This weekend, Winters, Calif. will join thousands of other cities already hosting farmers markets nationwide.
Set to open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the farmers market in Winters will include various goods from participating farmers from Davis, Winters, Elk Grove, Rumsey, Esparto, Petaluma, Vacaville and Capay.
There will also be hot food served by local restaurants, along with live bands scheduled to perform that will add a festive touch congruous with the down-to-earth, organic environment that is ubiquitously characteristic of farmers markets.
Given the town’s bucolic nature, a farmers market will be an important addition.
“The market will be extremely beneficial given Winters‘ location in Yolo County, where nearly half of the community members own ranches and, other than one supermarket, we just don’t have much of an access place for fresh food,” said Ana Kormos, outreach and education coordinator of the Winters Healthcare Foundation, which sponsors the market.
Past attempts to implement a farmers market in Winters had proved futile, but Kormos said the response from the community this time has been strong.
The market is one part of three components being set up as a part of a joint community health project of Tides Foundation and the California Endowment. In addition to setting up a market, this movement is meant to provide a community garden and expand nutrition education efforts.
“It really ties into the agricultural heritage of the Winters area,” said Dan McGuire of the Winters Healthcare Foundation. “In fact there are more growers present at the Davis market that are from Winters than are actually from Davis. It’s a town of many farmers, and this market will make the connection between farm and community.“
Health-consciousness is just one of the many factors emphasized by the installation of the market.
“We’re hoping the diversity of options will promote healthier eating, and with that, an overall healthier way of life,” McGuire said. “This was one of the goals in incorporating the Winters Farmers Market as one of the components of this community project.“
Organizers are encouraging Davis students to check out what the market has to offer.
“Even though Davis has a wonderful, successful market, it would be nice for people to explore a whole other environment with an even smaller-town feel and a different flavor to it,” said Randii MacNear, manager of the Davis Farmers Market.
MacNear and other volunteers from the Davis Farmers Market are lending their knowledge and resources to help the Winters market get off the ground.
For students without cars, MacNear suggested riding a bike to the market in Winters, which is only 30 minutes away for ambitious cyclists.
The complete line-up of vendors includes: Terra Firma Farm in Winters, Vue Farms in Elk Grove, Yolo Bulb in Winters, Orangewood Farm, Capay Canyon Ranch, Springhill Cheese, Everything Under the Sun, Solano Mushroom Company, McDonald Orchards in Capay, Capay Fruits and Vegetables, Rich Fields Farm, Lloyd’s Produce and Berryessa Gap Winery.
More farmers are scheduled to participate once their products are in season: The Peach Farm of Winters, California Vegetable Specialties of Rio Vista, Lester Farms in Winters, and Warren Farms of Dixon. Food vendors will be Steady Eddy’s, Putah Creek Café, Ficelle, El Pueblo, Upper Crust Bakery and Santa Fe Tortillas.
Bands scheduled to perform on opening day will be The Putah Creek Crawdads and The Green String Farm Band of Petaluma. All in all, board members have faith in the success of this market and the promise it holds for the future.
“We’re all very excited for it,” MacNear said. “It seems to be the right place and the right time for a farmers market. People understand farmers markets a lot more now, so there’s a lot more of a chance that people will embrace the Winters Farmers Market from the beginning and it will demonstrate a promising start.“
ELENI STEPHANIDES can be reached at email@example.com.