Giving Thanks for Farmers and Farmers' Markets
This year, 2021, has given us so much to be thankful for. Coming off the heels of 2020, this year has reminded us how vital positive human connection is. Our PCFMA team was able to come back to the office this year, and we are reminded how lucky we are to work alongside friends. We were fortunate enough to open up two new markets: Downtown Los Altos, a vibrant market in the heart of charming Los Altos that was voted ‘Best Farmers’ Market in the Silicon Valley’ this year; as well as the Fairfield Farmers’ Market, which provides fresh produce and a fun weekly gathering for the hardworking Fairfield community. Additionally, we were thrilled to reopen the Berryessa Farmers’ Market in San Jose this year, after being closed for the 2020 season. The Downtown San Jose Farmers’ Market found a new home in the SoFA District, and we’ve been thrilled to connect with a different part of the San Jose community. And after months of operating at a temporary location, the Divisadero Farmers’ Market has finally returned to its home at the DMV Lot where we bring in a broader selection of fruits, vegetables, and vendors to the neighborhood.
Projects like Beyond the Market have given us an up-close look at the positive impacts farmers’ markets make on their communities. Our team spoke with market-goers across the Bay Area to ask what makes farmers’ markets essential, and the answers we received left us inspired and humbled. We are grateful to be able to help provide access to healthy, fresh food to countless families, and to create outlets for California farmers’ to achieve success. We saw just how the different facets of our communities work in harmony with one another when we spoke to local restaurateurs and learned about the close relationships many of them have with their farmers. These connections have been forged through years of experimenting with different ingredients from different farms, and finding the right combination of products and growing methods that best compliment their style of cooking. We’ve seen a surge in shoppers who use their market goodies to create something entirely new - pickled produce, homemade jams, even candles and soaps created from fresh market herbs. Some of these passions even turn into small businesses, and find their way back to selling at their own stall in the market. Seeing this web of positivity firsthand has left us feeling especially thankful to be carrying on the work Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association started in 1988.
Every year, we are reminded of how truly lucky we are for the abundance of agriculture we experience in California, and grateful to know the farmers who make it all possible. Throughout the challenges this year presented - extreme weather, drought, wildfires, and limited resources - we still saw stalls filled to the brim with freshly picked, seasonal fruits and vegetables week after week. It is more important than ever to support our state’s farmers. Farmers feed America, and at PCFMA, we are thankful to be able to help expand access to locally grown food and help communities across the bay area eat healthier while directly supporting CA farmers.
Show your gratitude for California’s agriculture when you shop at the farmers’ market! Say hello to all the wonderful people who grow your food, and learn more about why we are so fortunate to live where we do.
Happy Thanksgiving, Bay Area!