4 things you should know about this year's Verde Valley Farmers’ Market
1 It’s been 16 years since Diane Scantlebury and Denise Gould opened the Verde Valley Farmers’ Market in 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.
Beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, squash, tomatoes and various fruits, as well as eggs, herbs, honey, nuts, jelly, breads, and beef – even flowers are some of the goodies each week at the Verde Valley Farmers’ Market.
VVFM has 23 vendors signed up for this year, including “six or seven new vendors,” Market Manager Davie said.
You’ll see many of the vendors each week, while others have smaller farms and gardens will be on site when they have enough produce to meet the community’s voracious appetite for fresh fruit and veg.
2 Willowbrook Farm, on Middle Verde Road, is growing a new type of purple curly leafed kale that will be available this year. They’re also growing some new tomato varieties, one called jet star, and another called brandywise.
According to the market’s Facebook page, both are “supposed to have good disease resistance.”
This year, Willowbrook hopes to have chard, kale, lettuce mix, head lettuce, radishes, garlic scapes, pea shoots and sunflower sprouts, and “lots of yummy greens.”
Willowbrook Farm is a family business, run by market co-founder Denise Gould and her daughters, Hilary and Hope Barnett. While The Barnett sisters will run the Willowbrook stand at the market, Gould will again work the educational table as she promotes plastic-free ways to take your market purchases home.
As with last year, special Verde Valley Farmers Market bags will be available for a nominal fee.
Also on the no-plastic front, the Love to Grow Family Farm will introduce plant-based packaging, as well as living salad mixes that people can keep on their kitchen counter, lucky bamboo plants to enjoy, heirloom tomato plants – and a few sweet treats: elderberry syrups and gummies made with raw wildflower Cowboy Honey Company for the allergy season.
3 The Verde Valley Farmers’ Market is an approved Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) market through the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The purpose is to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in income eligible women, children and seniors.
WIC facilitates the vouchers, our training and certification is through Arizona Department of Health Services – ADHS.
4 Aeroponics have come to the Verde Valley.
A new grower for the Verde Valley Farmers’ Market this season, Yann Raymond will offer his aeroponically grown leafy greens, including Swiss chard, in addition to other veggies.
Yann is from a small town in France and he came to Camp Verde for the agricultural opportunities, Davie said.
“He’s celebrating his one-year anniversary here by becoming our newest leafy greens vendor,” Davie said. “He’s very excited, very enthusiastic.”