Blink and you’ll miss Redding’s newest farmers’ market, tucked alongside Enterprise Health Foods on Hartnell Avenue. So, keep your eyes wide open. You don’t want to miss this little Thursday night gem, or the passionate people from the Mountain Growers Association, who head down from the hills every week to bring healthy food choices to an under-served part of town.
“We’re still watering and nurturing,” Mary Pryde said of the young market. She and her husband Kevin are co-owners of Enterprise Health Foods. It may take some time for shoppers to discover the new spot, but Mary and Kevin are enthusiastic. “Better food choices are always a positive thing,” said Mary, who is proud to sponsor the first farmers’ market in her corner of Redding.
Kevin and Mary lobbied for a farmers’ market in their Hartnell Avenue parking lot for years before joining forces with the Mountain Growers. Enterprise Health Foods is the third venue for the Shingletown- and Manton-based farmers who also sell their wares closer to home in Shingletown and Palo Cedro.
Don’t let the market’s small size fool you. You’ll find all the necessities – bright, sweet produce from Ally Gold Farm and free-range eggs from Hillman Farms – but you’ll also get a taste of what makes the Mountain Growers unique. “Our farmers are an interesting group,” said Michelle Heino, resident goat herder and association president. “We’re more diverse than other farmers’ markets,” she said about the eclectic mix of food producers that make up the Mountain Growers.
The variety of wares is closer to what you’ll find in a large urban souk, or Arab market. You’ll learn about native extracts and herbs from Ted Dawson and nosh on barbequed ribs and grilled veggie pizzas from Fresco Farms. While you’re there, take a goat soap or cheese-making classes from Michelle Heino in Enterprise’s cool indoor classroom.
Education is a key component of the Enterprise market. In addition to soap and cheese-making, market-goers can learn how to keep bees and backyard chickens. Bring the kids along for a little home-grown education. The market’s “Little Sprouts” program, sponsored by Enterprise, Wyntour Gardens and other fans of fresh food, features a weekly activity, like unearthing worms or catching ladybugs. Kids get to take creatures home to release in their gardens and spend a “Little Sprouts Buck,” redeemable for their choice of fresh produce from any of the vendors.
So, Saturday at City Hall might seem like the place to be for produce, but spend a Thursday night after work with the Mountain Growers. This new, low-key market on Redding’s east side might just be your new favorite place for local grub.
Adam Mankoski enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State weekend events to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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