RIMROCK – As with people, the real beauty of naturally grown produce can be found on the inside.
That’s what Rimrock Farmers Market Manager Candy Hammond says as she and the community’s farmers and gardeners prepare for opening day of the new market season.
“Some of the best stuff is ugly,” says Hammond, in her second year as the market’s manager. In fact, Hammond says that “ugly tomatoes taste better.”
“And ugly fruit? Awesome!” she says.
The Rimrock Farmers Market’s gardeners and farmers produce foods by using organic or old fashioned methods. Because, Hammond says, “natural is better.”
“You could genetically modify and chemically spray the produce to produce better looks,” she says. “But what are you losing in the process?”
From 4 p.m. until dusk Wednesdays from June 19 through Sept. 25 in the parking lot of Verde Valley Honey, the Rimrock Farmers Market will offer locally grown seasonal vegetables, floral arrangements, and eggs, along with baked and canned goods that the Market’s gardeners and farmers produce using organic or old fashioned methods.
“Buy directly from the people who put their heart and soul into bringing you the best they can offer,” Hammond says.
The market’s vendors have varying degrees of experience, but as Hammond says, they area “close-knit community.
Like Melissa Favrow, who Hammond says “grows fun and unusual varieties” of foods, such as a lemon squash named for its appearance.
“They don’t taste like lemon, but they have that shape,” Hammond says.
A year ago, and with little growing experience, Favrow was the first vendor to sign up for the Rimrock market.
“She’s true-blue Rimrockian,” says Hammond, who attended Beaver Creek School with Favrow. “I like her beautiful smile and her calm, gentle nature.”
With “years of experience,” Kayo Parsons-Korn is what Hammond calls a “culinary guru.”
“She grinds her own Hopi corn with a hand crank,” Hammond says. Parsons-Korn is known for her onions, Hopi cornbread, pesto, and sells tomatoes and garlic.
“She has beautiful braided garlic,” Hammond says. “It’s delicious, and also a work of art.”
Before taking over management of the Rimrock market, Hammond was a market vendor. She still is a vendor, and oftentimes will bake pies, make salsa, and sell lavender lemonade and tropical iced tea.
“I believe in our community,” Hammond says. “We live in a food desert. Healthy options are crucial.”
Each week, the market will offer demonstrations of gardening practices, cooking methods and hands-on crafts to keep its customers coming back week after week.
There will also be natural health and beauty product, artisan and crafts booths at the Rimrock market. One Wednesday each month, the Rimrock Farmers Market will also have live musical entertainment.
Gardeners, farmers, artists or musicians in interested in participating in the weekly Rimrock Farmers Market, should contact Candy Hammond at 602-402-9075 or at her place of business, Candy’s Creekside Cottage, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Rimrock Farmers Market is located at 3100 E. Beaver Creek Road.
For those who can’t make it down to the market, the Beaver Creek Transit – known as the Beaver Buggy – will offer a park-and-ride opportunity from Lake Square of Rollins Park to the market at 4:15 p.m. 5:15 p.m. each Wednesday through Sept. 25.
Anyone who needs a ride to the market directly from their home should call 928-301-2749.
The Rimrock Farmers Market is sponsored by the Beaver Creek Kiwanis, and the Verde Valley Ancestral Gardens.