The Arboretum Joins SC Farmers’ Markets!
by Linda Lane
A core mission of the Arboretum is to interact regularly with the surrounding community. As one new venture, the Arboretum set up its first-ever booth at the Santa Cruz Downtown Farmers' Market for two Wednesdays in December. This endeavor was so successful the Arboretum has been invited to participate during the 2017 holiday season, beginning the week prior to Thanksgiving and ending just before Christmas, at both the Downtown and Westside locations. Throughout the year, the Arboretum will also participate at other seasonal Farmers' Markets.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: the Arboretum will be at the downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market Wednesday, February 8, just in time for Valentine's Day!
Nesh Dhillon, Executive Director of the SC Community Farmers' Markets, views the Arboretum as "a great fit for the Downtown FM's Holiday craft fair. Our missions are similar and the added diversity of locally grown products is a benefit for the market and public. One of SCCFM's goals is to educate the public about agricultural issues both local and beyond. The addition of the Arboretum supports that initiative. We are proud to have such a world class program participate with the markets."
The idea to extend the Arboretum's annual November Gift & Wreath Sale to the Downtown Farmers' Market originated with Sherry Eisendorf, one of the long-standing volunteers and primary force behind the Visiting Artist program, in which local artists are invited to design and make a wreath as a donation to the November sale; the Farmers’ Market seemed a natural solution for reaching community members interested in supporting the Arboretum but unable to attend the sale or visit Norrie's Gift Shop at the gardens.
Katie Cordes, Volunteer Program Coordinator, explains why the Arboretum is excited to participate at the Farmers' Markets: "Though a part of the UCSC Campus, we are a self-supporting Friends Group of UCSC and as such, we must raise all of the funds for our various programs in conservation, research and education. One of our fundraisers is the Wreath and Gift Sale every November for which an amazing group of volunteers make wreaths and other one-of-a-kind crafts. Having a presence at the Farmers' Market not only provides an additional venue to showcase the work of our talented volunteers, it also reminds the broader Santa Cruz community that the Arboretum is a wonderful place to visit and support, either through financial donations or volunteering.”
Some of the unique creations made by Arboretum volunteers that were available at the Downtown Farmers' Market (with similar items now available at Norrie's Gift Shop) are showcased below:
Exquisite hanging globe terrariums filled with succulents
Decorative items/toys, wreaths, whimsical planters
The Arboretum is always looking for more volunteers! If you'd like to get involved, all of the volunteer opportunities, including weekly shifts currently available at Norrie’s Gift & Garden Shop, can be found on our volunteer opportunities webpage.