News

Questa Farmers Market: Essential in 2020 & the 2019 Recap

Fresh and Local Vegetables at Questa Farmers Market, 2019 Photograph by Emily Wilde

2020 Market Season
Opening May 24 – September

Sundays 10:00am – 2:00pm

The current global pandemic, which has led to issues in the food supply chain, shows us how important our local food systems are and teaches us that focusing on local production and distribution is vital. 

2019 Season Recap 

QFM’s organizers and community partners completed Phase I of a site improvement plan from June to early September 2019. This project involved Vida del Norte Coalition teen members – the Active8, and Singing River Field Center youth who helped build an adobe horno and gardens where vegetables and flowers thrived all season.

Vida del Norte Coalition teen members, the Active8, enjoy the garden they planted, August 2019

QFM’s site improvements included the construction of shade structures, horno (mud-brick oven), and gardens, thanks to funding from the LOR Foundation. Financial support from the Questa Economic Development Fund, Chevron’s Community Grants for Good (more about Chevron and QEDF here), and the New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association contributed to QFMs’s operating budget and helped us pay musicians.

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Vendors income in 2019 topped $21,737 even though the season was shorter, just 14 Sundays. In 2018 QFM held 20 market days and vendors’ earnings totaled $19,500, which was more than double the 2017 total of $9,500.

The 2020 Season

Farmers markets are considered essential businesses according to the State (in the March 23 press release, from the Office of the Governor). During this global pandemic, farmers markets can be open in New Mexico, but must sell only food (no crafts, flowers, jewelry, etc.) and all vendors and shoppers must practice safety precautions appropriate to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Farmers’ markets are essential because they are sources of local, nutritious food and SNAP participants can use their food benefits (these must be used in-person). SNAP participants get double their $$ by shopping at markets that participate in the Double Up Food Bucks Program (DUFB) for locally grown produce. QFM participates in many food benefit programs: SNAP/EBT, Double-Up-Food-Bucks, WIC, and the Senior Nutrition Program (details below).

Why shop at Questa Farmers Market during COVID-19?

  1. Get the freshest and most nutritious food and support your family’s health. Local food is safe sustainable.
  2. Shop at an outdoor market: plenty of room to practice social distancing.
  3. Support and strengthen your community and local economy.
  4. Easily use your SNAP and get double your $$.

To participate in the market this season:

  • Sell ONLY food – no flowers, crafts, jewelry, etc.
  • No product sampling. Market will supply hand-sanitizing for customers.
  • All vendors must have sanitation supplies at their booths and use gloves and masks.
  • Prepared food vendors must have correct permits from the New Mexico Environment Department posted in view every market day.

Need to apply for any of the Food Benefit Programs we accept? Go here.

Looking Forward

As soon at the COVID-19 situation allows, Questa Farmers Market will invite vendors in all other categories (all non-food vendors) as well as support musicians as we do every season. At this time we must follow these guidelines in order to operate.

QFM is striving to support local food, improved community nutrition, and more economic opportunities, by maintaining a truly local market. This means supporting local musicians, makers, and artists, and sponsoring traditional cooking and preservation events, as well as special events like the day we hosted the blacksmith at the market.

Our mission ~
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.

A few more of our 2020 hopes:

  • grow gardens in our current locations and make new beds if possible
  • add a dance floor (concrete pad) and tables
  • develop the land northwest of the current use area by adding more shelters, fruit trees, and parking
  • add a market hub – a structure for SNAP/EBT transactions, storage and more

Shop Local

Keep your dollars in your community. Support QFM and all our vendors by shopping local. Freelance graphic designer Emily Wilde created our logo and we put it on shirts, aprons and stickers!

Support us by buying QFM gear and spread the word. Email growersmakers@gmail.com, call or text 575-224-2102, or write to PO Box 462, Questa NM 87556.


Prices:
Adult Ts – $18
Youth Ts – $12
Aprons – $15

 

Questa Farmers Market is a program of Localogy, a nonprofit 501(c)(3)

 

Post by your market organizer, Gaea McGahee

Need more information?
Look for early sellers and keep up with the latest:
facebook.com/QuestaFarmersMarket
Contact: (575) 224-2102, growersmakers@gmail.com

 

Fruits of our labor – 2019 Season

making mud
Vida del Norte Coalition teen members – the Active8, and Singing River Field Center youth in a collaborative summer camp/market building project start the horno in early June

What a wonderful season we’re enjoying! With only four official markets left, here’s a photo journey through some of the season’s growth, and the music schedule is below.

We’ve been able to build our shade structures, horno, and gardens with funding from the LOR Foundation.

building in action
Miguel Gonzales and Rachel Kuc´ plastering the horno, July

We can care for our gardens and make more plantings (trees!) thanks to the Questa Economic Development Fund and their support (both grant support and the installation of the central water source at the market site).

gardening
Vida del Norte Coalition teen members – the Active8, and Singing River Field Center youth in a collaborative summer camp/market building project start the gardens in early June
kaylee and amalia
Vida del Norte Coalition teen members (from the Active8) enjoy the garden they helped create, August

We have hired musicians each Sunday and thank Chevron’s Community Grants for Good, which has enabled us to pay these folks.

smooth site
Most shade structures complete, early August

We’re really thankful to our community – our dear vendors, patrons, entrepreneurs, builders (all ages) and eaters of what’s growing and what’s cooking. There are so many to thank by name, we’ll save that for another post.

sue_Churro
Local lamb from Costilla from the shepherdess, with Navajo Churro
jamey in stand
Vendors moving into the new shelters

Mostly, you need the music schedule and the link to a very recent article.

Questa Farmers Market Music Line-up:

Aug 25 Nick Hans
Sept 1 Chris and Rodney Arellano
Sept 8 Carlos Rael
Sept 15 Michael Rael and Questa Mariachi

Read this recent article in New Mexico Magazine, A Town Reborn by Elizabeth Miller, to see how we think a local farmers market is part of the solution.

Want your own Questa Farmers Market shirt? They’re for sale at the market or email us, growersmakers@gmail.com, or write to PO Box 462, Questa NM 87556.

shirts just in
T-Shirts
Adults $15
Kids $12
Aprons $12

Prepared Food Vendors, here’s what you need to know this season, 2019

Each person running a food booth must have their temporary food establishment permit. It’s $25 a month, call the New Mexico Environment Department in Taos at 575-758-8808. Also, new this year in New Mexico, at least one person in your booth/food operation needs a food handlers card (you can take an ANSI certified course online to get this card).

You may need a commercial kitchen to make your product (unless you’re cooking on site at QFM). The San Cristobal Kitchen is ready to rent. It’s been approved by the state environment department.

Call Wendy to reserve the San Cristobal Kitchen, 575-770-7968:

$15 for 2 hours, the minimum
$30 for 4 hours
$60 for 8 hours

You will need to sign a release form to use the kitchen. You will need your food handlers permit. You may pay by money order or check.

We abide by state regulations because QFM is authorized to accept payment from shoppers enrolled in food benefit programs (SNAP/EBT, Double-up-food-bucks, WIC, and Senior Nutrition checks). This is why all prepared food vendors are asked to obtain the correct permits.

If you have questions or need help with training (to obtain your food handlers card), call Wendy and Alex, 575-770-7968. They are happy to help!