The Redlands Farmers Market is a market with a mission: to bring the community just a little closer together.
And if, at the end of an evening spent socializing with friends old and new, visitors wind up with an armful of fresh produce or a cute new pet, even better.
“This a community-focused event and it’s all about people coming and having a good time,” said organizer Nan McNees.
This is the third year that Redlands United Methodist Church (RUMC) has hosted the farmers market, and McNees’ first year at the helm. This summer, the church has made a number of changes to the market, all aimed at developing community connections.
McNees said the new approach was inspired by a recent article written by Jeff Kuhr, PhD, executive director of Mesa County Public Health, identifying social connectedness as the number-one way to improve the community’s overall health.
“I think he hit the nail on the head,” McNees said.
In order to develop a farmers market that would attract all kinds, the church lowered the entry fee for vendors considerably and reached out to a wide variety of sellers. Products available include produce, salmon, handcrafted spices, jams, jellies, home decor, essential oils, all-natural skin care, soaps, yard art, jewelry and more.
“It’s been affordable for some of the vendors who aren’t quite big enough to go to some of the large events,” McNees said.
New this year are adoptable dogs from Grand Rivers Humane, where McNees volunteers.
The farmers market, which runs from 5-8 p.m. every Wednesday through September 13, is a great place to get dinner (and maybe some dessert). There are a number of food vendors present, as well as ample seating for taking the time to connect with friends and neighbors.
When McNees said there’s something for everyone, she meant it—this family friendly event is perfect for the grandkids. While their caretakers shop, preschool through elementary school-aged children can learn a Bible story, do a craft and have a snack.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun and pull the community together a little bit, in our area and across town as well,” McNees said.