Investing in the community: New farmers market manager finds her place in Nevada City

From the instant she first strolled the outdoor neighborhood produce market on Union Avenue as an out-of-metropolis-traveler, Stephanie Stevens changed into instantly charmed.


“It becomes sincerely very dazzling. Agriculture is what makes a community colourful. Humans are in reality dedicated to helping neighborhood farmers up here,” Stevens stated.

In January, Stephanie Stevens, have become the marketplace Supervisor for Nevada Metropolis Farmers market. Began in 2008, the marketplace has grown in recognition attracting a vibrant downtown Saturday morning social scene that is going beyond produce My Update Studio.

This yr, the network market opened a week in advance and beginning in December, six farmers will installation in Robinson Plaza as soon as a month to launch a new wintry weather marketplace experiment through the bloodless season.

Stevens changed into a professional ballet dancer residing and studying in San Francisco whilst she fell in love with Nevada County several years ago. Upon moving to the region in 2013, Stevens landed her first process at a small farm in Penn Valley transferring rocks, putting in irrigation traces and building fences. She went on to paintings at a permaculture farm and have become the Workshop Manager at Peaceful Valley Farm Deliver, organizing lessons on cheese making and cowl cropping. She desires of beginning her own farm in the future and feels she has observed her place in the global as an recommend for small farms.

“It’s the only component that I have ever felt that changed into truly in my intestine,” she said.

On marketplace day, she wakes early, earlier than sunrise to be on the road with clipboard in hand to greet the carriers by means of 6:30 a.M. She recalls her nerves the night time earlier than her first starting day.

“I don’t suppose I slept a lot the first day. I was anxious but now I look ahead to it,” she stated.

Each Saturday, the marketplace boasts 39 cubicles with 50 providers signed up via November with even extra on a waiting listing from the region’s seventy five mile radii.

“Now we’re pass walk to pass stroll,” stated Jane Sangwine-Yager operations Manager, and a regular, “indispensable” market supporter for the reason that day one.

Network volunteers and a strong board are the backbone of the marketplace’s success. Early birds and a faithful following come as soon as the cow bell is rung with many rookies discovering the market weekly.

A self-proclaimed dabbler in the lot, Stevens says the biggest studying curve of her new 20 hours every week activity is hearing the needs of oldsters — those complex interpersonal relationships — and navigating the myriad of nation and neighborhood food regulations. She is gaining knowledge of from the mentorship of the market board and has interest in pursuing agricultural law so she can further propose for farmers.

“I assume small farmers in all groups are crucial because they are the future of our food gadget,” she stated.

This 12 months, Stevens welcomes familiar faces at the side of new farmers and carriers which includes: Pegasus Falafel with Israel-inspired ice cream pops made with uncooked cashew, coconut milk and chia seeds; neighborhood cheese from Wheyward Woman Creamery; blended produce from San Juan Ridge-based Fog Canine Farm; microgreens and vegetable begins from Flying Cloud Farm; ceramics from Yvonne Dockter and first-rate teas with health blessings from NIUKA tea.

As in preceding years, 211 will have a sales space offering an EBT (meals stamps) token match software.

“We strive to inspire Human beings to eat healthier and guide nearby farmers,” said Christina Mettert, a marketplace volunteer for the past four years. For her, being a volunteer is a way to feel empowered in a once in a while troubling world. Mettert is among a center institution of 10 – 15 rotating volunteers.

“I am getting to meet the people who develop our food. How cool is that?” Mettert said.

This summer, a new partnership with BriarPatch Co-op brings tasting samples which includes a slaw made from Riverhill Farm and Amazing Tuber Farm produce.

“We’re certainly enthusiastic about this partnership. Their cooks are a delight to work with,” Stevens stated.

On Aug. 27, families can look forward to some of fun, loose activities throughout Kid Day: a hearth truck, farm-themed flash picture booth, prizes, get dressed up, facepainting, $2 coupons and a loose raffle. Stevens likes the idea of fostering a stake in the market at an early age.

“Human beings genuinely feel invested. It’s a place for them,” she said.

For plenty, convenience can be a deterrent to shopping at a farmers market. But, that shift in focus and behavior is what will make a local meals’ gadget thrive and an extra resilient network.