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CCHAOS Fund Raising Fever-A Personal Message

We are quickly closing in on two months of fundraising for CCHAOS’ North Valley Food System Development Projects.Good Food/Healthy Planet

We are at a point where contributions, both monetary and voluntary, can make the difference between a living planet and a dead one. The corporate and political trend seems to be heading rapidly to the latter, but small groups of individuals and organizations like CCHAOS are weaving a network of support to make big change against all odds. Key to the success of our efforts is development and deployment of sustainable local food systems.

Here in the North Valley CCHAOS has been instrumental in bringing EBT CalFresh (foodstamp) capability to every single farmers market in Butte County, carrying out EBT Promotional Events at farmers markets, promoting healthy lifestyle opportunities and workshops, and securing and distributing New Farmer Scholarships for those starting out in growing and marketing produce locally.

CCHAOS provides EBT services to both the Gridley Farmers Market and the Oroville Hospital Farmers Market, and facilitates, promotes and coordinates healthy lifestyle workshops and events at these markets. At the same time we are the host to the year-round Chapman Food and Fitness Festival farmers market every week. We have participated as core members of the Cultivating Community North Valley grant project, and have received additional funding support from the Cultivating Community Advocates grant projects – both funded through CCFA’s USDA Specialty Food Grant Programs.

But there is more. The need for alternative ag education is exploding. How do we use our resources to create a self sustaining food production system as we move from non-renewable fuel systems to sustainable renewables? As Executive Director and CEO of CCHAOS, I have a vision of a “Ride the Grizzly Agrarian” project:
a bootcamp for new and beginning farmers/ranchers that would include a series of 2 to 3 week bike and kayaking expeditions down the Sacramento River starting at Shasta Lake and ending in Sacramento, visiting hundreds of farms and ranches along the way, using Grange Halls as base camps and including intense workshops on a slew of food business classes to expand visions and bootstrap new and beginning producers interested in building sustainable local food systems while weaving together a supporting plethora of existing but isolated and ag and land use educators and business resources.

I have a vision that Paradise and Oroville has long been able to support year-round farmers markets – but it has not happened. That Chico’s Certified farmers markets have been growing capacity for over 2 and a half decades at exponential rates and can support both a year-round Wednesday Farmers Market and a new Sunday Farmers Market downtown, and I believe the question of the Saturday Chico Farmers Market is not where do we MOVE it to, but where do we EXPAND it to. Planning and actively engaging these realities has to begin quickly.

I believe there is a need for both local and regional food hubs. Currently all our local markets are limited by being “shopping-bag” farmers markets (little or no room in isles or facilities for carts of any kind). We have a need for development of farmers markets that can and do incorporate shopping carts – both outdoor and indoor – and yes – even pallet jack accessible farmers markets for regional distribution to institutions like hospitals and school districts. And the time to begin development of those markets is now or we may be too late.

If you want to save the planet, the USA, America, or simply humanity, there are a few things local folks can do that will be most effective and you will hear them repeated by me and many others.
1) Grow your own garden and share with others
2) Buy or trade for the rest with local gardeners/farmers/ranchers
3) Celebrate, insist on and eat healthy local foods, products and services.
4) Breast feed your babies (in public as the need arises)
5) Join and take part in organizations like the Northern California Counties Time Bank:
5) Join hands with others doing the same things.

My goal for this Annie B’s fundraising event is unattainable. I want to take it from just a couple hundred dollars – like in years past – to $40,000 or more this year – a leap of unimaginable proportion.

And I want more than that. I, as CEO of CCHAOS have reached my limits – as an administrator, as a personnel manager, as a bookkeeper, as an event coordinator. as a grant writer and business and office manager. I have gotten this far only because of the support of over a hundred wonderful people who have encouraged and supported my vision and forgiven and filled in for my poor abilities – for years.

What I still claim is a sense of where we have come from and a vision of where we need to go. If you share that vision and have that hope, and a skill to share – and if you see CCHAOS as a tool and catalyst for spot on delivery of your skills toward solutions outside the stifled box of hopelessness and despair of the status quo – offer that up – in place of – or addition to – any contribution. Your passion and skill will be more welcomed, essential, and valued than any $$$$’s.

To reiterate: Besides and more important that the dollars, ($40,000 of them) CCHAOS needs the commitment of key collaborators, administrators, personnel managers, bookkeepers, coordinators, grant writers, graphic artists, public relations developers, business and office managers, and board members etc. The team we can pull together will make or break.

