Interview with Erin Tormey, founder of the Coastside Farmers Market in Half Moon Bay
Do you have chickens? Or maybe a prolific apple tree? Perhaps you grow amazing cut flowers? Or you have honey or delicious jams? Find out how you can sell your items at your local farmers market. Or, find out how to start up a farmers market in your community.
We learn about how fresh that food is in your local store, why all produce has to be the same size and why buying and selling food at a farmers market is completely different. And, we tackle the myth about market foods being more expensive. We also learn how government agencies can help low income citizens in our neighborhoods eat healthy too.
And Erin knows what she’s talking about, for three years in a row the Coastside Farmers Market was voted the best in the Bay Area.
Free delicious recipes to download!
So you come home with aromatic basil, heirloom tomatoes and all sorts of fresh goodies. What now? Here are some simple, free recipes that make the most of your bounty. The gazpacho and the pesto freeze well, so you can have “summer” in the winter. But I wouldn’t wait. There’s nothing like fresh, cold gazpacho on a hot summer day.
Download your free recipes here
Erin talks about how she started the farmers market. What sort of regulations and governing bodies she had to go through (it’s different for each state). There are so many things to think about. For example, health and safety regulations won’t want dogs around, because hey—do they let you have dogs in the grocery stores? No! You don’t want animals around your food. So leave your dog at home. This is also why all stalls have to have covers, nobody wants an errant bird dropping on their eggs or strawberries.
I don’t believe that you’ll find strawberries at the grocery store that are nearly as delicious as the fresh-picked, succulent ones you’ll find at a farmers market. The flavor is intense! But they spoil quickly. Fortunately, you can rinse them, pat them dry and freeze them for smoothies or jam in later month.
Farmers markets aren’t just about fruits and vegetables. You can also find grass-fed beef and pork like this stall of Pomponio Ranch Meat. We have tried this company’s meat and wow, what a difference! Not all grass-fed, local meat is the same. (In fact, due to loose regulations, a cow standing in a dirt paddock eating dried up hay is considered “grass fed.”) So you want them on fresh grass. Also, look for sources that don’t let their cattle range all over for miles. If they are kept on smaller, fresh pastures and then moved to the next pasture, then the meat doesn’t get tough and rangy from walking all over the place.
Yeah, that’s me in the cap, happy to buy this delicious, healthy meat. And the bag is free with every purchase! What’s not to love?
I love the flowers at our Coastside market.
And these blush and apricot dahlias are my absolute favorites. Ohh la la!
In our interview, Erin also talked about how she has worked with agencies to help get low income people access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Maybe your town could do this too?
In the United States, everyone should be able to afford to eat this way!
Farmers markets aren’t just about food. You can also find crafts like candles and jewelry at most.
These people understand merchandising! Look at those nice baskets, and that adorable tablecloth. Bravo!
It’s great to see more and more woman-owned and run farms.
Obviously, people in this town love his hummus!
I love the name of this jams and jellies place, “Spread the Love!””
Farmers markets don’t have to just be about food. Oftentimes crafts people sell their wares as well.
NorCal Honey is doing their part to save the bees!