From summer squash to baked goods: Shiprock Farmers' Market opens for the season

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Evangie Begay, left, visits with a customer while her sister, Cheryle Benally, bags zucchini and yellow squash at the Shiprock Farmers' Market on July 10 at the Shiprock Chapter house parking lot.

SHIPROCK — Evangie Begay talked with a customer about crocheted dish scrubbers as her sister, Cheryle Benally, put squash in a brown paper bag for the shopper.

The sisters were among the vendors who sold zucchini, yellow squash and onions as well as sewn items and baked goods on July 10 during the opening day of the Shiprock Farmers' Market.

Benally said she enjoys sewing and her sister is the one with a green thumb, but they both like selling their items in Shiprock because it is close to Gadii'ahi, where they grew up, and they often see family and friends at the market.

"We get to chitchat with everyone who comes through – old friends, new friends," Benally said.

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Zucchini grown in Kirtland sits for sale at the Shiprock Farmers' Market on July 10 at the Shiprock Chapter house parking lot.

The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Shiprock Chapter house parking lot.

It is part of the Northwest New Mexico Growers Market Alliance, which consists of farmers and makers markets that operate in Aztec, Bloomfield, Farmington and Kirtland.

Each market has started its season this year. Schedules and other details can be found on the alliance's website, buyfreshbuylocalnwnm.org.

Trini King, the Shiprock market coordinator, said the market started a month early this season and will continue through the end of October.

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At left, Cheryle Benally shows an apron to Debbie Allen at the Shiprock Farmers' Market on July 10 at the Shiprock Chapter house parking lot.

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The market spruced-up its look this year with new signage, a banner, a PA system and other supplies – all provided through a grant awarded to the alliance, King said.

"We went from wood pallet signs to beautiful, amazing custom-made signs for the Shiprock Farmers' Market," she said.

Before the new signs and banner, volunteers created homemade signs to advertise the market, King explained. She then added that the update elevates the market's appearance to its sister markets.

Orion Yazzie, the market's new manager, said he is excited to be part of the market because it provides space for farmers to sell and gives access to fresh food for people facing tight budgets.

For more information about the Shiprock Farmers' Market, contact 505-278-7789, ext. 105 or visit the market's Facebook page.

Debbie Allen browses through aprons for sale at the Shiprock Farmers' Market on July 10 at the Shiprock Chapter house parking lot.

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.

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