People Who Give Us Hope: Erin Tormey

Erin Tormey, Founder of Coastside Farmers Market

This spring marks the 20th season of the Coastside Farmers Market in Half Moon Bay and its 14th season in Pacifica. Erin Tormey’s vision of a place where coastside farmers, ranchers, and fishermen sell their locally produced food and flowers directly to residents of the area has become a key linchpin of the coastside’s food system as well as a key community connector.

Fresh, Local, Delicious and Nutritious

Since its inception, Erin has succeeded in growing the market from just six initial vendors to over 40. Most of the produce at Erin’s markets is grown on the coastside, but specialty crops like summer fruits, peppers, berries, sweet corn and tomato varieties that need the heat of the Central Valley in order to develop their full flavor and juiciness have their place in the market too.  Access to locally grown produce is deeply satisfying to customers who want to know where their food comes from, how it is grown and who is growing it.

Cultivating Community

The Coastside Farmers Markets have become the embodiment of community in the broadest sense. Not only do shoppers get to engage with the local producers who grow their fruits and veggies, herbs, grains, flowers, eggs, poultry, cheese, meats and catch their fish, they also receive tips as to how to prepare, cook, preserve, and store this bounty as well.  Each season the two Coastside Farmers Markets host blood drives, prescription drug drop-offs, and composting workshops.  In response to COVID 19, the markets have provided accurate and timely information and have worked closely with the county on vaccination outreach and coordination.

New Generations of Farmers

The ever-expanding diversity and variety of local organic farm-fresh fruits and vegetables reflects new approaches to farming that help nurture the land as well as our communities.  Regenerative soil management, diversification and rotation of crops, and marketing directly to buyers through Coastside Farmers Markets help assure greater food security, particularly in challenging times.

Erin, we salute your vision, energy, and positivity that make you a shining star in the constellation of the coastside’s food system!

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