Growers Market opens at new site, but produce is late
A new location for the Nevada County Certified Growers Market offers better parking, less dust and a brighter mix of trees. But late rains mean most veggies and flowers will arrive later in the season.
Sweet strawberries from Watsonville and the Central Valley were the only produce available Saturday, along with purple statice and old-fashioned, sweet-smelling, locally grown roses that flew away to early birds.
Undaunted, nearly 20 vendors arrived at the county Fairgrounds to serve a small but appreciative crowd at the market’s first day of the season on Saturday.
Live music filled the air as local residents enjoyed a sunny morning – a novel pleasure after an unusually wet spring.
New features at the market include painting for children on the first Saturday of every month, which is sponsored by the Pioneer Art Club.
One budding Picasso, 21-month-old Julia Staniar of Grass Valley, smeared green, yellow and orange paint onto a white board. She even shared a dab with a neighboring painter, much to the other child’s anguish.
“Children are so much more fun to teach than adults,” said supervising artist Mim Meakin. “They’re so uninhibited.”
Other new additions to the market are Thompson Valley Ranch grass-fed beef products from Quincy, wines from Grass Valley-based Lucchesi Vineyards and Winery Inc., and California-grown nuts from Fiddyment Farms in Lincoln.
“We love our new spot,” said market chairman John Drew. Visitors still go to Gate 4, but the market now is further to the back of the parking lot in the dappled shade of mixed pine and oak trees.
“When we’re all up and running, we should have close to 60 vendors,” Drew said. “But with the late rains, everything is late. At some of the fields, the growers can’t even get in to do anything, it’s so muddy.”
The opening marked the market’s 26th year. Under state law, such markets allow small growers and other small-scale business people a legal way to sell their goods directly to consumers, Drew said.
Despite the dearth of produce – which will continue for at least the next couple of weeks – other vendors offered fresh bread, dried-flower paintings, wrought-iron garden decor, hand-crafted soaps and lotions, herbal products, gourmet olive oil, cheese, plants, fine art and other goodies.
To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4231.
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