Video: Surviving & Thriving: Farmers Markets
December 3, 2021
The last two years have been a challenging but clarifying time for our farmers market community, crystallizing what is truly essential: our community. When you donate to CUESA, you are upholding a resilient and regenerative food future rooted in values of putting people first, investing in family farms, and ensuring fresh food for all.
This month, we are shining a light on people who nourish our community and help sustain this vision. In this new video from CUESA, you’ll hear from Ferry Plaza Farmers Market farmers, chefs, and CUESA staff about what your support has meant over the last two years, as we move from surviving to thriving.
The pandemic dealt an immediate and dramatic blow to small family farms when restaurants closed, and farmers markets were a critical lifeline that carried our farmers through the uncertainty. “In the past year, we’ve seen a surge not just in people, but we’ve been able to sustain our business because of the farmers market,” says farmer Aomboon Deasy of K&J Orchards.
“I’m very lucky because my customers supported me throughout the pandemic,” says farmer Sonia Rojas of Rojas Family Farms. “People come to support us every week and that is very important for us. Because without people, we are nothing.”
For the CUESA team, keeping our farmers markets open as critical food access points during the pandemic has been our top priority. We worked hard to keep our markets running smoothly and safely to be a bridge for our farmers and food makers and our Bay Area community. “[The market] doesn’t stop just because there’s a pandemic,” says CUESA’s Operations Manager Andrea Akers. “People still need food on their tables, people still need to pay their rent, people still need that person-to-person communication, so that’s what keeps me going.”
The pandemic is by no means over, and recovery remains uncertain as global supply chains struggle, but our farmers market community remains a constant. Thanks to you, our community is emerging stronger, with a clearer focus on what’s at stake to create the just, resilient, and climate-wise food future we urgently need.
Farmers markets require all of us—farmers, food makers, farm and food workers, chefs, market staff, and community members like you—showing up, caring for each other, and doing our part to contribute to a sustainable and equitable food future that can weather whatever challenges come our way.
“It’s just really almost impossible to put into words how grateful we are,” says farmer Janet Brown of Allstar Organics. “I think it’s hard for people to imagine how important coming here is because no one makes this market alone. We all make it together.”
Keep Your Farmers Market Thriving
It indeed takes all of us working together to make the farmers market happen. Your participation is vital! Invest in your local food community in 2022 and beyond by donating to CUESA today.
Video by Fox Nakai.