Center for Food and Agriculture

Center for Food and Agriculture2019-09-11T12:39:16-08:00

AIM is creating a world-class community gathering place dedicated to celebrating and educating about local and regional food and farms! This Bay Area landmark will include infrastructure improvements to our 35 year-old beloved Marin Farmers Market, and will feature experiential learning spaces and beautiful landscaping to bring the Bay Area together and elevate the importance of food and health.

The Marin Farmers Market and Center for Food and Agriculture will make healthy, locally and regionally grown food more accessible to people of all ages, abilities and economic capacities and educate eaters and farmers about sustainable practices in farming and food production. Ultimately, this project will offer a social return on investment through improvements in nutrition and public health, community food security, climate action, and economic development in Bay Area communities.

To create a world-class community gathering space in the Bay Area for all people to connect and learn about their local and regional food systems while honoring the past, present, and future of local agriculture and food production.

Better Farmers Market Infrastructure

For residents and visitors:

  • Shelter from rain, sun and wind
  • Permanent seating
  • Permanent restrooms
  • Hydration and wash station
  • Misting station
  • Marketing and signage for wayfinding
  • Enhanced information booth
  • Veggie valet/curbside pickup
  • Bicycle Parking
  • Family sanctuary

For farmers/producers:

  • Electricity (e.g., solar energy)
  • WiFi
  • Produce wash stations
  • Restrooms
  • Ice machine
  • Tie-downs for tents

Experiential Learning

Physical Space:

  • Teaching kitchen
  • Demonstration food garden
  • Children’s play space
  • Interactive digital displays

Programs:

  • Diggin’ the Market/Farmers Market tours
  • Nutrition education
  • Chef’s Corner/cooking demos
  • Culinary programs
  • Pollinator corridor
  • California Native Plans/UC Master Gardeners
  • Virtual reality experiences to the farm, sea, and ranch

Career Pathways

For farmers/producers:

  • Training and consultation for farmers and food purveyors
  • Food marketing materials and resources
  • Job board for recruiting market staff

For residents and job seekers:

  • Volunteer opportunities for older adults and students
  • Work experience opportunities for college students, encore careers, mothers returning to work, and county Employment & training participants

Community Building

  • Membership program
  • Activities for Civic Center employees and surrounding neighborhoods
  • Art installations/support for local artisans
  • Harvest talks/guest speakers
  • Food and farming dinners
  • Entertainment/Musicians at the market
  • Community space and conference rooms

Community Food Security

  • Nutrition benefit programs (CalFresh, WIC, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition)
  • Market match/bonus bucks
  • Senior-friendly farmers markets
  • Food recovery (ExtraFood.org)
  • Rollin’ Root storage and operations
  • Marin Food Policy Council/UC Cooperative Extension

Cultural Vitality

  • Nutrition benefit programs (CalFresh, WIC, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition)
  • Market match/bonus bucks
  • Senior-friendly farmers markets
  • Food recovery (ExtraFood.org)
  • Rollin’ Root storage and operations
  • Marin Food Policy Council/UC Cooperative Extension

Better Farmers Market Infrastructure: For the past 35 years, AIM has created a temporary farmers market in the Marin Civic Center parking lot twice each week. The Project will provide infrastructure improvements to allow this important community resource to flourish by enhancing year-round accessibility, consumer appeal, and operations. Permanent restrooms and expanded seating will considerably improve the customer experience. Access to drinking water for hydration and handwashing, along with electricity from a renewable source, will make it a cleaner, healthier market for vendors and customers. Shelter from sun, rain and wind will encourage farmers market patrons to stay longer and visit more frequently during inclement weather.

