Capay Organic Says Farewell to the Farmers Market

Foodwise Staff
July 1, 2022

Capay Organic has made the difficult decision to retire from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Their last Saturday will be July 9, 2022. A leader in California’s organic farming movement, Capay Organic was one of the founding farms of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and has been a consistent presence ever since.

“Capay Organic holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons, chief among them that the Barsotti and Barnes family was one of the first to sell in our farmers market, and their 29-year commitment to this community is something to celebrate and give gratitude for,” says Foodwise Executive Director, Christine Farren. “Their farm operations have also been a model for innovation and sustainability. They run a very successful subscription farm box; are a well-known and respected brand in the organic community; had a 17 year-long run inside the Ferry Building Marketplace in the difficult retail environment; have partnered with land trusts to keep growing their farm operation; and consistently demonstrated a commitment to feeding families in need with donations of food and CSA boxes.

“I will always remember the Successful Organic Farmers talk they gave at the Ecological Farming Conference many years ago, when the word ‘success’ was challenged and the very complicated nature of farming as a mid-sized (but still small by industry standards) farm operation was shared openly with the audience. I am so thankful for the many years they have contributed to our community and organization.”

Stop by Capay Organic’s booth this Saturday, July 2, or next Saturday, July 9, to join us in thanking them for their contributions to the local food movement, and for nourishing us with their organic produce for so many years! Thaddeus, Freeman, and Noah shared this message:

Dear Ferry Plaza Farmers Market Shoppers,

Since 1993 when the market started at Embarcadero and Green Streets, Capay Organic has been bringing Yolo County’s seasons to market shoppers—at that time our family simply called in “the SF Market.” After decades of showing up, rain or shine, Capay Organic has decided to retire our Bay Area farmers markets. This is not a decision the family came to lightly. Farmers markets are part of our family history and legacy, beginning when our parents helped found the Davis Farmers Market in 1976.

That same year marked the start of our farm. Farmers markets were vital to the early days of our farm, allowing us to connect directly with consumers before organic produce became accepted mainstream. Through farmers markets and a group of supportive Bay Area restaurants we were able to pioneer not only organic produce but introduce back to the marketplace specialty items such as heirloom tomatoes, Blenheim apricots, sweet pea flowers, cherry tomatoes, Nantes carrots, Dino kale, Satsuma mandarins and other beloved varieties consumers have grown to expect.

We feel the time has come to make space in markets for other new, beginning farmers so they too can forge their path in the food system. While you will no longer see our booth at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, our family is continuing to farm organically in the Capay Valley. We will still do the Davis Farmers Market, and most importantly, we will still be working to build a more robust food system that gives farmers a way to make a respectable living and people access to healthy food.

Thaddeus Barsotti, Freeman Barsotti, and Noah Barnes

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