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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 take part.

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 hoodlandfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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