Experiential Learning: The Project will expand educational programs to educate the public about the nutritional and economic benefits of buying locally grown food directly from farmers, and will further connect and support communities and agriculture. Opportunities for hands-on learning experiences in nutrition education, food preservation and cooking, edible gardening, and sustainable living will be central to the expanded program resulting from a dedicated space. Members of the public will learn how they can play a role in advocating for, and shaping, a more equitable local and regional food system. Learning opportunities will be embedded in the Market venue so that eaters and visitors can learn directly from purveyors where their food comes from. The Marin Center for Food and Agriculture will feature a commercial-grade teaching kitchen, a demonstration food garden, and classroom space for AIM to offer its signature educational programs, as well as work with local partner organizations to create educational experiences designed for a variety of learners.

Career Pathways: AIM will provide expanded volunteer and work opportunities designed to evolve into food and agriculture-related career pathways for community members. AIM will host a job board to link local community residents, including college students, new mothers returning to work, and older adults seeking “encore careers” with training and front-line sales positions at the farmers market. As an added value to working farmers and food producers who participate at the Marin Farmers Market, AIM will offer consultants in business development and direct marketing by bringing in strategic partners. Additionally, AIM will expand its partnerships with key agricultural organizations to provide guidance for beginning farmers and ranchers in successful direct sales and marketing of local foods.

Community Building: The Marin Farmers’ Market will continue to be a weekly gathering space for surrounding neighborhoods and local communities and will become a dedicated space for other social gatherings. The Center’s meeting and education space will foster deeper community connections by providing learning opportunities and cross-sector events. AIM’s events will include “Harvest Talks,” cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, book-signings, and specialty dinners with local chefs and food producers. New mobile apps and digital technology will connect local farmers, ranchers, fishers, food purveyors, and artisans with chefs and shoppers who support them. AIM’s artisans and educational exhibits on the history and future of Marin agriculture and California food production will offer cultural and entertainment experiences in coordination with the Marin Center and Cultural Services. The combination of community building activities will illustrate how communities are intertwined through food, culinary arts, and programming to support a robust local food and cultural system.

Community Food Security: Despite living in a region of bountiful harvests of healthy food year-round, Marin struggles to provide access to this food for low-income communities and communities of color. A healthy food system is one that provides economic sustainability for its producers, provides high quality food, is equitable, and reduces its carbon footprint. AIM collaborates with multiple organizations to address Marin’s current inequity within our food system. The Rollin’ Root, a mobile food truck brings farm-fresh products to older adults and underserved communities that lack transportation to visit the farmers market, and will expand as part of the Center’s programming. The Center will provide refrigeration for AIM to store fresh produce and dairy products for delivery on the Root to older adults. The Center will house AIM’s programs focused on food access for nutrition benefit clients participating in CalFresh, WIC, and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and help clients to stretch their food dollars. Additionally, AIM will continue to forge creative partnerships to redistribute excess produce and baked goods from the farmers market to feed the hungry and reduce food waste.

Cultural Vitality: Morbi eu dolor a risus molestie mattis vitae sed justo. Nulla ac sapien eu sem volutpat tristique sit amet ultricies mauris. Donec semper quis diam et blandit. Ut commodo congue ante nec tempor. Aenean venenatis hendrerit erat, at hendrerit tortor pulvinar a. Nam sit amet libero volutpat, semper magna ut, fermentum odio. Integer sollicitudin enim nisl, eget laoreet lectus laoreet quis. Integer ullamcorper, tellus sit amet tempus facilisis, ante enim efficitur nibh, in semper eros magna sit amet turpis. Morbi ut metus pulvinar nisi condimentum fringilla. Nulla tincidunt venenatis nisl, id aliquet odio vulputate vitae. Vivamus condimentum ligula a venenatis aliquam. Maecenas quis tincidunt leo. Phasellus pretium eros eget tincidunt eleifend. Nunc scelerisque erat sit amet nulla bibendum, a viverra lectus suscipit. Cras at justo in odio rutrum vehicula vitae ut augue.

COMING SOON!

For more information on how to support this project please contact Andy Naja-Riese, CEO or Leah Smith, Development Director.

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