Volunteer at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market

Booths start breaking down at 1pm on Saturday. Photo by Lexi Malone

Crowds gather at the Buckin’ Bee Honey booth to dip a toothpick in the sample jar. The sliver comes up with a dollop of amber honey that is rich and uniquely Santa Fe. The table is lined with beeswax Buddha and angel figurine candles. The visitors at the Santa Fe Farmers’ market shuffle around, shouldering their way to fresh sliced goat cheese, hand churned jams and buttery quiche sample plates. The scent of roasting lamb drifts on the April breeze through the open doors. Customers take swigs of apple cider vinegar like shots to subdue a sore throat or allergen-induced irritation. The warehouse smells of Indian tea and lavender and Intergalactic bread.

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is dedicated to the advocacy of farmers and ranchers in northern New Mexico by providing a year-round indoor market to the community. The indoor market is open in the summer months every Saturday and Tuesday from 7 a.m to 1 p.m with varying other hours depending on the season. Carrie Core, the office and volunteer coordinator for the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, is stationed at the information desk where shoppers can redeem EBT points for twice the value to use in the market. The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute is the nonprofit branch of the market with the mission to provide equitable access to fresh and local food to Santa Fe. 

Nearly 30 years ago, when Core lived in Berkeley, she worked on a radio show about food and farming. “I came here to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market and I decided that one day I would live in Santa Fe,” Core says. While the market has had volunteer positions before, the program has been without structure. Core has only been with the market for a few weeks, but she has big plans to reorganize and expand the institute’s volunteer program to best benefit the farmers and the community.

Carrie core works with volunteers for the Farmers market. Photo by Lexi Malone

The market has many ongoing volunteer positions available, including assisting the at the tables during sales. Volunteers are needed to relieve vendors for breaks, execute change or coffee runs and provide any other services that may be of help to the vendors. Volunteers can also assist with the distribution or collection of paperwork, providing safety supervision of the market and all market-related traffic. Volunteer positions are also available in the cafe and in administrative positions.

For those unable to participate in the longer volunteer commitments, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market hosts special events including the Fall Fiesta that require help planning, setting up, cleaning and anything else in between.

Core intends to find a volunteer to assign to every farmer who expressed the need for extra assistance during the market. “Volunteering [at the market] should be important for anyone who cares about local food,” she says. “This is what is going to develop the agricultural community.” Core also believes the program should be open and adaptable. “I want to work with people so that they get the experience that they need out of the program.”

With the market’s peak months approaching, volunteers are needed more than ever. Contact Core at Carrie@santafefarmersmarket.org to begin orientation for the summer.