburg! I’m the new manager of the Healdsburg Certified Farmers’ Markets! Some of you may know me as the producer of the Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival: an event I created 23 years ago. I have also worked on the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market, the Petaluma 4th of July and recently produced the Wine Country Winter Festival.
It’s exciting to be a part of such a venerable and respected market. I had no idea when I applied for the position the market is 38 years old, one of a handful of markets which began back then. I’m proud to be a part of this heritage.
I was also surprised to learn the farmers own the market. It’s a non-profit, owned and run by the growers. Most of the farmers grow their produce within 15 miles of town, what a farmers’ market is meant to be.
Farmers’ markets go back thousands of years, and are likely the first organized commerce. Consider our agrarian ancestors and the need to sell their produce. Markets were the place where villagers shopped, bartered and socialized.
Not only is this an ancient custom, outdoor farmers’ markets exist worldwide. I’ve been to beautiful markets in such diverse places as Thailand, Jamaica, Germany, Amsterdam and Costa Rica. There is likely a market in almost every village, town or city, no matter where you go.
When you buy directly from the farmer you get the freshest food. You’re supporting a tradition and keeping small businesses alive. You know who grew your food and where it was grown, rather than buying produce grown in other parts of the world, sold in generic supermarkets.
If you’ve followed the history of the Healdsburg markets you know they’re so cherished an entire building is being built for their home. The Cerri Building project’s focus is to create a permanent location. As someone who is learning about this I am pleased the markets mean so much to Healdsburg.
I’ve learned the Wednesday evening market has not done well in the past few years. It surprises me that Saturday thrives and yet Wednesday struggles. As a person with a background in building events, it’s my goal to make both equally popular.
Our markets will be filled with wonderful local produce, packaged food products, prepared foods and a smattering of lovely craft. Hours are changing slightly to accommodate folks who want to come eat a meal in the evening, or sneak in before the crowds in the morning. Both markets will have music and special events. The classic Zucchini Races and Pumpkin Carving competitions will be better than ever, plus look for other fun activities.
The Saturday Market begins May 6th and runs through November. 8:30am-noon. The Wednesday evening market begins June 7th and runs through October, 4-7pm. As the new manager I welcome input on what you’d like to see happen at the markets. My email is manager@healdsburgfarmersmarket,org, so drop me a note.
Come spend some time at the markets and get to know our growers, food vendors and craftspeople. Keep the tradition of the market alive and thriving.