Fifth Crow Farm Steps Back from the Farmers Market

January 17, 2024

Fifth Crow Farm has made the tough decision to step back from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, due to short staffing. Champions of values-driven farming based on economic viability, social justice, and ecologically sound practices, first-generation farmers Mike Irving, Teresa Kurtak, and John Vars first popped up at our Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in the fall of 2016 through our partnership with Kitchen Table Advisers. They became a Saturday market fixture soon after, with their organic leafy greens and veggies, dried beans, and beautiful bouquets.

“John, Mike, and Teresa are amazing stewards of their land in Pescadero, and their team has been so wonderful to have at our markets over the years,” says Lulu Meyer, Foodwise’s Director of Operations. “We are sad to see them go but understand how complex labor issues can be, and know that it was not an easy decision for them to make. We wish them all the best and hope that they may consider returning sometime in the future.” We thank them for feeding our Ferry Plaza community. They shared this message:

After seven years of having the privilege of occupying one of the precious spots at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Fifth Crow Farm has decided it’s time to let go. We have agonized over this decision and kicked it down the road as long as we possibly could, because this market has been important to us in so many ways. Sadly we just can’t figure out a way to keep making it work. 

Our farm is run by three partners and both of the two families involved have young school-aged children. While they are still young, our biggest priority is having time with our kids, and since the birth of our first kids in 2005 and then second kids in 2008 and ’09, we have cobbled together staffing. But we’ve had a few long-time staff decide to move on this year and have, as of yet been, unable to replace them. We are so proud to have been able to attend the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market for these last seven years and will miss all of you dearly. 

On the positive side, this shift will hopefully open up our ability to fulfill smaller restaurant orders and deliver them Saturdays. We will continue to attend our other San Francisco markets and we are also exploring the possibility of adding a mid-week subscription delivery route to SF.  Hopefully sometime in the future we may be able to return to the Ferry Plaza, but at present it just isn’t in the cards. To receive information about how to order wholesale, to get our weekly pick up order list, or to learn more about our subscription membership, go here

Teresa, John, and Mike