The following article appears in the June Issue of Questa Del Rio News. Three vendors will begin selling early! Get eggs, produce and baked goods on Sunday, June 2nd, 11am to 3pm.
Contributors: Gaea McGahee, Maria Gonzalez and Daniel Hutchison
Questa Farmers Market 2019 goals:
- Increase attendance, both vendors and patrons
- Develop community space with site improvement and beautification project
- Incorporate community members, specifically youth, in leading project
- Increase support for local producers – vendors income in 2018 totaled $19,500, more than double 2017 total $9,500
Questa Farmers Market will begin Phase I of a site improvement plan, June to early August. This collaborative project involves Vida del Norte Coalition teen members – the Active8, and Singing River Field Center youth, with support from the LOR Foundation.
The vision for these improvements grew from several seasons of experience. Market organizer, Gaea McGahee, says, “everyone at this weekly, seasonal market [vendors and patrons] need a functional and beautiful space. I believe improvements will make it possible to keep putting forth our efforts, and grow a lasting local market.”
The plan is to build an horno and create raised gardens and shade structures for vendors and patrons. An excellent location in the Visitor Center parking area (used by QFM for two seasons) has been provided by the Questa Economic Development Fund. It sits at a major intersection on the “Enchanted Circle,” the scenic byway through mountain communities.
QFM has received a LOR Foundation grant and with it comes a role for the community, including visitors and vendors. During the market season QFM will survey attendees to gather responses to site improvements, as well as hear hopes and concerns for Questa.
Dedicated vendors and community organizers, plus energetic youth, will make site improvements possible, with thanks to LOR’s financial support. The Foundation supports projects in rural communities across the rural Mountain West and recently added Questa to that list. “LOR was founded in 2007 on the simple premise that communities can find economic prosperity without sacrificing what they love about the place they call home,” said Jake Caldwell, a LOR program officer based in Taos, NM.
On June 10th, youth and community members will begin the horno. This traditional mud brick oven will provide a focus during the market, and may help extend the season as corn is roasted into chicos in the fall. QFM aims to support local food, nutrition, and economic opportunities, and establish a truly local market: supporting traditional cooking and preservation methods is vital to this mission.
Sun and rain shade structures for vendors and patrons, and a well organized space for musical performers, will dedicate the site. Raised gardens will add beauty, plus the attention gardens require assure the investment of energy; along with shared responsibilities comes a sense of ownership.
The Market officially begins June 16 but some farmers are ready; look for early sellers and keep up with the latest at facebook.com/QuestaFarmersMarket.
Three vendors will begin selling eggs, produce and baked goods on Sunday, June 2nd, 11am to 3pm.
QFM is an EBT/Double-up authorized market and at least 50% of goods sold must be from local (80 miles) NM farms and gardens, and the remaining portion can be prepared foods and crafts. QFM is authorized to accept WIC, and Senior Nutrition checks; these circulate July to Nov.
For more information about Singing River Field Center, or to sign up your child, visit www.localogy.org/daycamp, or call Maria Gonzalez: (575) 779-2260. Want to help with site improvements? Contact Gaea McGahee: (575) 224-2102, firstname.lastname@example.org.
QFM is calling vendors and musicians:
Questa Farmers Market is a community–led effort to localize our economy by supporting agriculturalists and makers during the growing season in beautiful northern New Mexico.
Vida Del Norte Coalition unites Northern Taos County Communities in preventing and decreasing youth substance abuse. Active8, youth extension of the coalition actively participating to reduce youth substance misuse.
Singing River Field Center connects local youth with nature, community, and personal potential.
LORFoundation.org for more information about LOR.