We’re Moving to

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (SROCFM) announced today the relocation of its year-round Wednesday and Saturday morning markets to the south parking area of WELLS FARGO CENTER FOR THE ARTS off Highway 101 in north Santa Rosa. SROCFM was forced to move after it lost the lease to the Santa Rosa Veteran’s Hall parking lot.

The new venue will include a quiet, expansive and open grassy space backed by Sonoma County’s signature rolling hills where market-goers will be able to linger with friends and family and enjoy the Market’s always popular prepared foods in an unhurried atmosphere. SROCFM’s wide array of special events, including Earth Day, Heirloom Tomato Tasting and Honor the Gravenstein Apple day, will be held there.

Board member Savita Wilder said, “The Market is honored to have been selected by WELLS FARGO CENTER FOR THE ARTS to be a partner in its commitment to serve the local community.”

The non-profit WELLS FARGO CENTER FOR THE ARTS is an independent, community service organization whose mission is to enrich, educate and entertain through community use of its varied campus facilities, and has a long history of bringing together artists and farmers. “The Market sees many potential benefits from collaborative engagement with people who are in tune with our own mission to build community in these vulnerable times” said Paula Downing, longtime market manager.

The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market will continue to showcase the diversity of its local farming community, together with the unique small-batch specialty items, prepared foods, crafts and related services for which it is known. Familiar vendors will be there with a wide choice of fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables; artisanal cheeses and free-range eggs; pasture-fed meat and poultry from family farms; fresh and smoked fish; local honey and hearth breads; veggie starts and flowering plants; and selected crafts, including fine pottery, wooden ware, jewelry and fiber arts. Popular massage and knife-sharpening services will continue to be offered.

Vendor’s festive tents will be visible to travelers on Highway 101, and permanent signs will give details of SROCFM’s Wednesday and Saturday morning markets to passers-by. The Market and its vendors will also enjoy enhanced visibility through inclusion in the promotion of complementary events at WELLS FARGO CENTER FOR THE ARTS and on its website.

“Nearby communities will have the opportunity to discover both the Market’s bounty and the pleasure of developing a personal relationship with local growers and crafters,” Ms. Downing said. “Opportunities will exist as well for new vendors to market their goods and connect with new customers.”

A beloved local institution, the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market was recently voted “Best Farmers Market in Sonoma County” by The Bohemian readers for the second consecutive year. The Market began life in 1967 as four farmers meeting informally once a week, and was one of the first farmers markets to become certified in 1979 under the new California program. Today, SROCFM is a registered non-profit Mutual Benefit Corporation with over 150 vendors, governed by a voluntary, seven-member board of directors, all of them farmers or crafters themselves. It is one of the last farmers markets in California to be run by farmers for farmers.

The Market has accepted CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps) since August 2010. It has applied for and received matching grants totaling $5,000 in extra funds to enable the purchase of fruits and vegetables by its CalFresh customers. “We are proud of our efforts to bring quality, fresh, delicious food to underserved families in the community,” said Ms. Downing.

The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market is a founding member of SAVOR (Sonoma Alliance for Veggie Outreach Revolution), a collaboration of several Sonoma County human service organizations. On the second Saturday of each month during high season, SAVOR hosts events at the market which include visiting chefs, gardening classes, children’s entertainment and crafts, and visiting physicians who educate customers about “Food as Medicine”.

SROCFM is currently participating in a study, in conjunction with Wholesome Wave Foundation and Vista Medical Center physicians, designed to determine if a diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits purchased at the farmers market can improve the health of pregnant women at risk for gestational diabetes.

The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market will relocate to WELLS FARGO CENTER FOR THE ARTS on May 19, 2012. Until it does, SROCFM will continue at the parking lot of the Santa Rosa Veteran’s Hall, corner of Maple and Brookwood Avenues. Market hours are from 8:30 to noon on Wednesday mornings and from 8:30AM to 1PM on Saturdays, year-round, rain or shine.

WELLS FARGO CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 50 Mark West Springs Road, is located along Highway 101 at the north end of Santa Rosa. From the River Road exit it is ¼ mile east on Mark West Springs Road.