History of Shasta Growers Association
In 1977 the California Department of Food And Agriculture established the Certified Farmers Market program, a few enterprising folks from People of Progress started Shasta Growers Association, believed to be the first certified farmer’s market in the state.
The first markets were held on Parkview Drive under the trees at the old city hall. After a few years the market moved to the Mount Shasta Mall about where Outback Steak House is located now. It was an excellent location until we were forced to move because of the new mall construction. We relocated to the North-West corner of the mall parking lot on Hilltop Drive. That was a poor location because of sloping ground, obstacles with the islands and inconvenient customer parking. After about two months we moved to the upper parking lot of the down town mall across California Street from the Lorenz Hotel. Murals on the wall reflect our presence there. It was a good location in spite of the vendors wearing their shoes off sideways and runaway apples and melons rolling down the incline. It was tough on our wheelchair customers negotiating the slope as well.
We finally got the opportunity to move to move to the city hall parking lot off Cypress Street. It was a very good location until we got notice in 2013 that we had to move to make room for the new police station. We were offered the parking area behind the city hall off Parkview Drive. After 36 years we have come full circle back to near our original site.
Our flagship market has always been on Saturday mornings from April to December. In 1996 we began our satellite markets, the first was Market fest at Library Park on Thursday afternoons and Turtle Bay on Sunday mornings. Our Marilyn Miller Market was started in 1997 at the Shasta Center near Dairy Queen on Churn Creek Road on Tuesday mornings. The Montgomery Creek/Round Mountain market ran for only two years from 1999 on Tuesday afternoons. The Burney market began in 2000 on Wednesday afternoons and continues to serve our Eastern county customers. For one season we tried an unsuccessful market in Bella Vista. And in 2005 we began the Anderson market on Thursday mornings, first at the fair grounds and now at the Shasta Outlets parking lot.
There is the misconception that a certified farmer’s market means that all the produce offered is organically grown - not so. The county agriculture department where the vendor grows the produce certifies that the vendor grows all the produce he sells. Certified organic vendors must also be certified by a certifying inspection agency that verifies that the grower is following established organic practices.
Shasta Growers Association, as the name implies, by policy prefers to accept members from Shasta and adjacent counties to keep to the principle of "Locally grown". We strive to provide quality produce at reasonable prices. You have the opportunity to know the farmer and his/her growing practices, try new and unusual produce and how to prepare it. By supporting the local farmers you keep your dollars near home.