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Questa Farmers Market ~ 2018 Season report

 

 

Questa Farmers Market had a successful and colorful season! We held 20 Sunday markets during the 2018 season, June 3-Oct 14, hosted 4 to 9 vendors at each market, and sponsored musicians every Sunday. The hope – to empower community members’ active production, support health and local food, and inspire the entrepreneurial spirit – feels met. Vendors came from Questa, Cerro, Sunshine Valley, Arroyo Hondo, Arroyo Seco, Eagle Nest, San Cristobal, El Rito north of Questa, Costilla, and Taos. Musicians hailed from some of these same places, plus Lama, Red River and further away – parts of Texas, Georgia, and New Orleans!

 

Vendors reported total sales topping $19,000 – about $9,500 more than our 2017 season. We are glad to see sales and attendance up; we believe in growing locally and that a marketplace creates visible vitality and contributes to quality of life in our community.

Sales of unprocessed agricultural products – local vegetables and fruits, honey, eggs, meat, and dairy totaled $11,857. Non-ag product sales of prepared food and art and craft totaled $7,191. That’s a measurable economic impact of $19,048 spent locally, once a week, for just 20 days.

 

To be a farmers market we must maintain a 50% or higher proportion of essential “food staples” for sale. Vegetables, fruits, meats, or farm products fit into the essential category, as do other basic take-home food items, like bread, tortillas, flour, pies, beans, dried chicos, and herbs. These are SNAP/EBT eligible items, and some are eligible for double-up-food-bucks.

Across the season our attendance ranged from 40 to 150 patrons, an average of 80 per Sunday, about 1,600 for the season. The market grew in vendor and patron participation and supported more musicians – often local performers – than last season, and we were able to pay them a stipend for their time. We are thankful for financial support from the Questa Economic Development Fund, Chevron’s Community Grants for Good program, and the New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association.

 

Participating in food benefit programs:

QFM accepts WIC and Senior Nutrition Program checks, is a SNAP authorized market, and participates in the double-up-food-bucks program. Double-up-food-bucks is funded by a federal grant and associated with SNAP/EBT. Double-up makes someone’s dollars worth double when they buy local – NM grown within 80 miles of the market – fruits and vegetables (or fresh cut herbs, dried pintos, dried chile pods, and garden food plant starts). Double-up is funded by grants made possible through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

QFM will keep focusing on growing a strong local economy in 2019. Join as a vendor, play music, or patronize the market to help achieve these community goals: to support local food production and particularly small-scale agricultural projects, as well as local entrepreneurs. Make a stronger and more resilient community right here!

 

Also, several QFM vendors, cooks and bakers prepared the free fall feast for NeoRio held at Wild Rivers in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, this past September. And we will do this again – mark your calendars, NeoRio is September 22, 2019.

 

 

The NeoRio pop-up outdoor kitchen, right on the edge of the gorge, was a spectacular place to make calabacitas and fresh toritillas. Thank you to all those volunteers who chopped, stirred, washed and laughed.

The 2019 season will officially begin June 16 and end Sept 15th. There will likely be a few vendors beginning earlier in June as weather permits. Some vendors will return for the final fall market at Cambalache (date may be October 6th).

Our focus is to grow a locally strong economy which means prepared food vendors are asked to obtain as many local ingredients as possible and to make foods from start to finish. Patrons can count on local produce, products like handmade tortillas and tamales, as well as handmade goods!

 

When you join as a vendor or patronize the market you are part of the farmers market community!

How to participate as a vendor:

  •      The market requires a small vendors fee$5 per Sunday.
  •      The Village of Questa requires a peddler’s permit ($35, good for three months) if you sell processed foods and crafts, contact (575) 586-0694.
  •      Prepared food vendors (bakers, jelly makers, sellers of take-away and hot food items) must abide by the food safety laws of NM. You will need a permit to operate ($25 per month obtained in Taos). Call the New Mexico Environment Department in Taos at (575) 758-8808 or visit https://www.env.nm.gov/nav_permits.html for permit information. You will most likely need to use a commercial kitchen to prepare your foods.
  • Please note, the “sale of vegetables, fruits, meats, foul or farm products raised and sold in an unprocessed state” can be done without a peddlers fee (Per Village of Questa Ordinance 2005-122).
  • for more photos and videos of our previous seasons go to www.facebook.com/QuestaFarmersMarket/
  • Phone: 575-224-2102
Artwork by Tito Gomez, courtesy image

We are grateful to our community, musicians, farmers, friends, puppeteers, volunteers, funders, growers, makers, bakers, and all!

