Farmers, artists, and goddesses. Fallon’s farmers market season is going to be heightened this year with the entry of a new market sponsored by the Churchill Arts Council (CAC). The Green Goddess Farmer’s Market will be held on the first Saturday of May through September from 3 to 8 pm at the Oats Park Art Center and Lariat Courtyard.
Valerie Serpa, Executive Director of CAC is excited about the market being at the Arts Center. “We’ve thought about having a market here for a long time. It’s a natural location with its proximity to the park, the beautiful greens in front of the center and the Lariat Courtyard outside. It’s the perfect opportunity to utilize the space and showcase the Arts Center. The store and galleries will all be open.”
The idea for the market name came from Jamie Sammons of Two Ravens Farm. Sammons was influenced by Korena Mewaldt of Mewaldt Organics who started the Garden Goddess Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and from Green Tara the Buddhist goddess of universal compassion, enlightenment, and liberation. “They say she’s the mother of all Buddhas. Well, agriculture can be liberating, and libations and liberation do go together,” she said.
Sammons described the first market saying, “For some of the farms, it will be a seedling sale with vegetable plant starts, however a full selection of herbs and perennials will also be available. As the season progresses, more fresh produce will be available.” Many other local items will be available each month including artwork, crafts, food and beverages. Munchies can be purchased from the 5 Star Indian Food truck. Telegraph Coffee and Tap will be roasting a special blend of coffee on-site. The “Will Shamberger Band” will open the market and is also scheduled to perform at the last market in September.
The farms planning to attend each month include Mewaldt Organics, Fisk Farm Herbs, Lattin Farms, Fallon Food Hub, Two Ravens Farm, Getto Farms, Ames Family Farm, Yellow Petal Flower Farm and Cherry Dog Orchards. From Sammons’ point of view, “Fallon should be the center of the farmers market scene. All of the farmers are out here.” Serpa said they have 22 vendors registered to date and there is still time to register. Serpa hopes to get most applications by April 1 to allow promotion time, but will accept applications anytime. Preregistration for vendors is required and there is no vendor booth fee for this year. Serpa said, “Because of the economic concerns from the past year, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for anyone who wants to participate.”
Every market will begin with a “Meet Your Farmer” cocktail hour from 3 to 4 pm in the Lariat Bar where a specialty cocktail for the month will be crafted from local ingredients from one of the farms and available for purchase. Sammons said she would be doing the first one for Mewaldt Organics who is already canning violets for that first cocktail. The cocktail hour will also be an opportunity to meet the farmers and gain an in-depth knowledge of what they do.
According to Serpa, the brick pads that are built in front of the Arts Center were originally installed by the City with the hopes that the area would be used for a farmers market, making this a historically ideal location. The signs of spring are starting and soon the warm feeling that comes with the summer season will be upon us, bringing with it the sights and smells of fresh produce. Serpa said, “This could be the perfect storm. People are so ready to do something fun and the farmers market will be a perfect choice.”