The North Coast Growers’ Association is starting up their regular-season farmers markets, and they support GMO Free Humboldt!
ARCATA — The first farmers market of the season is always a festive affair, even if you can’t get those incredible heirloom tomatoes yet. On Saturday, come rain or shine, the Arcata Plaza will be the destination for loyal market customers and newbies alike, as the North Coast Growers’ Association invites the community to come out and celebrate the bounty of fresh, Humboldt-grown and GMO-free produce at the largest and most celebrated farmers market.
”Every family needs healthy fruits and vegetables to stay strong and happy. Farmers market-fresh produce, meat, eggs, grains and beans contain the very highest quality vitamins and minerals available because they come direct from the fields to you,” said Ivy Matheny, outreach and operations coordinator for the North Coast Growers’ Association.
The association believes that every family has the right to eat healthy and choose to invest in the local economy, Matheny said.
”CalFresh EBT cards are welcome at the farmers market, and EBT customers receive extra bonus bucks to be spent on fruits and veggies through our Market Match program,” she said. Those who would like more information about Market Match, or assistance in applying for CalFresh, are encouraged to visit the information booth at the market on Saturday.
Though the warm season veggies are yet to be harvested — like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and more — there’s plenty available now. Featured at the market in April will be salad greens, beets, cabbage, leeks, mushrooms, artichokes, carrots, meat, eggs and honey. It’s also a great place to gather starts and seeds for home gardens.
”Eating locally” by shopping at the farmers markets also keeps the community’s hard-earned dollars circulating locally.
”This can be your weekly chance to join your community and friends in celebration and support of our hard-working farmers,” said Matheny.
”Your visit supports the local economy and helps to strengthen the local food system. Let your farmers know that you appreciate their dedication to sustainable and GMO-free practices!”
While the 2014 musical entertainment schedule hasn’t been announced yet, market visitors can expect to find something different to watch and listen to each Saturday, along with the usual assortment of other fun-loving folks like jugglers, face-painters, dancers and more.
The Arcata Plaza market runs every Saturday through November from 9 a.m. to
2 p.m. The association’s other markets in the area (Wildberries in Arcata, Old Town and Henderson Center in Eureka, and the McKinleyville Shopping Center) will start up the first week of June and will be announced in the Times-Standard.
Other farmers markets (not sponsored by the association) also take place weekly in Fortuna and elsewhere.
For more information, call 441-9999 or visit http://humfarm.org.
About the GMO ordinance
The North Coast Growers’ Association, a local nonprofit, recently endorsed the Humboldt County Genetic Contamination Prevention Ordinance. This is in keeping with the association’s goals of promoting public awareness of, and support for, farmers markets and locally grown foods, working with other community-based organizations to educate consumers about food buying alternatives and promoting agriculture in Humboldt County.
The NCGA’s official position on genetically modified organisms was adopted in 2006 and reads, in part:
”The North Coast Growers Association is opposed to the use of genetically engineered seeds and crops. We believe that GMO technology goes against the very foundations of sustainable agriculture. The 1990 Farm Bill defines sustainable agriculture this way:
‘… Over the long term, satisfy human needs, enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base, make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and integrate natural biological processes, sustain economic viability, and enhance the quality of life.’
”To be truly sustainable, agriculture has to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
”GMOs are a strong component of industrial agriculture; they boast unsubstantiated promises of increased yields. GMOs increase the use of pesticides and show no increase in yield, while increasing and consolidating corporate control of agriculture.
”GMOs threaten the diversity of our seed base and the status of the world’s seed banks. GMO crops threaten family farmers by holding them liable under strict patent laws for pollen contamination that is uncontainable and for which the farmers have no control.
”The agencies responsible for regulating agricultural biotechnology — the USDA, FDA and EPA — have failed to properly monitor the technology.”
According to a recent press release from the NCGA: “It is for these reasons, and the justifications outlined within the ordinance, that the NCGA endorses the Humboldt County Genetic Contamination Prevention Ordinance.”