by Mimi Adams
So begins another year, and what an exciting few months lie ahead for the Napa Farmers Market. As the new assistant market manager, I’ve had a lot to learn, and it has also been my first year in Napa. I couldn’t have picked a better way to get myself involved in the Napa community than spending every Saturday (and Tuesdays, April through September) with thousands of Napans shopping for fresh local produce, specialty foods and artisanal goods.
In my few months on the job, I’ve discovered just how much I love fresh, organic vegetables. Besides improving my eating habits, I’ve been able to share my love for local veggies on the radio. Tune into KVON 1440 AM on the first Friday of every month for “Market Moments with Mimi.” That’s when I discuss with “Wine Country Live” host Barry Martin and market manager Cara Mae Wooledge the health benefits and fun facts about our harvest-of-the-month produce picks. Stop by the market’s Donation Station, next to the information booth, for citrus tasting all winter long.
Part of my job is to support the market’s fresh food donation program. Every market day, we encourage customers to buy a little extra produce and drop it off at the donation station. These fruits and vegetables are added to the produce donated by our farmers at the end of the market and taken to the Napa Food Bank by Napa Valley CanDo volunteers.
Finally, you may have seen me walking around the market with the Story Time bell and our beloved mascot, Bok Bok Choy the Chicken. I’m trying to round up our littlest customers for some read-aloud time at the Education Station.
My short time on the job has coincided with change as we searched for a new home for the market. Moving our market presented challenges. However, it also offered the opportunity to gather staff, board members, volunteers, vendors and customers around a common goal. Watching our community rally behind the market to help us secure a new location at the Napa Valley Expo has made it clear how lucky I am to be part of this family.
If you are wondering how you can support the Napa Farmers Market, the short answer is to shop there. We need customers to turn out every Saturday, rain or shine. The Napa Farmers Market is resourceful and resilient.
Whatever curveballs nature throws at us, we are prepared to “Keep Calm and Farmers Market On.” We want to be not just a place to shop, but also a hub for the community during stressful times.
We are entering our second year as a year-round market. Despite the rainy weather, we’re off to a good start with 30 percent more vendors than last year. Now we need you, our customers, to make it worthwhile for these new vendors to keep coming. Your market patronage during the winter months will help support the Napa Farmers Market all year.
Share the good news about our year-round Saturday market with friends. Even better, bring them with you. Many Napans still don’t know that we’re open every Saturday. Telling your family and friends that we’re a year-round market will help us boost attendance during the winter months.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Napa Farmers Market, and here’s to big, exciting changes in 2020.
Herby Cauliflower Salad with Chickpeas
This recipe is adapted from inspiredtaste.net.
1 medium cauliflower, 1 3/4 to 2 pounds, separated into small florets
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, dill or mint
1/2 cup chopped pickled red onions or pepperoncini, optional
Season the florets with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt until creamy and emulsified.
Add the chickpeas, herbs, onions and the dressing to the cauliflower. Toss until evenly coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper or lemon juice.
Marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally. The salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Mimi Adams is the assistant manager at the Napa Farmers Market.
Kids activities at the MarketBring your youngsters to the market Education Station on Saturdays for Story Time at 10:30 a.m. There might be coloring, matching games or other fun activities too.
Harvest of the MonthThrough January, enjoy comparative tastings of citrus and chard at the market’s Education Station at 11 a.m.