And finally, if not CCHAOS, there are over 250 great community organizations that are taking part in Annie B’s this year, and many more as well. They an you make me love and proud of the wonderful place we call home. Thank you for all the wonderful work you do for our community.

Email or Call me if you have questions:

Community Garden Work Day & BBQ

Please Share this.

The African American Family and Cultural Center of Southside Oroville is hosting a Community Garden Work Day and BBQ
Saturday August 17th
8 AM to 12 PM
Corner of Wyandotte and Columbia Street
Oroville, CA
AAFCC Garden Flier New

For more information call Cissy Smith at (530) 532-1205 ext 10

This event is Supported by funds from a 2012 Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture


EBT Promotion for CalFresh Users

calfreshARE YOU ON CalFresh?


LEARN about healthy food & lifestyle and EARN $15 coupon for Butte County Farmer’s Markets*


Participate in a designated Butte County Healthy Food Event & EARN extra EBT farmers’ market promotion tokens for veggies, fruit, nuts and/or seeds/starts to grow your own.

*At this time of year, EBT promo coupons are only accepted at these Certified Farmer’s Markets.

thumb_38037GRIDLEY FARMERS MARKET: Tuesdays May-August 5:00 – 8:00 pm, Gridley in Daddow Park at Virginia Street between Hazel and Sycamore Street




OroHospOROVILLE HOSPITAL FARMERS MARKET: Wednesdays June-September 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Oroville Hospital at Medical Office Building Parking Lot





!magnificentCHAPMAN FARMERS MARKET – Fridays Year-round 2:00 – 5:30pm, Chico in Chapmantown at 1010 Cleveland Avenue next to the Chapman Elementary School in MLK Community Park


Food Snapshots: Diving in to what feeds us.

Food SnapshotThere are some great documentaries and movies out there on our food system. Some are viewable online, others can be picked up on Netflix, or at your local video store. These are some I have found.

1. Dirt: The Movie (2009)

A funny, thoughtful, and, um grounded look at the fundamental ingredient vital to everything that feeds us.

2. Food Fight (2008)

An amusing account of modern American ag policy and food culture that sprouted a counter-revolution among veggie-obsessed Californians.

3. Food, Inc. (2008)

The rock stars of the ethical eating movement — Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser — weigh in on all that is wrong in America’s industrialized food system. Methinks my son summed up this film best: “Sometimes the scariest films are the ones that are real.”

4. Fresh (2009)

Down with the corporate behemoths of the American food economy who threaten the country’s food security, livelihood of small farmers, and our choices as consumers. This doco features fresh thinking from urban farming activist Will Allen and sustainable farmer Joel Salatin.

5. Killer at Large (2008)

This film tackles the giant-sized topic of America’s obesity epidemic with talking heads and the story of a 12-year-old who undergoes liposuction.

6. King Corn (2007)

Two friends head to the heartland to learn a thing or two about how food is farmed and where food comes from.

7. Super Size Me (2004)

Cult classic with Morgan Spurlock eating his way to bad health on a month’s worth of Maccas. Required viewing for fast food fans.

8. The Garden (2008)

A group of mostly working class, Latino South Central Farmers fought the good fight — and they’re still at it — for the basic human need to grow food, in this Academy Award nominated film.

9. The Future of Food (2004)

Deborah Koons Garcia reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: Do you really know what you’re dishing up for dinner?

10. The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2006)

A flamboyant farmer turns his family’s dying farm into a thriving CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Bonus: He flaunts a feather boa while driving his tractor.

11. Food Stamped (2010?)

Special mention to a work-in-progress: A film-and-food couple reveal how hard it is to eat well on a really tight budget.

12. Leap of Faith: Fast Lane to Farmstead

And some more:

Financial Readiness & Business Planning for Growers


Farmers Market Surveys

Are you a Farmer or Rancher that sells at Butte Area Farmers Markets? If so, please take the survey by clicking on the link:

Farmer/Rancher Evaluation of Certified Farmers Markets.

Results gathered from this survey will be examined and discussed at the workshop outlined below.

We will be adding additional surveys shortly. Topic focus of next survey will be Farm/Ranch Succession and Mentorship/Internship of New & Beginning Farmers & Ranchers.


Farmers Markets

The Change is Here

Workshop Presentations


Wednesday February 20th,

1 to 6 PM


The Chico Grange Hall

2775 Old Nord Avenue




  1. Richard Price, Ag Commissioner Butte County

    the state and issues of Farmers Markets

  2. Environmental Health

    Food Preparation and Presenation at Community Events, AB1616 the Cottage Food Bill

  3. Marc Nemenic – 3CORE – Small Loan Program

  4. and much more.

