Farmers Market Update

Farmers Market Update – February 2024

Katie Derig sets up a shopper with EBT chips.
Katie Derrig sets up a shopper with EBT chips.

By Madhavi Athanikar

If you are a regular at the Grand Lake weekly farmers’ market, you’ve probably seen a familiar friendly presence working alongside the team at the Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) station on Saturday mornings. Her name is Katie Derrig and she has been volunteering at the Market for 14 years.

Katie began volunteering in 2010 when she moved from Berkley to Oakland. She wanted to get to know her new neighborhood and participate in its local culture. While strolling through the Farmers’ Market one day, she spotted a Volunteers Wanted sign, filled out an application, and the rest is, as you might say, history.

A typical day at the market for Katie involves helping visitors navigate the venue, providing information on the vendors and their goods, walking the grounds, and sampling foods and produce to learn about newer merchants and their specialties.  She also helps to facilitate payment transactions for customers on food assistance programs, so that they can use EBT benefits towards their purchases. Katie explained that through the Market Match program, food stamp recipients are eligible to receive extra funds for expenses, another great reason to support the Grand Lake market.

When asked what motivates her to continue her volunteer work, Katie replied that the market “feels like a community” and “it’s a mix of sameness and novelty.”  She gets to enjoy the constancy of seeing the same families coming through the space week after week and year after year. She also experiences the cycles of change as the seasons influence how we gather and the offerings from the different farms.  Truly embracing the concept of the farmers’ market as a gathering place, Katie describes the summertime atmosphere as a joyful celebration with music and festivities all around and she is very much a part of that scene.  

For her day job, Katie is a Contract Analyst at the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. In addition to volunteering at the Farmers’ Market, she belongs to two book clubs: one that focuses on historical literature and the other on the mystery genre. She loves to mingle, so if you happen to pass by the AIM booth the next time you are at the Farmer’s Market, please stop by and say hello. For information on how you can volunteer, please visit the AIM website at here.

(Pending good enough weather)

2/3/2024: Who’s Feeling Young Now

2/10/2024: B Street

2/17/2024: Max Williams

2/24/2024: Out of Town Couple Band

3/2/2024: Phat Luv Band

3/9/2024: Scott Pullman

3/16/2024: Essie Thomas

3/23/2024: Can’t Go Beach

3/30/2024: Donnie


Tags


Comments

One response to “Farmers Market Update – February 2024”

  1. Ken Katz Avatar

    Madhavi,
    Thank you for giving Katie some much-needed recognition and hats off for an extremely well-written article. Delighted to see you now reporting for the Splash Pad News.