Gardeners in Castle Country will have the opportunity this summer to sell their locally-grown fruits and vegetables when the High Desert Farmer’s Market convenes July 21.
Growers will gather at their familiar spot on the sidewalk just west of Price City Peace Gardens.
According to Utah StateВ ExtensionВ Agent Ron Patterson, the primary goal of the farmer’s market is to provide a venue for local producers to offer quality, local produce. However, said Patterson, it will be a little different than purchasing produce at a local grocery store.
“We are not a giveaway place,” he said. “We leave that to the food bank and soup kitchens.”
Patterson would like to see the total number of vendors increase to around 30 because not all vendors sell weekly. Farmer’s markets provide a fun environment and let potential customers meet farmers and ask questions about their locally-grown produce.
“The biggest challenges are having enough produce at the beginning so customers aren’t disappointed,” he said.
To counter that challenge, Patterson and others have been working hard to have early produce ready to sell on the 21st.
So, how much is the produce going to cost?
Patterson said one big problem is that vendors have no idea about the cost of production and, in turn, under-price their items.
“I am not going to tell them what their prices are going to be,” he said. “It may be time for some financial education for the vendors this next winter.”
Because most, if not all, vendors do this as an addition to normal employment, Patterson said they do not count their time toward the price of produce.
In addition to the farmer’s market, Patterson plans to have moreВ entertainment offered to patrons who stop by to purchase items.
“There has been talk of having some local chefs do cooking demonstrations with what is available at the market,” he said. “We will have a little more variety in what is offered, but we want to maintain it as a ‘farmers’ market so we limit the non-produce vendors to 30 percent of the total number of vendors.”
The High Desert Farmer’s Market will run Saturday’s from 9 a.m. to noon. Potential vendors may contact Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application and rules. Vendor fees are $30 whether for one or all weeks.