‘Barn raiser’ for Owens Valley Growers Cooperative

– Press release
The first Volunteer Work Day for the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative’s Food Coop and Cafe in Independence was held Tuesday April 7th and it was a huge success.  “The turnout was great and the work accomplished was incredible” said the Coop’s general manager David Woodruff.  “The volunteers worked very hard and accomplished a huge amount of the tasks that need to be done.  One of the volunteers commented it was a lot like an old fashion barn raiser and I’d have to agree that was a pretty good analogy”.
volunteers group

With generous support from Metabolic Studio, the USDA Local Foods Promotion Project and the Desert Mountain Research and Development Council, the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative (OVGC) is planning to open the old Mairs Market this summer as a food Coop/market/café/bakery and community center.  The Coop will feature fresh locally produced and healthy foods and value added products.  The coop will also provide a selection of basic sundry and grocery items hoping to fill a void created by the small number of retail outlets in Southern Inyo County.

volunteers working 5The café and bakery will feature delicious prepared meals and baked goods for dining in or taking home.  Everything from pizza, to artisan baked breads will be available along with an innovative menu with daily features.

The OVGC was founded by a group of Inyo County residents two years ago and has operated the very successful Owens Valley Certified Farmers Market in Lone Pine and Independence over that time.  The Food Coop/Café is another project designed to help build a local and sustainable food system in the Owens Valley through community education, support of local agriculture and the development of local market outlets.

volunteers working 6

Another Volunteer work Day is scheduled for Saturday April 11th from 9am to 3pm at Mairs Market, and a few more will be scheduled over the next few weeks.  A preopening-open house is also planned for the near future.  To get more information on the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative Food Coop you can call David at (760) 920-8061.


Among the volunteers in the pictures Ann Capodanno, Lynn Johnson, Ben Holgate, Ursula Esser, Jose Sandoval, Mary Roper, Barbara Eskew, Noa Lish, David Woodruff and Tamara Cohn and Gayle Woodruff kneeling.  (Not pictured, Barbara Leachman, Ursula Esser, Gerrie Rodenburg,Priscilla Maxey)

volunteers working 2

volunteers working 2


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3 Responses to ‘Barn raiser’ for Owens Valley Growers Cooperative

  1. AK April 11, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    Congratulations to the OVGC! I live in Bishop and have often wondered why Independence and Lone Pine have farmers markets most of the year and in Bishop, just the spring and summer months. I know that greens, root vegetables, peas etc. are being harvested this time of year. I don’t know if it is from lack of leadership, organization, interest, produce? Every time I hear an announcement on the radio about farmer’s markets in the south county, it makes me wonder about Bishop’s farmers markets. It is odd that I am going to now drive 45-60 miles to support OVGC and local farmers, and in Bishop, nothing. Hats off to OVGC!

    • smiley April 12, 2015 at 12:23 am #

      water and power left independence causing nearest market to close this necessitated the farmers market

  2. Charles James April 11, 2015 at 8:39 am #

    I’m sorry that I was out of town for this. Unfortunately the second one is scheduled at the same time and day as the Alabama Hills Day! Oh well, so much for those people that complain there is never anything to do in our area! At least they are things that are in the best interests of our communities.

    To see the former Mair’s Market become the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative’s Food Coop and Cafe is a great thing for our community. Far too many of our storefronts in communities along the 395 Hwy are shuttered, with the result that visitors (and even local residents) are given the impression that many of our towns and communities are withering away. Visitors to our area need a reason to stop in our towns and this might be compellingly a reason for some to do so.

    Kudos to the Metabolic Studio, USDA Local Foods Promotion Project, Desert Mountain Research and Development Council, and the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative (OVGC) for their perseverance.


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