Farmers Markets Abound in Shasta County

January 8, 2013 in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Farm, Farmer's Market listing, Mark Blackwood, Northern California Farmers Markets

Whether you’re in search of a healthier lifestyle, if you’re a vegetarian, fruitarian, or just a shopper looking for fresh vegetables and fruits, Redding, California is a great place to find it all!

Welcome to picturesque Shasta County, located in the northernmost portion of the Sacramento Valley.  Surrounded by five distinct mountain ranges and literally cut in half by the mighty Sacramento River, virtually every location within this region is within eyesight of majestic Mt. Shasta.

Greenhouse Grown, Hybrid, Seasonal, Organic, hard-to-find and specialty produce and fruits are at almost all the local markets here. These are grown locally and if you know where to look available year around. Let’s start with the basics and take a look at the locations, dates, times and general information on ‘Shasta’s’ Certified Farmers Markets.

I’ve listed them in calendar order. Please see notes attached to each. Opening/Closing dates may vary by a day or two. All are located in Shasta County.

Sunday Market in Redding

Turtle Bay Parking Lot, Highway 44 to Sundial Bridge Drive Exit, Redding
Open from early June to early Oct. 8:00am-12:00pm
530-243-4282
Tourist’s Note: Home to Sundial Bridge

Tuesday Market in Redding

Marilyn Miller Market Shasta Center Parking Lot, 1900 Churn Creek Rd, Redding
Open from early June to mid October 7:30am-12:00pm (often a little later)
No Phone – Open Air Parking Lot

Tuesday Market in Shingletown

Mountain Certified Market, Shingleton Medical Center
31292 Alpine Meadows Rd, Shingletown
Open late app. mid May to late Oct. 4:30pm-6:30pm
530-474-3382 for info.

Wednesday Market in Pale Cedro

Pale Cedro Certified Farmers Market
Open early June-late Oct. 4:30pm-6:30pm
Note: call 530-547-4554 in event of location change
Home to Honey Bee Festival every 2nd week in September.  Festival also sponsors produce/fruit vendors

Wednesday Market in Burney

Wednesday Burney Market
Angelina’s Restaurant Lot
37143 Main Street,Burney
Open late May/early June-late Sept.
530-335-4184
Note: This is a beautiful mountain town with Famous Burney Falls. Opening/closing dates can vary due to weather conditions.

Thursday Market in Anderson

Thursday Anderson Market, Shasta Outlets
1699 Hwy 273, Anderson (right off I-5)
Open Year Round—changes from Thursday to Saturday from Dec.29th – early April then back to Thursday for Spring and Summer. Hours 7:30am-1:00pm.
Note: Pretty good sized event,lots of vendors, variety of products and services.

Thursday Market in Redding

Market Fest Farmers Market, downtown Redding
Placer Street between California & Oregon Streets
Open approx June 17-Aug.26 4:30pm-8:30pm
Live Band, large crowd, variety of vendors.
Note: Due to Construction (1/1/2013) this venue will be temporarily re-located but will be continued as soon as construction is complete.
Call 530-225-4433 for status

Thursday Market in Bella Vista

Bella Vista Farmers Market
22509 Old Alturas Rd, Bella Vista
Open June 24 – Oct. 14 7:30am-12:00pm

Friday Market in Cottonwood Creek

Cottonwood Creek Certified Farmers Market & Artisans Fair
Cottonwood Creek Watershed Group Office
3645 Main St., Cottonwood
Open early May-late Oct. 3:00pm-7:00pm
530-347-6800 for info

Saturday Market in Redding

Redding Farmers Market
City Hall Parking Lot
777 Cypress Ave., Redding
Open approx April 7th-Dec.29 7:30am-12:00pm
Note: This is the big one! Plenty of vendors from all this northern region. Lots to see. Big crowds.

* FOR MORE INFO, VISIT: www.shastagrowersassociation.com*

Every year these markets become more diversified. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, one of these vendors knows where it’s at!

If you’re new to the Farmers Market scene here are a few tips:

  • shop early to get freshest, highest quality products
  • ask for samples
  • barter if you’re buying a substantial amount
  • get a business card
  • if you’re on a tight budget,wait until just before closing time and look for ‘clearance’ deals—the sellers would rather unload their products to you than haul them home
  • also know that California’s EBT is accepted at nearly all (if not all) of these markets
  • if weather conditions have you wondering about a particular market, call ahead if possible

Below are a few websites of nearby regions and counties where a shopper can find many similar indoor/outdoor Farmers Markets, Fests, etc.

Additionally, there are many Farmers Markets that offer eggs, poultry, beef, meats, yarns, herbs, seeds, flowers and a wide diversity of consumables. Below is a good place to start…

U-PICK EMS, Roadside Fruit/Vegetable Stands

The entire northern region is noted for it’s easily accessible road-side stands. If you travel from Redding south on I-5 to Red Bluff, you can access Highway 99 heading south toward Chico. Along this stretch of highway are many seasonal Fruit/Vegetable/Nut stands. Some of these ‘farms’ allow you to pick your own, or buy from the shelf. Often times the actual garden and or greenhouse is right there adjacent to the stand. Normally these stands open in mid May and stay open offering what’s in season until November. Typical hours are 10:00am to 6 or 7pm.

There are a wide variety of nuts, honey, melons, fruit, vegetables, lots of strawberries, eggs and sometimes surprising other delights. You may find you save money on your purchases, as these vendors deal mainly in cash and carry deals.

For the dedicated ‘Organic Only’ buyer: Not all of these informal roadside stands and U-pick-ems are certified, so ask specifically as to what you’re buying. Below is a good website for your search.

 

CSA- Community Supported Agriculture/Coop/Shares/U-Pick

The best way to understand CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is to visit what I think is a very informative website, Local Harvest.org. This information is laid out in simple terms and explains in fairly good detail what a CSA is all about.

Basically this is a type of cooperative that people join for a fee and pledge to both support the farm and farmer(s) in both good harvests and poor growing seasons. In return for this ‘share’ they’ve bought, the local CSA farm provides that family or individual with a weekly or bi-weekly or perhaps even monthly (depending upon the arrangement) assortment of fruits and vegetables. Most of what is handed out to these members is what is in season at that time. Some farms offer delivery,some make ‘drop-offs’, most are vendors at Farmers Markets and many have associations with retail outlets. These CSA’s sometimes include other commodities such as eggs, meats, poultry, and pretty much the whole spectrum of consumables.

A new twist to some of these CSA’s is being called ‘mix & match’ or ‘market style.’ This variation allows the member to pick or choose his products, within certain limits, and in this way he or she can get more of a favorite or health enhancing selection verses the farmer doing the choosing. This offer is incorporated into the already determined intervals of provision.

Here in Shasta County, there’s no reason not to support your local farmers. Whether you like to get out in the fresh air, enjoy dropping by a roadside stand, or prefer delivery service, we’ve got plenty of options to get your goods from farm to table!

Contributed by Mark Blackwood