Totes at St. Helena Farmers' Market

A selection of reusable Tote and Mesh Produce Bags are available for purchase at the General Store at the St. Helena Farmers’ Market, which is held from 7:30 a.m. to noon every Friday through Oct. 25 at St. Helena’s Crane Park.

When I first discovered the Farmers’ Market, I bought a market basket to carry purchases as I shopped. So much easier than trying to juggle all those plastic bags full of fruits and veg.

Then Wise Wendy at the Market General Store introduced me to these little nylon bags you can use instead of plastic bags, wash your produce right in the bag and store. This really appealed to my sense of reuse.

It got me thinking. What else could I do to make my shopping experience easier and help vendors be more sustainable and eco-conscious?

First, make sure you have that market basket – Bon Ton Studio has a nice selection of palm market totes or choose an oilcloth sack from Alma’s Oilcloth. You know those little plastic baskets that berries come in? Well put the empties in your market tote and re-fill them at any of our berry vendors. Or offer them back to any of the produce vendors as they are happy to reuse them. Our vendors share our goal of lower waste so any bag you have that can be reused is appreciated. If you have forgotten your reusable bag, head to the General Store and borrow a Cloth Tote Bag from the Market’s Reusable Bag Swap Program. Just return it freshly washed or donate another.

Ever taste the delicious fresh juices at The Fruit Tree? Well, bring the jar back, refill it and get a discount. Bring an empty vase to Aztec Dahlias and they will fill it with fresh dahlias.

And, of course, those little nylon produce sacks are available at the General Store along with grocery totes for purchase – they make great hostess gifts! So stock up, fill, refill and reuse.

And don’t forget to stop by the Lecture Tent at 10:30 a.m. where Zac Yoder, Culinary Garden Manager for The Charter Oak and The Restaurant at Meadowood will speak about “Culinary Farming Lessons for the Home Garden.”

And Kid’s Market Classroom for Musical Story Time starts at 9:30 a.m. and “Color Play” projects from 10-11:30 a.m. with Amanda Tuttle, who makes a special return appearance!

The St. Helena Farmers’ Market is held in Crane Park every Friday from 7:30 a.m. to noon through Oct. 25. For the most up-to-date information, please visit us at sthelenafarmersmkt.org, sign up for the Market’s weekly online Newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

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Ann Costelloe is a member of the St. Helena Farmers’ Market Board of Directors and an enthusiastic lover of all things organic and St. Helena!