We have several exciting changes to our market this year!
Collective Roots is excited to announce that we have initiated a seedling project in a greenhouse facility nestled in East Palo Alto. This is an amazing opportunity for Collective Roots, as we want to grow seedlings for our Backyard Gardeners Network and also grow a number of tomatoes, squash, peppers, herbs and other plants to sell during the spring to support our programs.
Owned by Katherine “Kat” Connors, a research manager at Stanford and volunteer with the Food Empowerment Project, the greenhouse will represent a true partnership to improve the health and the community life for East Palo Alto residents. In 2014, Kat and her husband, Ben, acquired the property, formerly operated as a commercial ferns nursery. They were excited to partner with local organizations dedicated to growing organic food for our local communities.
Collective Roots just started to grow 1,500 seedlings and herbs inside one of the hoop houses. We also want to utilize the space as a learning center for local residents and gardeners.
On Jan. 18, to honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, an enthusiastic group of 20 volunteers, including high school students, and families with children, gathered at the site of Collective Roots’ new greenhouse to help us “break the ground” and start our community seedlings production. They helped us clean the facility, wash pots and trays, and fill the trays with soil mix. The children were so excited to sow the seeds and create labels to place in the planters.
But our work is not done yet. Spring is a busy time in the greenhouse and we can always use more help. Volunteers can help with watering and monitoring seedlings and learn techniques such as sowing seeds and transplanting.
Please e-mail email@example.com if you are interested in being one of our greenhouse project volunteers or if you have any questions about related opportunities.
Six months most certainly does fly by! Yes the EPA Farmers Market 2015 season has officially come to its end. 2015 was a very exciting year as we have seen the beginning of a new stage of growth for Collective Roots and the East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market. For me, it was my first time experience and I really enjoyed every minute of it!
The Collective Roots' EPA Farmers’ Market has become crucial in ensuring affordable, healthy food access for the East Palo Alto community, while supporting local family farms.
We loved seeing the neighborhood of East Palo Alto gather together to meet up with friends and family and enjoy the fresh vegetable and fruit, and kids activities. It was wonderful to be a gathering place for the community during the summer.
We truly appreciate the hard work of our committed market vendors. Our vendors have worked hard to harvest the produce the night before the market and they had to get up very early in the morning to drive up to East Palo Alto and provide healthy food to our underserved community.
Let’s take a look of our main accomplishments:
- Over 3,000 families attended the Farmers’ Market in the 6 months we were open in 2015
- 40% of families visiting the market utilized our Fresh Checks matching program, accounting for 78% (or $34k worth) of the $43k+ total produce sold. Over $3k CalFresh (EBT) and 1,5k in WIC vouchers were spent directly at the market
- For those participating families, we were able to double their purchasing power by giving a total of $17k in matching funds to buy produce (enabling them to purchase $34k worth of produce)
Watch out for this upcoming season it will be bigger and with a wider variety of fresh food! See everyone again in the Spring!
Raffaella, Market Manager
Raffaella, Market Manager