The FoodShed Project (FSP) is an education and outreach program of the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets (SCCFM) which highlights the significant work being rolled out by farmers, food artisans and community partners in the nearest regions of our foodshed. Check out some photos to get a feel for these events which offer interactive mini-classes, hands-on activities and storytelling at the market. All events are free, family friendly and hosted at the Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market. Presentations run 3-4pm. Foodshed Fact Hunt and Art Table runs 2-5pm. Music and other festivities 4-5pm.

What is a Food Shed?

A foodshed is a geographic region that supplies a population center with food. The term is often used to describe the movement of food from producer to consumer (Hedden,1929) considering all points along the way including labor, processing, transport, waste and so on.

Our Events

Using the public space of SCCFM farmers’ markets, FSP orchestrates a free event each month in which tastings, talks, music, cooking demonstrations, and family-focused activities spotlight seasonal food items, the vendors growing them, the cooks using them and the cultural and historical role they have played in this region. Our goal is to promote relationship building among farmers, restaurants, grocers, individuals and organizations through the frame of ecological farming and food justice.

The monthly events of the Foodshed Project are hosted at the Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market the second Wednesday of each month between June and September. The majority of presenters at these events are the farmers and vendors who, through their stories and activities, illuminate the history of specific foods and agricultural practices while putting delicious tastings of pesto and honeyed pastries in the hands of customers.

FSP also partners with food-focused organizations, offering a venue for local leaders, young and old, to educate the community about food justice issues and inspire us to make the most informed consumer decisions possible within the global foodshed we are a part of.

Please contact Nicki Zahm with questions or if you would like to volunteer, or (831) 325-4294.


2018 FoodShed Project Series

The 2018 season has come to an end. Thank you to all who participated and brought these events to life – it really is magic. We look forward to the 2019 season. Keep your eyes peeled, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out about the next season when it is announced.

SHEEP DREAMS, June 13th at 3pm
GARDEN VARIETY CHEESE owner Rebecca King shares the secrets behind her glorious sheep yogurt. Meet the animals and learn about the ranch. Then join Cesario Ruiz of MY MOM’S MOLE as he demos fabulous ways to work with this probiotic in your daily diet.

AVOCADO IS MY MOTTO July 11th at 3pm
A multi-generational farm in Cambria, STEPLADDER RANCH integrates orchard keeping and animal care specializing in avocado trees. Join us for an interactive, educational session. Then, taste this nutty, creamy fruit atop something new and just for you with Amanda Pargh of BURN FERMENTED HOT SAUCE.

PLUOTS FOR THOUGHT, August 8th at 3pm
Nacho and Cassie of TWIN GIRLS FARM travel the distance to share their expertise regarding the precious pluot and all of its relatives. Then the PENNY ICE CREAMERY breaks down the steps of ice-cream making and serves up a perfectly prepared sorbet tasting.

ENCHANTED EGGPLANT, September 12th at 3pm
Greg Beccio of HAPPY BOY FARMS shines a light on eggplant and all of its enchanting facets. Then Jessica of MOUNTAIN FEED & FARM SUPPLY provides all the tools to put this fabulous fruit at the center of your late summer food festivities.

Youth graduates from local food justice organization FOODWHAT head up fun, educational activities for all ages — 3 to 103 — at the FOODSHED PROJECT events. Graduates of the Museum of Art and History’s youth group SUBJECTS TO CHANGE will be leading a art activities in the 2018 season. Woo hoo!


2017 FoodShed Project Series


COURAGEOUS CARROTS, June 14th at 3pm
SERENDIPITY FARM’S Jamie Collins breaks down the details on this valiant veggie. Why sweeter in the winter? Why short, tall, skinny, chubby? Hands on learning followed by COMPANION BAKESHOP with carrot, cardamom creations for YOU.

IT’S YOU AND ME, RASPBERRY July 12th at 3pm
VASQUEZ FARM does berries right. Growing brambles in Moss Landing since the 80s, Esther and Rudy share their secrets regarding planting and maintaining this perennial fruit. Then perfectly paired, the PENNY ICE CREAMERY serves up ice cream tastings with cold and curious combinations.

YOU SAY POTATO, August 9th at 3pm
Kelly and Beth of OLD HOUSE FARM reveal the unknown when it comes to this beloved tuber: red potato, blue potato, old potato, new potato. Then learn to cook it right at home with BURN FERMENTED HOT SAUCE’S Amanda Pargh. Think potato snacks and pickled things; tater tots meet kimchi.

THE OCEAN MOTION, September 13th at 3pm
Join local maven Hans Haverman of H&H FRESH FISH for the fishy facts on our local seafood industry. A chef and a fisherman in one, enjoy marine morsels of the finest kind while he delivers the down low about Monterey Bay catch.