5/28/2013 4:00:00 PM Buy local, eat fresh: Verde Valley Farmers' Market celebrates 10th season
“The Town of Camp Verde was based on agriculture, and I see that the VVFM is just carrying on the tradition and reinforcing the importance of purchasing what is locally harvested,” Verde Valley Farmers’ Market manager Jane Davie recently stated. VVN/Jon Pelletier
Locally grown tomatoes are one of the many staple goods at the annual Verde Valley Farmers’ Market. The VVFM is held on Saturdays from June 1 through Oct. 5 at the Ramada next to Fort Verde State Park. VVN/Jon Pelletier
CAMP VERDE - In 2004, Camp Verde farmers Denise Gould and Diane Scantlebury started the Verde Valley Farmers' Market to help local farmers sell their fresh produce. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the VVFM.
"Diane and I started the Market because we wanted to support the agricultural economy in our own backyard," said Gould, owner of Willowbrook Farm. "We felt it was important to honor the agrarian history of this part of the Verde Valley and help promote more local food production and consumption. Farming is hard work, so we certainly have seen many growers come and go. But overall, the number of grower/vendors has increased each year."
"The support from the town of Camp Verde has helped this Market grow and the people who return each Saturday are the reason for its success," Gould said. "We have a very dedicated manager. She works year-round to promote the Market."
"The Town of Camp Verde was based on agriculture, and I see that the VVFM is just carrying on the tradition and reinforcing the importance of purchasing what is locally harvested," VVFM manager Jane Davie recently stated. "I see friendliness on a weekly basis at our Market. We like to think of our Market as a bridge between people."
According to Davie, some Farmers' Markets collect a 10 percent commission from their growers.
"When you sell at our Market," Davie said, "all you pay is a $7 weekly fee, whether you sell one week or every week."
In the past few years, the VVFM has expanded its offerings to people who sell home-baked foods. But according to Davie, it is the produce that is the staple of the Market.
"People may buy other things," Davie said, "but their main focus is the produce."
"The Farmers' Market is a place for people to connect in many ways," Gould said. "They do come to buy produce, but they also come to share their stories about that produce and learn more from the grower. I particularly like that this Market provides an opportunity for all that to happen. I always learn something."
"I guess people like putting a face to the people that are growing their food," said Scantlebury, owner of Tickaboo Ranch. "I like putting a face to the people who are eating my food."
Not all growers who sell at the Farmers' Market are farmers. Davie and her boyfriend Bob Haskill have a garden at their Cottonwood home. According to Davie, Haskill is the grower in the family. He specializes in large garlic and large tomatoes.
The VVFM is open 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays from June 1 through Oct. 5, at the Ramada next to Fort Verde State Park. For more information, contact Jane Davie at (928) 634-7077.