Farmers Market Update – September 2023

by Ken Katz

We’re starting out this month’s Farmers Market Update with what has to be the best market video we’ve seen yet. It was posted online by Jose Meza on July 8.

In an August 2022 article, we reported on the debut of the Incubator Booth at three Agricultural Institute of Marin farmers markets. In brief, the program is a joint partnership between The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM), Kitchen Table Advisors (KTA), and the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA). Here’s a snippet from ALBA’s website:

ALBA’s Farmer Education and Enterprise Development (FEED) project develops the organic farming skills of immigrant farmworkers to support a more equitable and environmentally sustainable agriculture sector. The project leverages ALBA’s experienced bilingual staff, a proven consortium of farm service providers and a 100-acre organic farm training facility in the Salinas Valley.

Each year, some 75 limited-resource farmers gain affordable access to education, land, farming equipment and technical assistance. Through hands-on, land-based learning, they develop organic production and business management skills to pursue the dream of farm ownership or find better jobs.

The latest contingent sharing the Incubator Booth for three months here in Oakland are the Nduchucuiti Organic Farm and the Ayoquezco Organic Farm — both from Monterey County.  Please be sure to give them a warm welcome if you haven’t done so already.

Also new to the market this past month is Bolita Masa, a purveyor of  hand-pressed tortillas, Tlacoyos, Tetelas, and Gorditas — not to mention salsas, desserts and agua fresca. More background information can be found in this podcast from last year in the SF Chronicle.

If you were wondering, the long lines leading to the Farmers Market Information Booth the last three Saturdays were due to a pilot program being tested at the Grand Lake Market that allow shoppers to double their EBT coupons up to a maximum of $60.  That’s one of the reasons AIM is looking for volunteers to help at the Info Booth on Saturdays but they’re also requesting volunteers to help with Administrative Assistance, Diggin’ Education Assistants and Blog- Writing/Market Photographers. Learn more at this link.

While attending a Grand-Nephew’s wedding in the Santa Cruz mountains this past weekend, was delighted to find that H & H Fish Company was one of the caterers. That’s Heidi Rose, the co-owner on the left.