Questa Farmers Market ~ community-led and supported. A seasonal outdoor market serving residents, visitors, and the surrounding communities of northern New Mexico by localizing economic efforts and supporting agriculturalists and makers.

 

 

 

For further reference:

USDA Definitions of Farmers Markets, Direct Marketing Farmers, and Other Related Terms
https://www.fns.usda.gov/ebt/definitions-farmers-markets-direct-marketing-farmers-and-other-related-terms

Double-up Food Bucks
http://www.doubleupnm.org/

New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association
http://farmersmarketsnm.org/
NMFMA is a state network of farmers’ markets, farmers and other invested parties working to bring locally produced food directly to communities across the state of New Mexico.

Site improvement for event area – public meeting Monday, January 14, 5:30pm

Hello friends of Questa Farmers Market! There will be a public meeting Monday, January 14th at 5:30 pm at the Questa visitor center. You’re invited to share your vision for improvements to the site where the market has been for two seasons – in the visitor center parking area. Please join this public meeting to discuss site development for a better event space. Dinner is provided. Please RSVP so we’ll have the right amount of food. Thank you! More stories, market photos and music on our Facebook page – Questa Farmers Market.

Your QFM Summer Music Calendar

Everything Gets Better with Music. A swallow of watermelon water, a bite of frito pie, your second cup of coffee. Listen as you peruse the veggies, meet the vendors, and visit with your neighbors.

Purly Gates at the QFM in 2017, she’s back again July 1, 2018

Here’s your summer music calendar. We have a few music/event spots available (September, October). Contact us here if you’d like to reserve.

MUSIC & EVENTS ~ 2018 SEASON

JULY

July 1 Purly Gates, Singer-Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist, Cowgal Poet out of Texas

July 8
Wear and Tear, Peter Oviatt and Jimmie Killingsworth out of Taos

July 15
Jonathan Hutchison, singer/songwriter, recording artist and producer from the mountains of northern New Mexico (also played June 2018)

July 22 Mario Trujillo of Reckless Taos (also played June 2018)

July 29 Chris Arellano of Costilla, New Mexico

AUGUST

Aug 5 Zephaniah Stringfield

Aug 12
Zephaniah Stringfield and Peter Oviatt
PLUS Cristina Masoliver and her Puppet Show at 12 NOON

Aug 19 Chris Arellano of Costilla, New Mexico

Aug 26 Wear and Tear, Peter Oviatt and Jimmie Killingsworth out of Taos, watch them here.

SEPTEMBER

Sept 2 Madcat Jack Lorang and the Geminis out of Seco/Hondo/Taos

Sept 9 Nat Wilson from Lama

Sept 16 Chris Arellano of Costilla, New Mexico

Sept 23 Nick Hans of Karhu Farms, Arroyo Seco – hear his music here and here.

Sept 30 Wear and Tear, Peter Oviatt and Jimmie Killingsworth out of Taos

OCTOBER

Oct 7 Nat Wilson from Lama

Oct 14 available

 

Excerpt – Press Release for Taos News / Tempo (end of June)

Better with Music

The Questa Farmers Market serves up goods from local farms and gardens, watermelon water and frito pies, and music every Sunday! The market is held in the Questa Visitor Center Parking Area on Sundays, 10am to 2pm, through October 14. The QFM’s mission is to make a vibrant place for local economic exchange.

Although a relatively new, and small-scale market, the QFM made great strides last season by becoming authorized to accept EBT, WIC and the Senior Nutrition Program checks, and now it is one of the newest double-up-food-bucks markets in New Mexico.

In 2017, the QFM hosted musicians for 9 of their 17 market days and their goal this year is to host music, or other performers every Sunday: that’s 20 market days.

“The vendors are our first customers,” says Market Manager, Gaea McGahee. “If they are served, the market will grow and the whole community can benefit. Music is an import part of the equation. It spreads the joy. Everything gets better with music.”

The QFM extends an open invitation for your participation and input. Join the QFM vendors in the Questa Village center on Sundays, 10am – 2pm until Oct 14. Keep dollars local and enjoy the fruits of summer, together.

The QFM is grateful for the support they have received from individuals and volunteers, from members of the community and beyond, and from Chevron and the Questa Economic Development Fund.

For more information go to QuestaFarmersMarket.org or Facebook: QuestaFarmersMarket. Contact the Market Manager, Gaea McGahee, at growersmakers@gmail.com or call 575-224-2102.

Questa Farmers Market is a program of Localogy, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Questa, NM.