by Erin Tormey
This year, the Farmer of the Year is our own John Giusti, and that means your Coastside Farmers’ Market now claims 3 Farmer of the Year award winners among our inaugural ranks. John and Maureen Giusti, Dee Harley and Farmer John & Eda Muller have all had the distinction, and all of them have enthusiastic partners and advisors to me from the very first day of the very first year that we got this Market going.
Do you have any idea how great that is, and how impossible in any other town in the State? Heck, en todo del mundo?
We could not have this great a market without them — or without you. The Friends of the Farmers Market are a vital piece of the equation and I hope you will consider joining or renewing your membership in the ranks of good folks who value this resource in our community. (Please contact email@example.com for information.)
Our Markets are among less than a handful of independent Certified Farmers Markets in all of California. Our independence allows us to prioritize our local farms, fisheries, ranchers and food producers, and to Define “Local” in a meaningful way. At the Coastside Farmers Markets it means that 70% of the vendors come from within San Mateo County. The rest come from counties that touch us – when you move the Bay out of the way — or from as close as we can get the product. SO when you support these Markets, you are supporting your neighbors, their kids, their accountants, their mechanics (lots of mechanics this winter, I can assure you!).
Right now I am working away at the ever-challenging pre-season shenanigans – getting permits, booking musicians, securing sponsors, scheduling non-profits and the like — and it looks like we are on track to get ourselves open as usual the first week of May.
News Flash! Assemblyman Jerry Hill will be ringing the Opening Day Bell in Half Moon Bay, and Pacifica Mayor Mary Ann Nihart will do the honors at the Rockaway Beach location in Pacifica.
Onward – While we have some pretty nifty new things coming on this year, we will likely be getting off to a softer start that usual, because even though it is so Bahamas Beautiful today, fact is the chilly weather and late, constant rains have made for some reluctant arugula & bashful berries from some quarters, but I am happily making space in my freezer and panty, using up the last of the stash of blueberries to great effect. The Final Four in my house has nothing to do with basketball, but being down to the one last jar of raspberry, oallieberry, apricot and peach jam from the 2010 season. I am bartering them now at spectacular advantage, making way for this season’s version. So far, I have gotten a chicken-coop remodeled, 7 yards of mulch moved and a new section of fence put in on the promise of a jar-o-jam and a loaf of San Benito House bread as a bonus.
I might even let go of the last of the jam to a few of you first FOFM responders … Kati made a killer Lavender Blueberry preserve that just about started a fist-fight at a bingo game, but that’s another story for another time.
Happy Sunny Spring – and thanks for your support.
Coastside Farmers Markets — 2 locations May through December
Shoreline Station Half Moon Bay — Saturdays 9 a.m.-1p.m.
Rockaway Beach Pacifica — Wednesday 2:30-6:30 p.m.