On Stands Now
June 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Farmers Market Recap and Upcoming Plans

Questa Farmers Market (QFM) opens for its eighth season on May 26, and will meet every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until early October, depending on local food production. Thank you for supporting your farmers market for many seasons!

Our mission is to support small farm, garden, and food-based businesses in northern Taos County, and youth through paid market internships and mentorship. We are a program of Localogy, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in Questa.

We organize a farmers market each Sunday during the growing season. Each season that we’re able to support our local food economy is a season that adds energy to small-scale agriculture and celebrates the communities of northern New Mexico and beyond.

Courtesy photo. Some of the 2023 market interns and mentors pose with Cucui at last October’s Cambalache

Our goals are to:

  • Strengthen the local food economy
  • Maintain a beautiful marketplace with educational gardens
  • Offer paid youth internships and adult mentorship positions
  • Distribute local food through the North Central Food Pantry
  • Irrigate gardens and trees at the market, keeping water rights in beneficial use
  • Participate in SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks, supporting equitable access to local food

2023 Season Highlights

In 2023, our youth interns and their mentors worked in visible and impactful roles at the farmers market, and in the local food system broadly at Cerro Vista Farm and the North Central Food Pantry.
We hired 20 teenagers and five adult mentors during last season. At the Sunday markets, mentor and intern teams made pizzas in the horno, ran a coffee stand, and Interns worked in vendor booths selling produce, baked goods, Frito pies, and more.

Our market accepts SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), a food benefit program that uses tokens at the market for food purchases, and tracks these exchanges. Our interns helped distribute tokens, worked with vendors, and tracked all vendors’ economic data every week.

Mentors, interns, and volunteers maintained the gardens at the market and planted a garden nearby, at Casas de Cultura, a Localogy project under the stewardship of artist and educator Scott Sutton.

Questa Stories

We offer thanks to QuestaStories.org—to Claire Coté and all of the storytellers who have contributed to the archive. We heard short stories at the market by tuning into story boxes. These stories are available online at QuestaStories.org and are collected under Voices de Aquí. Questa Stories is supporting individual, community, and cultural connection, facilitating understanding and resiliency through audio-visual story gathering and sharing. We look forward to hearing more from the communities of northern Taos County and southern Colorado this season.

2023 Economic Impact for QFM Vendors

QFM is an economic focal point, helping connect communities and visitors to local food, as well as showcase local music and talent. A farmers market helps us invest locally and strengthen our roots, rather than sending money elsewhere.

A shared source of wealth is hard to measure. One thing that we do is to measure and report annually on the economic value of the season. Our vendors earned $66,448 in 2023. On average there were 12 vendors and 300 customers each Sunday between the end of May through early October. This total includes: $26,595 in raw agricultural products (fruit/veg, eggs, honey); $32,817 in processed food (hot food, baked goods, pickles, preserves); and $7,036 in art and craft (handmade items, soaps). These exchanges and material support strengthen communal ties. Congratulations to our vendors on their hard work!

Photo by Gaea McGahee QFM Intern Amelia Hardy helps alongside other community members, adding local produce to clients’ boxes at the NCFP distribution in October 2023

Food Benefit Programs

More than ever, growing the local food system is up to all of us. You can find details about becoming a vendor on our website, at questafarmersmarket.org/for-vendors/.

To be able to offer SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks, at least 50 percent of what we sell must be raw farm goods/unprocessed local foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, meat, cheese). Local means grown within 100 miles of the market.

Vendors may also sell local prepared foods (SNAP-eligible) and value-added farm goods, and a very small percentage of handmade items or products, like salve and soap.

If you have SNAP benefits, you receive Double Up Food Bucks automatically when you use your EBT card at the market. When you take out an amount from your SNAP/EBT, for example, $20, you’ll get another $20 to spend on local fruits and vegetables, doubling your money.

Partners and Funding

We’re glad to have the opportunity to grow gardens and trees and create an inviting environment. The Questa Economic Development Fund (QEDF) owns the market site’s land. The on-site shipping container, donated by Questa Credit Union, has been invaluable to our program and for storing our garden tools. Over the years, we’ve built infrastructure (shelters, the horno, a dance floor); these improvements were possible with the financial support of the QEDF, the LOR Foundation, Taos Community Foundation, Chevron Grants for Good, the LANL Foundation, and through the work of community members and visiting volunteer groups. A Taos County American Rescue Plan Act Grant, awarded through TCF, was instrumental last season.

We’ve worked with Vida del Norte Coalition, Questa Stories, Questa Creative Council, Living Word Ministries, and other community nonprofits and individuals. Our program grows and adapts each year with the input of community voices. Thank you, all!