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Friday, August 18, 2017

Area Now Home to Two Farmers Markets

South Mountain and Laveen Village residents can now find two new farmers markets within their community – Southminster Farmers Market at 19th Street and Broadway and the Farmers Market at Gardner’s World on Baseline between 32nd and 40th Streets.

Southminster Farmers Market & Market on the Move (1923 E. Broadway)
After several months of planning, Southminster Presbyterian Church introduced its first farmers market event with Market on the Move on February 25th. The popular Market on the Move food rescue effort can be found throughout the Valley and in Tucson, and is made possible by non-profit organization, The 3000 Club. Designed to “rescue” USDA-inspected food that didn’t reach the market on time, this farmers market-like event offers community members access to approximately 5-6 different types of fruits and vegetables. Visitors can get up to 60 pounds of fruits and veggies for a mere $10 donation.

According to Dr. George Brooks, Jr., sustainability expert and catalyst behind the Southminster farmers market, Market on the Move provides very low-cost, healthy food options for a community in need. The event also creates the traffic and publicity necessary to attract other local farmers and vendors, helping Southminster build out their community vision for a local farmers market.

“Market on the Move attracts people from all over the city to buy food. This gives [Southminster] a traffic nucleus to encourage other farmers with locally grown food to attract an additional market,” said Brooks in a recent interview.

Southminster’s original vision included a community event that not only brought together local growers and provided inexpensive and healthy food choices to South Mountain Village residents, but also provided a market for local residents with backyard gardens.

“Local community members who grow food can sell their gardening excess at the community table,” said Brooks.

Southminster’s hosted its second monthly Market on the Move on Saturday, March 24th. The next event will be a combination of Market on the Move and the Southminster Farmers Market. A core group of local volunteers and church members, including Brooks, are reaching out to local growers in the South Mountain area to invite their participation in the upcoming event scheduled for Saturday, April 28th from 8am until noon.

For more information about Southminster Farmers Market & Market on the Move, visit online at HYPERLINK “http://www.southminpc.org” www.southminpc.org, call Southminster at 602-276-2582 or visit the church’s Facebook page.

Gardner’s World’s Farmers Market (3401 East Baseline Road)

A local institution, Gardner’s World at Baseline between 32nd and 40th Streets in South Mountain Village, celebrates 40 years this year. Originally started by husband and wife team Gary and Sharon Petterson in 1972, the 20-acre nursery introduced a weekly Farmers Market earlier this year.

Inspired by Green Bee Produce, Sharon Petterson reached out to the owners to discuss hosting a farmers market at Gardner’s World.

“I thought a farmers market would be a great addition to the nursery business,” said Petterson in a recent email. 

In late 2011, Green Bee decided Gardner’s World’s Baseline presence offered an excellent location. The first event was held in late January of 2012.

Open each Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the market offers more than your everyday fare: sellers hawk fresh fish from Alaska, buffalo meat and low-carb Italian food; vendors include companies such as Davey Jones Seafood, Green Bee Produce, Cotton Country Jams, Doctor Hummus and Mama Lee’s Candy.

In addition to the six to 10 vendors that showcase their goods each week, Gardner’s World also offers flowers and vegetable plants, fresh chicken and duck eggs, home-grown fruits and vegetables from the Petterson’s own home garden as well as honey from a local beekeeper.

Gardner’s World is committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with other local gardeners and landscapers. In addition to Gardner’s World, the Petterson started Gardner’s Eden Landscaping; and began designing and installing flora from their nursery. Talented gardeners, they are also members of the Sun Country Iris Society and grow thousands of irises in their home gardens in Gilbert. In addition to offering tours of their iris garden, the Pettersons also facilitate tours of other home gardens planted by master gardeners.

Gardner’s World is also the host of the annual Poinsettia Festival for the past 26 years. This family-friendly event features vendors, wagon rides, photo opportunities and a kids’ area, and, according to Petterson, “the best place to buy the freshest, widest varieties of poinsettias”.

For more information about Gardner’s World and their weekly Farmers Market, visit online at HYPERLINK “http://www.gardenpro.net” www.gardenpro.net or sign-up for their weekly gardening tips newsletter or read the couple’s gardening blogs.

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