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What is the St. Helena Farmers' Market?

The mission of the St. Helena Farmers’ Market is to bring the finest fresh produce, crafts, specialty food and other items and services to local residents and visitors, while providing a social gathering place and educational resource for the community that promotes good nutrition and a healthy life style. As one of only a handful of Farmers' Markets in the country that has 501(c)3 status, our non-profit educational program offers classes and events for kids throughout the year, both at school and at the Market Classroom during the season. School-aged children are a crucial audience for our educational outreach efforts because engaging them directly with the growers who put food on the tables, and focusing on tasty and nutritious food, is the first step in establishing a pattern of improved eating as adults. For real, long-term change in our food system, we must help to create the next generation of thoughtful food consumers.

What will I find at the Market?

Depending on when you visit, you will find a variety of certified organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables, farm eggs, nuts, cheese, meat, olive oils and fresh flowers. Some vendors offer locally made crafts such as jewelry, knitted and leather items. The Market’s General Store offers a large variety of adult, kid and infant merchandise featuring the Market’s beloved Tractor Logo and the winning artwork from the Annual School Healthy Art Competition. Other vendors offer prepared foods such as tamales and baked goods. We also have a fresh fish vendor to complement the agricultural products for sale. You will also be able to watch a Chef’s Demonstration at the Chef’s Table, listen to a Lecture at the Market’s Classroom, support a Local Non-Profit Organization, take the kids to the Kids’ Story Time and listen to music from local Musicians.

Who Operates the St. Helena Farmers' Market?

The St. Helena Farmers’ Market is run by a part-time Market Manager and Market Educator and is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors from the community.

What does is cost to run the Farmers' Market? Does the Market have regular business expenses?

It costs over $130,000 per year to run the Market. This includes funds to cover the cost of our four employees, insurance, equipment, supplies and crafts for our kid's programs, tools and equipment for our Chef's Table and importantly, funds for our $1 for $1 EBT match program

Where can I park?

The Market has three parking lots. Two on Crane Avenue adjacent to the tennis courts, and one on Grayson Avenue adjacent to the High School Track and Field (please do not use the Primary School parking lot). There is street parking as well. During the School Year, there may be more traffic around 8:15-8:30 a.m. as students arrive at the adjacent school

Do I need to bring my own Shopping Bag to the Market?

The City of St. Helena’s single-use bag reduction ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2015. There is an exemption for produce bags (no handles), which farmers may provide, however, you will need to bring your own bags to carry your items or you may purchase a reusable bag at the Market’s General Store.

Where is the Vendor that I bought produce from last week?

While most of our vendors come every week, some come only on certain days. Please visit the “Meet our Vendors” page on our website or ask the Ed Smith, the Market Manager if you are looking for a specific vendor.

How can I apply to conduct a Chef's Demo at the Market's Chef's Table?

If you are a local Chef/Author and would like to promote yourself and your business, please contact: Gayle Davies, Market Educator, phone 707 287-2933 | e-mail

Can I use my Debit or Credit Card at the Market?

Cash is always preferred but most vendors, including the Market’s General Store, do accept credit and debit cards. Vendors also honor WIC and EBT is available at the Market’s General Store.

Why does the Market have Sponsors?

Our volunteer board works hard and exercises careful fiscal management, but we cannot survive and grow without Sponsor Support. Vendors’ fees cover the basic cost of operating the Market. In order to keep vendors’ fees as low as possible and still fund our Educational Programs, the Market solicits sponsors to fund these programs. In addition, the Market holds fundraising events, receives numerous in-kind donations, benefits from the support of volunteers, and cultivates community partners.

Uh Oh, I lost something at the Market

Please contact Market Manager, Ed Smith: phone.486.2099 | email Look for Ed at the Market in his bright orange vest!

How old is the St. Helena Farmers' Market?

We are now in our 38th season, making us one of St. Helena’s oldest small businesses.

