CUESA Celebrates National Farmers Market Week
August 2, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator
Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture
Phone: 415.291.3276 ext 105
Celebrate National Farmers Market Week. Come to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture’s tri-weekly Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its free educational events, including seasonal cooking demonstrations and a panel discussion with Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland.
Farmers markets provide a crucial link between citizens and farmers. They are the backbone of a sustainable food system. Famers markets create strong social networks, develop viable regional economies and give consumers access to fresh, nutritious, seasonal food.
In recognition of the importance of farmers markets, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed August 7-13, 2011 as National Farmers Market Week. Citizens can celebrate this week by shopping at CUESA’s tri-weekly farmers market on Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 2pm, and on Saturday from 8am to 2pm. They can also attend one of CUESA’s many ongoing education programs – most of which are free.
CUESA is hosting an Organic Greens & Blue Cheese Farm Tour with County Line Harvest and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company on Wednesday, August 10th. The community is invited to a book talk with author Gwendolyn Meyer in honor of her new book Oyster Culture on Thursday evening, August 11th. Farmers market shoppers can stop by the seasonal cooking demonstration with Adam Dulye of The Monk’s Kettle on Saturday, August 13th at 11am. CUESA is honored to welcome Barry Estabrook, author of the recently released book Tomatoland, for a panel discussion entitled, In Search of the Promised Tomatoland, with organic farmers Nigel Walker of Eatwell Farm and Larry Jacobs of the Del Cabo cooperative on Monday evening, August 15th.
This year marks the 12th annual National Farmers Market Week. The number of farmers markets has grown from 2,863 markets in 2000 to 7,175 in 2011. These numbers continue to rise as farmers markets become fresh food mainstays for shoppers across all socio-economic, political, and ethnic backgrounds. Farmers markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together to a shared social space. California is home to over 800 farmers markets.
The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market began in 1993 and currently has over 120 sellers offering a wide variety of products, including heirloom fruits and vegetables (with over 75 varieties of stone fruit alone), organic grains and nuts, pasture-raised eggs and meats, handmade charcuterie, cheeses and fruit conserves. On average, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is responsible for generating one-quarter of its producers’ total annual sales, providing a valuable economic boost for the region.
CUESA continues to lead the way in promoting a sustainable food system. “CUESA is a model for other organizations, not just for those that operate farmers markets, but for the many organizations that support a sustainable food system,” says Dave Stockdale, Executive Director of CUESA. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was the first in San Francisco to participate in federal food assistance programs such as SNAP/EBT and WIC (formerly known as food stamps). For as long as the market has been in operation, CUESA has worked with Food Runners, a local non-profit which collects produce at the end of each market and delivers it directly to shelters and neighborhood programs that feed the hungry. As part of CUESA’s Waste Wise Initiative, a comprehensive waste management and education program, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was one of the first to enact a ban on plastic take-away produce bags. CUESA has defined a rigorous sustainably framework and works with farmers to encourage best practices.
“Farmers markets grow healthy farms, healthy people, and healthy communities,” says Stacy Miller, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “During a slow economic recovery, farmers markets are stand-out successes in delivering triple bottom line benefits while making entrepreneurship work in communities large and small. During Farmers Market Week, we invite everyone to celebrate their local farmers markets and enjoy fresh local food from America’s most innovative farmers.”
The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs.
Visit cuesa.org for more information and a complete listing of events.
Topics: Press release