Through a combination of funding from the Placer Get Fresh Project and the Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grant, CWN staff facilitate the acceptance of SNAP/EBT benefits at the Auburn DeWitt Center Farmers’ Market. Mary Pierce is the owner of Pierce’s Family Farm and serves as the on-site manager of the Auburn DeWitt Center Farmers’ Market. Mary has been selling fruits, vegetables, and eggs grown on her family farm at this farmers’ market for nine years and offers customers heirloom tomatoes, elephant garlic, eggplant, peppers, broccoli, peaches and more throughout the season. Mary has been an instrumental advocate of the EBT booth at the market and her magnanimous personality played a significant role in getting all of the qualifying vendors to participate in the program.
Mid-way through market season, CWN staff facilitated a gleaning project donating fresh produce from market vendors to the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet. The food closet is committed to providing the healthiest options it can, but often struggles with securing an adequate supply of fresh produce to meet the needs of its clients. All the fresh produce vendors at the Auburn DeWitt Center Farmers’ Market donated to the food closet throughout the season: over 200 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables were secured! When asked why she chooses to donate her produce, Mary says, “People need to eat good food and they need access. That’s what farming is all about: feeding people.” “Small Farm, Big Flavor” is the Pierce’s Family Farm motto, but it could just as well be “Small Farm, Big Hearts”. Mary says that her husband really enjoys growing good food and they love to celebrate the abundance of their farm by giving food to people. According to Mary, “Real food makes people happy.” She says that as a farmer, she’s teaching people about food…real food…and flavor.
Other contributing vendors include Rodriguez Brothers, Ortega Family Farm, Brenner Farm, Four C- Sons, and Salle Orchards. We thank all of them for a fantastic 2016 market season and look forward to our time with them in market season 2017.