Farmington Growers Market starts 2021 season

More than a dozen vendors on hand for opening day

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Various leafy vegetables, radishes and herbs topped the table at the Bridgewater Gardens setup at the Farmington Growers Market, which started its season on June 12.

Among those happy to shop at the market was Pamela Sophia Rays, who moved in October 2020 to Farmington from North Carolina.

"I got lettuce. Lots of lettuce and different kinds of lettuce and five little baby doughnuts from the doughnut people," Rays said with a wide smile as she carried the food to her vehicle.

And Rays was not done shopping.

The market features fresh produce and other handmade products from local vendors each Saturday, starting at 8 a.m., at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

Vernon Bridgewater of Bridgewater Gardens places garlic scapes in a plastic bag for a customer on June 12 at the Farmington Growers Market.

A Tuesday market will start on July 6, operating from 4 to 6 p.m. at the museum.

Since guidelines and restrictions for COVID-19 are easing, Growers Market manager Jacqueline Montoya said there will be more food vendors this season, and capacity has increased.

Organizers also hope to bring in live music, but that depends on future public health orders for the virus.

Patricia Benally readies dough to make frybread on June 12 at the Farmington Growers Market.

Otherwise, organizers are following current public health orders to conduct the market.

The market's season opened with 13 vendors selling items ranging from kettle corn to fresh-cut flowers. The offerings at the market will grow as the season continues.

"It's great that there's so many that came out today," Montoya said.

The market is once again offering the double-up program that allows people who receive SNAP benefits to purchase twice as much food.

Radishes are seen for sale by Bridgewater Gardens on June 12 at the Farmington Growers Market.

The Farmington Growers Market is now part of an alliance that formed among the farmers and makers markets that operate here and in Aztec, Bloomfield, Kirtland and Shiprock, said Pauline Pao, regional market coordinator for the alliance.

The alliance will further help market managers connect, as well as serve as a resource for the public to learn about the various markets.

Clare Hassett shows a cooling neck wrap, sewn by her sister, at the MoSt Design booth on June 12 at the Farmington Growers Market.

"I think it will be beneficial because it'll be one place to go to for information about all the markets in the area," Pao said.

At Buttercups Handmades, owner Tanya Kluender talked with a customer about the artisan soaps and lotions that she makes.

Tanya Kluender, owner of Buttercups Handmades, visits with a customer on June 12 at the Farmington Growers Market.

"I like meeting people locally. … I love supporting the local community," Kluender said explaining why she has participated in the market over the last three years.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription to The Daily Times.