Market Spotlights: Prescott and Payson markets go above and beyond to support family farms
Over the next few months, Double Up Food Bucks Arizona is highlighting our incredible markets and growers as part of the American Farmland Trust’s Farmers Market Celebration. We reached out to a few markets that go above and beyond when it comes to supporting family farmers and educating their communities about the issues family farmers face.
Prescott Farmers Market
Photos courtesy of Prescott Farmers Market
The Prescott Farmers Market is dedicated to supporting northern Arizona family farms. The Market provides a venue for 25 Yavapai County family farmers to sell their goods directly to consumers every week at three locations around the county. These family farmers sell a variety of products including vegetables, fruits, cheese, nuts, microgreens, beef, chicken, eggs, pork, flowers, plants, and wine. The market also offers professional development opportunities for farmers to attend conferences and trainings.
The Prescott Farmers Market’s three operations are “producer-only” venues, meaning that everyone who sells at the market must grow, raise, or make all of the items on their table.
“This ensures that our customers can trust that they are truly supporting local farms,” Kelley Villa of the Prescott Farmers Market said. “It also means that more money is staying in our local economy, with our neighbors and their families.”
The market also has a featured farmer/rancher of the week. Visitors to the market can view posters that include photos of farmers, their families and land, and their approach to farming. This helps customers connect with their local growers, and develop a deeper appreciation for the food and families at the market.
After a recent frost ruined up to 70 percent of local farmer’s crops, the Prescott Farmers Market launched a fundraising campaign to help get these farms back on their feet.
“The community responded with thunderous support, surpassing our goal of $2,000,” Kelley said. “We want and intend to do more to support our local farming community.”
Payson Farmers Market
Photos courtesy of Payson Farmers Market and Pinnacle Prevention
The Payson Farmers Market sells only Arizona-grown produce, which means every dollar spent at the market helps support local farms and the economy.
“Without local farmers, it makes no sense to have farmers markets,” Payson Farmers Market founding manager Lorain Roethlein said.
The Payson Farmers market has an “80/20” rule, which helps family farms offer diverse items at their booths.
“Farmer A can help out his friend Farmer B, who grows different items than Farmer A, if it’s only 20% of the vendor’s inventory,” Lorain explained.
Vendors at the market are encouraged to remind customers they only offer produce that is in-season and that comes from farmers who are within 100 miles of the market. Last Saturday, July 15th, the market hosted a scavenger hunt to help customers learn more about the food, farmers and programs at the market, which was a great success.
Each farmers market in our state supports family farms in one way or another, and when you shop at your local market, you’re supporting them too! Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page and Twitter as we continue to highlight the incredible markets, growers and efforts in Arizona. If your favorite market primarily serves family farmers and educates your community about the issues they face, nominate them today for the American Farmland Trust’s Farmers Market Celebration!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting markets, farm stands, CSA’s, and the people who go the extra mile when it comes to bringing healthy food to neighborhoods that need it the most. Does your favorite market assist low-income neighbors, work with vulnerable seniors, donate food to local food banks or accept federal food and nutrition program benefits? We want to share your stories! Email Stacey your story using the subject line “Healthy Food for All,” or message us on Facebook to tell us more.
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