Another Successful Finland Farmers Market Season Ends!
by Katee Ristuccia, Finland Farmers Market Coordinator
A big thank you to all our vendors and supporters that came out to supply and purchase delicious locally sourced food and sustain our local farms! What a entertaining year of both live music and weekly food demos we all shared.
This summer we had musicians from all over the state and country treat us to their own flavors of tunes, and spoil us with their talent every week! You could find Country, Jazz, Blues, Old Time, Classic Hits, Trad, original compositions, and even a one man band with an accordion, (Steven Solkela pictured left) jamming down at the market this summer! Dan Cahill Mathews helped facilitate food demos with plenty of special guests chefs (pictured right, Alma Mitchell, making pasta) sharing recipes featuring in-season ingredients from our local producers to share with the community. We learned how to make delicious salsas, slaws, salads and fish during the demos, (with samples!!), how to make DIY planters, and even a demo on wild rice harvesting and how to make your own rice knockers!
Despite the uncertain conditions of a wildfire raging through our forests this summer, the community really came together, and was able to improvise at the drop of a hat, temporarily relocating the market to the Finland Heritage Center while the Clair Nelson Center was being utilized as a command center for all the incredible firefighters that helped to protect our homes and forest. THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS! Around 20 community members showed up to help last minute to set up giant tents down at the Heritage site to host both the Farmers Market and Finland Youth Night. So a big thanks to everyone who helped set that up! I am continually impressed and inspired by the community here and have been filled with gratitude to be involved in all the wonderful things we’ve got going on!
We had over 17 families participate in our Power of Local program which was able to distribute several hundred dollars over the course of the summer to kids age 3-15 and elders 65+ to spend with our local vendors. We had over 1550 people of all ages coming together to share laughs, food, and even some dance numbers! The Finland Food Chain/Friends of Finland has been working hard to help facilitate SO many incredible opportunities to make nourishing food accessible to our community and there are lots of exciting ideas for the future. So thanks to all the folks on the Finland Food Chain for doing what they do, and helping to empower healthy relationships with this land, ourselves and each other.
We are currently planning to host 3 winter markets; one in each November, January, and March at the Clair Nelson Center (stay tuned for dates!). These markets will be indoors, and will also be open to local makers/crafters to sell their wares. (No multi-level-sales, or re-sale products, please. We want to feature products that are locally made, and if possible, locally sourced; i.e. handmade soap, knit/crocheted washcloths, hand-made art, homespun yarn). See you then!