In 1995, the West Marin Growers Group (precursor to Marin Organic) was meeting at Toby’s Feed Barn. One of the missions was to have a local Farmer’s Market.
Chris Giacominni offered his property at Toby’s Feed Barn and the first market was in July 1995. Back then, it was a small affair, more a collection of backyard gardeners than commercial farmers. Charming and special then and now, still today our market is not about commercial market growers, but more about people passionate and growing specifically for the market.
Farmers at that first market included Allstar Organics, Mt Barnaby Farm, Fresh Run, Allen Mart (Inter-natural Harvesters), Peter Worsley, and Sandy Dierks.
The Point Reyes Light took a photo at that first market, and we’re trying to track that photo down for this web page!
In 2000, Marin Organic formed and breathed new life into the market, reorganizing it and taking on its administration. The market continued to grow until it expanded around to the back lot of Toby’s Feed Barn, somewhere around the year 2004.
In 2005, Marin Organic organized a visit for the Prince of Whales to West Marin. He visited a number of farms as well as the Point Reyes Farmers Market.
An Agricultural “Incubator”
The market has been important to the ongoing agricultural renaissance of West Marin, providing a local venue to sell local products. A number of farms and other ventures have gotten off the ground through the market.
One of the driving forces behind market as well as the Marin Organic movement was the integrity of organic production, and what that means to our region. During the first 10 years of the market, there was an intense national discussion bout what “organic” was, and the concept of organics from the Department of Agriculture; in 2002 it became law. The market was part of the early thinking and practice about organic farming, helping to define and refine organic farming practices in the state.