After an off-season spent planning, regrouping and reflecting on the experiences gained in the inaugural year, volunteers kicked off the first Gilroy Farmers’ Market of 2012 on Sunday on the corner of Seventh and Monterey streets in downtown Gilroy.
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just as the Morgan Hill and Hollister farmers’ markets have established a solid roots system in their respective communities (25 and 26 years, to be exact), Gilroy market volunteers weather growing pains with a lighthearted approach and optimistic attitude as they dive headfirst into the second year of the town’s farmers’ market.
Despite overcast skies and mild winds – not to mention several produce and prepared food vendors who weren’t able to make it Sunday (one of the vendors’ trucks broke down and caught on fire, according to market volunteer Sue Middagh), “all the people were very friendly and very receptive,” said Middagh.
She also noted things were “much less confusing this year.” Market infrastructure, such as developing a streamlined method for keeping track of what is sold, has become more organized the second time around.
While Sunday had a smaller turnout than the inaugural market in June 2011, “it was OK,” Middagh resolved. “We had a good amount of people there, considering it was Mother’s Day.”
That’s the right kind of outlook to have, according to Hollister Market Manager Tammy Jackson.
In the Hollister market’s 26-year history, the vendor count has “gotten down to 10, and up to 70,” chuckled Jackson. “That’s the biggest thing. You’ve got to somehow get everyone to come together in the community and stick with it, through the good times and the bad.”
Gilroy market volunteers are excited to have gotten their feet wet for a second year in a row, and will continue to focus on establishing a strong foothold in the Garlic Capital as the choice locale for fresh, high-quality and locally grown produce.
Judy Hess, a market volunteer and director of the neighboring Gilroy Demonstration Garden on Eigleberry Street between Seventh and Sixth streets, noticed there were no shoppers who took advantage of the CalFresh program Sunday. She would like to extend a reminder that patrons who qualify for CalFresh – a government program that provides temporary financial assistance to low-income families – can use their food stamps to purchase quality groceries from the market.
Middagh says the market should have its full roster of vendors present by the second market of 2012.
“It will be better next week,” she asserted.
The market takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday through Oct. 28, and is located in the parking lot of the Gilroy Interim Center for the Arts on the corner of Monterey and Seventh streets.
Become a vendor
Vendor fees will be the same as last year, with a one-time application fee of $35, followed by a $25 fee for a 10-by-10 foot space, or $35 for a 20-by-25 foot space per market day. Vendors receive a discount if they pay up front for the entire season. Any vendors interested in selling their goods at the market should contact Market Manger Kersty Daniels at 408-206-618
Want to help out?
Community volunteers, or high school students looking to fulfill those 80 hours of community service hours required for graduation, are welcome to help out with the setting up and/or breaking down of the market each week. Three to four volunteers are needed to help set up the market from 8 to 10 a.m., in addition to three to four volunteers who can help break things down from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about getting involved, call Market Manager Kersty Daniels at 408-206-6189
Visit the Gilroy Farmers’ Market blog.
2012 Gilroy Farmers’ Market Vendors
- Heirloom Organics: Lettuce and root vegetables
- Live Earth Farm: Mixed and seasonal vegetables
- Frog Hollow: Stone fruit and jams
- VanDyke Ranch: Organic fresh and dried fruit
- Raul Muaillo & Son: Variety of vegetables
- Oya Organics: Mixed and seasonal vegetables
- Dean Moon: Eggs
- Vasquez Farm: Strawberries
- El Camino Packing: Cherries, seasonal fruit
Ready to eat food
- Gold Rush Kettle Korn
- No Way Jose: Mexican and Cajun food
- Silva Sausage: Sausage sandwiches
- Rebekkah’s Culinary Academy: Baked goods
- Hummus Heaven: Artisan hummus dips, pita bread, pita chips, olives
- Dragonfly coffee: Local brews from Gilroy’s downtown coffee roasters
- Locally made caramel apples
- Gilroy Flower Shop: Fresh cut flowers
- Bell Hill Farms: Goat milk soaps and lotions
- Louise Sheilds: Artist
- Tracy’s Jewelry
- Local antique dealers
- CNM crafts: Handmade aprons, 831 637 7656
- Uvas Gold Apiaries: Local Gilroy honey
- Terry H: Face painter
- Manzanita Magic: Beautiful Manzanita jewelry made in Morgan Hill
- Brownell Middle School Community Garden: Handcrafted bird houses