4 things you should know about Verde Valley Farmers’ Market
1) It’s been 15 years since the Verde Valley Farmers’ Market came to Camp Verde. Its home is at the Ramada between Fort Verde State Historic Park and the Camp Verde Community Center, the Market is where the locals go when they want fresh, locally-sourced produce, home-made edibles, and hand-made arts and crafts.
By locally sourced, the Market is the place to get fresh seasonal produce that is grown within 50 miles of Camp Verde.
Tomatoes, corn, peppers, beans, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, lettuce , squash, herbs, honey, eggs, nuts, fruit , jelly, breads, beef – even flowers are some of the goodies each week at the Verde Valley Farmers’ Market.
And sprouts. “Sprout people sprouted up this year,” Market Manager Jane Davie says. “They decided to come out this year to the Market.”
VVFM has “about 25 vendors,” which Davie says is “pretty good for our market.”
Some vendors show virtually every week, but others who may have smaller farms and gardens will show when they have enough produce to meet the community’s voracious appetite for fresh fruit and veg, Davie says.
The Verde Valley Farmers’ Market is held from 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays through Oct. 6. For more information, call Jane Davie at 928-634-7077.
2) For the third year in a row, the Market will take a week off at the end of its summer season before it reopens for a five-week fall season. Apples are big in the fall, Davie says, as are winter squash such as Butternut and Spaghetti, and sometimes a “second crop” of beets, radishes and lettuce, as well as green tomatoes.
“You can plan a whole meal at the Market,” Davie says. “And you can get ready with the goat soap.”
3) There are at least four vendors at this year’s Market that accept WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), WIC Cash value vouchers and Senior Farmers Markets Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Just come with your information “and we’ll print it on site,” Davie says.
4) Think green. With a new ‘green’ initiative, this year’s Market is committed to creating a healthier planet earth.
That’s what the Market’s Facebook page says.
That’s also what Camp Verde resident and resident farmer Denise Gould says.
“We’re trying to get more people to use cloth,” she says.
Which is why the Market is providing free bags – not made of plastic or paper – for folks to use when they shop. So far, it’s working, Gould says.
“I’m astounded how many people at this market use cloth bags,” she says.
Folks are encouraged to bring their reusable grocery totes, and to bring extras for the Market’s lend-a-tote station that allows shoppers to borrow a bag that they can return on a future visit.
“I think everyone’s happy to receive a free bag,” Davie says.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/verdevalleyfarmersmarket to learn more about the Market’s endeavors.
-- Story and photographs by Bill Helm