In my work for Farm 2 Facts, I created a series of thematic and reference maps to aid research into the community around the Cotati Farmers Market located in Northern California. Below are links to a series of research maps with some brief analysis. This work prompted further research by our team to help the market further support their local community.
Creating these maps involved sourcing various data sets, including the Census ACS 5-year, OpenStreetMap, and the USDA Food Access Research Atlas. After loading all of the data into a PostgreSQL database using the PostGIS extension, I efficiently queried just the data near the farmers market making working with the data in QGIS fast.
Directly north of the market between Cotati and Santa Rosa, several block groups have populations with almost no bachelor degrees. However, the population is highly educated 5-10 miles East, West, and South from the market.
Most block groups are majority White in the surrounding area; however, several block groups right around the Cotati market are 50-75% Hispanic, with some closer to Santa Rose being 75-100% Hispanic. In addition, a few block groups are diverse, with no race comprising more than 50% around the market.
Most of the surrounding area receives little to no SNAP payments; however, there are some census tracts around the Cotati market and directly north of the market towards Santa Rosa, 5 miles away, where a high amount of households receive SNAP assistance. Outreach to these northern neighborhoods along with match programs could help to support these less food secure areas.
There are no trains by the market, and most of the bus routes are going from San Francisco to Santa Rosa, just bypassing the market. However, one bus does come off the highway and run right by the market, which could be a source of customers.
About Farm 2 Facts
Farm 2 Facts is an organization that provides farmers market managers with a toolkit to help them collect data, inform decisions, and communicate with stakeholders, so they achieve their market goals. Organizations include city- or state-wide farmers market organizations or any other organization that oversees multiple farmers markets.