Tehama County Thanks Farmers Markets

Tehama County Thanks Farmers Markets Main Photo

10 Aug 2023


Farmers markets are a community staple, and since 1634, American farmers markets have been selling farm-fresh produce and more. Dating back to 1730, Lancaster, PA, holds the record for having America’s oldest and continuously public farmers market still going strong. California’s first farmers market, originally called “Village,” opened in Los Angeles in July 1934 and is now Farmers Market Los Angeles celebrating 89 years. The next recorded farmers market opened in 1943 - San Francisco Farmers Market. 

It wasn’t until 1999 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture declared the first full week of August as National Farmers Market Week. This year marks 24 years of celebrating the vital roles farmers markets play in our nation’s overall economy and health:

Farmers Markets in Tehama County

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), California has over 650 certified farmers markets and close to 2,700 certified producers, with 60% being year-round markets. Tehama County is home to four farmers markets:

  • Moonbeam Farm Farmers Market (privately owned)
  • Red Bluff Farmers Market in Red Bluff, seasonal Wednesday evenings
  • The Saturday Market by the River in Red Bluff, year-round Saturday mornings
  • Corning Tuesday Night Market, the first seasonal Tuesday of the month

Farmers markets have become a place where local entrepreneurs can sell their items as well. Yet, it wouldn’t be a farmers market without fresh, farm-to-table food selections. Of the three public farmers markets, 20% of the participating vendors operate their produce/farm daily: 

We spoke with Market Manager and Principal Objectives Coordinator, Jason Bauer, to get his take on the economic importance of farmers markets and he gave this example: 

If 40 vendors spent $500 in start-up costs at the beginning of the season, that would generate $20,000 for the community. If each vendor sells a weekly average of $300 within a 13-week season, that revenue equals $156,000. The EBT option for SNAP recipients adds a federal subsidy helping reduce community costs. Local restaurant owners also shop at the farmers markets, which helps recycle community dollars, so the economic impact is great. 

Bauer also added how farmers markets increase information access by having conversations about food quality and education.

While farmers markets help recycle Tehama County dollars, they also stimulate the economy by attracting visitors’ dollars who don’t have farmers markets within their communities. Bauer was right; the economic impact is indeed significant! 

Enhancing the Bond

Out of all the benefits farmers markets have generated over the centuries of their existence, one of the most important yet least mentioned benefits is the enhancement of community bonding and community spirit. Residents flock to their local farmers in search of fresh, high-quality food, yet they stay for the conversations, the connection, and the social engagement with neighbors they see daily and rarely see often. The same can be said for nonresidents. Whether you live in Tehama County or nearby or are a guest visiting residents, you will enjoy our farmers markets as they are more than just another place to buy food. They are an experience! 

On this National Farmers Market Week, Tehama County Economic Development thanks all workers, vendors, and patrons who make our farmers markets great! It could not be possible without your hard work and positive efforts; we understand it is no small feat.