Farmer Rancher Survey (link to survey at top of page)  results will be presented and discussed at the event.

Chapman Farmers Market is Moving to a Great New Location!

Chapman Farmers Market is Moving to a Great New Location!


Next week we will be moved to a brand new location next to Chapman School.


Look for us in the parking lot of Community Park next to the picnic tables and play ground.


Park in the parking lot in front of Chapman School or walk or ride your bike into Community Park, we are between the picnic tables and Chapman School.


See you there!


Same time : 2 – 5:30 PM every Friday. Please let your neighbors know! Come celebrate our great local farmers and beautiful new location.


For more information call the market manager (Richard)

at (530)624-8844

North Valley Certified Farmers Markets


This Map is updated regularly. Click on any location for market details.

View Sac Valley Rural Area Certified Farmers Markets in a larger map

CCHAOS Launches Wellness Policy Promotion Program.

As part of our healthy lifestyle outreach program, CCHAOS is mentoring the adoption of Wellness Policies by local service organizations and nonprofits.

Below is a draft being considered by Chico Grange Hall # 486.


Wellness Policy of the Chico Grange #486

Chico Grange #486 recognizes the devastating impact of low quality industrial convenience foods on the health of America, exemplified by the pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle related diseases.

Therefore, in line with the founding principles of the Grange, its history and tradition:


  1. Chico Grange #486 dedicates this kitchen and facilities to the health of our community.
  2. Chico Grange #486 recognizes, encourages, commends, and supports the community impact of other charitable, religious, and social service organizations who  in addition to their stated purpose, adopt, display and activate their own wellness policies, such as these, within their own organization.
  3. Chico Grange #486 encourages the elimination or significant reduction in preparation, use and/or consumption of highly processed and packaged foods and food products which contain GMOs, hydrogenated oils, white flour, sweeteners, salt, and artificial coloring and flavoring.
  4. Chico Grange #486 endorses and encourages the use of this kitchen, these halls, and these grounds to the education and practice of resource stewardship, proper hygiene, and development of those culinary art skills which integrate the preparation and consumption of locally grown whole fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts, herbs and spices, and quality free-range produced and humanely harvested animals and products.

New Farmers Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets

Randii MacNear and Shelly G. Keller have prepared and Davis Farmers Market Association, have published a new online resource for New and Beginning Farmers selling at Farmers Markets in 2012. New Farmers Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets.

This is a great introduction to New and Begining Farmers/Ranchers interested in exploring the potential of Farmers Markets. And for the experienced Farmers Markets Participants – it provides some real handy tips on how to make improvements and increase sales and customer satisfaction.

“Davis Farmers Market partnered with UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program to research, market and open a farmers market at the entrance to Sutter Davis Hospital. The grant also funded work to implement institutional changes in how the hospital purchases food and promotes local food and farmers to hospital staff and patients. That grant included a training component for new farmers and this guide reveals the information, experience and knowledge Davis Farmers Market staff gained while opening and managing the Sutter Davis Hospital Farmers Market. What we learned about emerging farmers markets is this: new small farmers are key to building new farmers markets. Cultivating those new farmers in small or emerging farmers markets can help those farmers advance to larger, more successful markets. Emerging farmers markets are the training ground and the proving ground for new farmers market sellers.”

Here is the Table of contents:

Introduction 1
About the authors 2
Why farmers markets are good for farmers 4
Traits of successful farmers market sellers 5
Readiness: Is selling at a farmers market right for you? 6
Preparing to sell at farmers markets 7
Pricing and pricing strategies 8
Setting goals 9
Researching prospective markets 10
Getting your documents together 11
Estimating your costs 12
Building relationships with market managers 12
Pitching your farm to a market manager 13
Follow-through builds trust 13
Your farmers market retail stand 14
Displaying your products 14
Creating signs that help you sell 15
Dressing for sales success 15
Staffing your farmers market stand 16
Welcoming customers 16
Offering samples 17
Creating effective customer handouts 17
Expanding your marketing 18
Staying in touch with market managers 20
Tracking and evaluating results 21
Bibliography 22
Readiness checklist 23
Farmers market visit evaluation form 24
Budgeting farmers market costs 26
Farmers market advice from Davis Farmers Market sellers 27