How does the St. Helena Farmers' Market support local small businesses?

Our Market offers a cost-effective way for farmers, food purveyors and local small businesses to reach customers.

What is a Certified Farmers' Market? Is the St. Helena Farmers' Market a CFM?

CFMs have been approved by the County Agricultural Commissioner. At a CFM, certified Farmers sell directly to the public agricultural products that they have grown. The St. Helena Farmers’ Market is a Certified Farmers’ Market.

Is the St. Helena Farmers' Market a non-profit organization?

Yes, we are one of the few Farmers’ Markets that has Non-profit 501c3 status for our educational programs. This means donations are tax-deductible.

Are our Board Members paid?

No. All of our board members volunteer their time and talents.

Who Operates the St. Helena Farmers' Market?

The St. Helena Farmers’ Market is run by a part-time Market Manager and Market Educator and is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors from the community.

Can I bring my dog to the Market

California Health & Safety Code 114259.5 stipulates that live animals are not allowed at certified Farmers’ Markets. Service dogs are welcome but pets are not allowed at the Farmers’ Market. Please leave your pet at home or at a safe place outside of the Market.

How do I become a vendor?

Please visit the “Become a Vendor” section of our website.

Does the Market allow Community Organizations to set up a table at the Market?

The St. Helena Farmers’ Market is proud to offer the market as a resource to other community-based nonprofits. Space is held for groups conducting educational outreach related to our organization’s mission and values. There is no charge for tabling. No sales are permitted from community booths and pre-approval from the Market Manager is required. If you are interested in tabling at our Market, please contact Ed Smith, Market Manager, phone.486.2099 | email

How do I become a SHFM Volunteer?

We welcome volunteers to staff the General Store at the market. You’ll be there to answer questions and sell merchandise. It’s fun and you’ll be working for a great cause. Please contact, Ed Smith, Market Manager, phone.486.2099 | email

Can I use my EBT Card/WIC Checks at the Market?

We are proud to welcome Food Stamp Households to shop at our market. In order to participate, Participants must receive an EBT Card, which operates like a Debit Card. Please visit our market's General Store to have your EBT Card processed. You will then be able to visit our farmers, growers, cheese makers, and bakers to purchase food items with wooden coins. Eligible items for purchase include: fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and poultry, dairy products, breads and cereals, and seeds and plants which produce food. Hot foods cannot be purchased using Food Stamp benefits. We are also pleased to welcome WIC (Women, Infants, Children Supplemental Nutrition Program) and WIC's Senior Nutrition Program at our Market. WIC is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants, children and seniors. It helps families by providing WIC checks for buying healthy supplemental foods from WIC-authorized vendors. Participants must meet income guidelines and be pregnant women, new mothers, infants, children under age five or seniors. WIC checks can be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, edible herbs and fresh. They cannot be used to purchase non-produce foods including honey, nuts, eggs, baked goods, flowers, or dried fruit. WIC checks can be given directly to participating growers for the produce.

Why does the Market offer additional Programs and Events?

Market programs and special events are the vehicles for enacting the Market’s educational goals. We believe if the market is to continue to grow and flourish it is critical to educate consumers on the value of supporting regional agriculture. Funding for these activities is raised through sponsors and in-kind donations.

Does weekly booth set-up really start at 5:30am?

Yes. Our part-time employees and volunteers arrive well before dawn to direct booth set-up and work past noon for break-down. There’s a lot more that goes into logistics than just having vendors show up and “pitch tents.”

What happens to the unsold produce at the end of our weekly markets?

Many of our farmers choose to donate unsold produce to the St. Helena Food Pantry to help feed the hungry in our community.

Could local farms exist without our Farmers' Markets?

It would be difficult. We are a primary – and sometimes the only – way small, local farmers can sell their products and maintain their crops and livestock. If you believe in locally-grown products and sustainable farming, please support your community’s Farmers’ Market!

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