|Hoodland Farmers Market returns for fifth year with big changes posted on 05/01/2022|
When Kate Brauner found out that the Market Manager for the
Hoodland Farmers Market was ready to pass the reigns of the job to someone
else, she decided to take the plunge.
“It was just a really cool opportunity to increase community
in my hometown and (increase) food access,” said Brauner, who grew up in
Welches and knew the previous manager, Lauren Carusona.
And that’s not the only thing new for the market, which has
offered fresh produce and more to Mountain residents every summer since 2018.
The market will have a new time and day of the week, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
Saturdays from May 28 to Oct. 1, and a new location at the Church on the
Mountain (68301 Hwy. 26 in Welches).
“This makes it more accessible to families with young
children,” Brauner said. “I want it to be a community hub.”
The market will bring back a number of familiar vendors
(along with a few new ones), with Roots Farm, Hoodhills Farm, Frances Waddell
Art, La Fountain Herbal, Hood Soaps, Heart Song Ceramics, White River Healings
and Root and Wallow Farm already signed up, with the possibility that more will
Brauner also plans on expanding the market’s offerings and
keeping shoppers around longer by adding musical performances, children’s
activities and hot food on site, including sausages by Root and Wallow Farm.
In addition, the market will accept Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
“So everyone can enjoy the market and it’s not a novelty,”
explained Brauner, who is also currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in
Agriculture. “It’s something that can benefit all parts of the community.”
This is Brauner's first venture into running a farmer’s
market, but she has had experience as an organizer and in community outreach.
She noted that the amount of work involved was “trickier” than she expected,
but she has other ideas for the market, including creating new local jobs and
offering youth internships.
“That’s kind of my goal, moving into that direction; not
only supporting farmers and healthy food access, but labor as well,” Brauner
said. “I’m really happy with the way it’s shaping up.”
The market can be supported through its page on
www.gofundme.com. For more information, find the market on Facebook and
Instagram, and anyone interested in volunteering can email
By Garth Guibord/MT