Rimrock Farmers Market manager says garden ‘more of a commitment than having a pet’

Candy Hammond has taken over management of the Rimrock Farmers Market. Hammond, who is the owner of the McGuireville businesses Candy’s Creekside Cottage and Pistols and Petticoats, says that farmers and gardeners are “some of the most passionate people you will ever meet.” VVN/Bill Helm

Candy Hammond has taken over management of the Rimrock Farmers Market. Hammond, who is the owner of the McGuireville businesses Candy’s Creekside Cottage and Pistols and Petticoats, says that farmers and gardeners are “some of the most passionate people you will ever meet.” VVN/Bill Helm

RIMROCK – When Candy Hammond says having a garden is more of a commitment than having a pet, she should know.

With a black cat named Whitey – and not because of the irony – Hammond is a voice this year for the Beaver Creek community’s farmers and gardeners.

In her first year managing the Market, Hammond is well-known in the community as owner of two McGuireville businesses: Candy’s Creekside Cottage, and Pistols and Petticoats Old Time Photos.

But it’s her fondness for the community’s growers, who Hammond says are “some of the most passionate people you will ever meet.”

“They are dedicated and they believe in tomorrow,” Hammond says. “They believe in what they are working to accomplish, they believe they can grow it and when it doesn’t work out they try again.”

But Hammond is still learning about how to manage the Rimrock Farmers Market, as it has been managed in years past by Gerry Quotskuyva and before that, Bob Burke.

“Have you ever heard of spirit wind farm?” she asks. “I haven’t, and I live here, and in general think I am pretty connected.

“Farmers Markets are great because you get to buy direct, but lots of consumers fail to realize the hard work, constant setbacks and hurdles every gardener has to face, withstand and persevere to make what one would think is a simple vegetable possible, especially during a year of such harsh conditions as we have had this year.”

As Hammond looks for ways to promote the Market, she says it “would be neat to feature some of the dedicated vendors and their gardens.”

One gardener, Hammond says, is not only raising a family and working a job but she has “several plots where she dedicates her time to growing healthy food not only for her family but also for the community and is growing some historic varieties of vegetables.”

Hammond also says that Rimrock could be defined as a “food desert.”

“That would be an interesting take on the advantage of having the availability of a Farmers Market and certainly promote an awareness that choosing fresh and healthy can be an option,” she says. “Since it hasn’t been for so long in our area and is only made possible through Farmers Markets.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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