Almanac

News - March 20, 2013

New farmers' market in Woodside

by Barbara Wood

Woodside residents interested in purchasing locally produced food directly from its producers will soon have one more option very close to home: a weekly farmers' market right in the middle of town, at Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road.

The plan is to operate the market from noon to 4 p.m. every Sunday afternoon, starting April 7.

The school's governing board on March 12 approved allowing a market to open on its grounds while the town tries to figure out if it can approve the market operators' original request to site the market in the Town Center public parking lot near Town Hall.

The request for the new market came from Maggie Foard, who is managing the Mountain Goat Farmers' Market, which opened last fall in the Skylonda Four Corners shopping area, at the intersection of highways 84 and 35.

For those unable to wait until April 7 and willing to make the drive up the hill, the Skylonda market will reopen on Wednesday, March 20, and be open weekly on Wednesdays from 2 to 6 p.m., with hours lengthening to 7 p.m. in the summer.

Ms. Foard said her first choice for a market day in central Woodside is Saturday, but competition for parking with youth sports and the Woodside Library made the Sunday time slot preferable. The market day may move to Saturdays when school is out for the summer, she said.

The market will be certified by the San Mateo County Agriculture Department, which requires that farmers' market food be sold by its producers. Ms. Foard said that produce from the school's garden may also be sold at the market, with the Agriculture Department offering to waive its fee for certifying the gardens.

The Woodside Farmers' Market at the school will have a maximum of 16 vendors, with choices such as organic produce, honey, nuts and nut butters, organic olive oil, chocolates, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, fair-trade coffee, local wild and sustainable seafood and oysters, and a weekly rotation of cheeses from producers who make their own cheeses from milk produced on their farms.

A few other specialty food items such as empanadas and baked goods from the Flour Chylde gluten-free bakery will be available, as well as selection of native plants, Ms. Foard said.

The Mountain Goat market was originally shut down by the town soon after it opened last fall. It was soon allowed to reopen once a way was found to modify the use permit for the parking lot where it is held.

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