Produce-ing profits

CNJ Staff Photo: Gabriel Monte Sonya Burson and Harrison Bentley sell spaghetti squash, grown from Burson’s farm in Portales, at the Clovis Farmers Market.

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom Newspapers

Aside from learning languages, Zigrid Steinbergs, 82, spends most of his time in his two acres of land in Portales tilling the soil.
“I’ve been growing vegetables almost 25 years,” he said.

“I do it, basically, so I have something to do.”

Steinbergs was one of about 10 vendors, from the surrounding areas of Clovis, selling their produce Saturday morning at the Clovis Farmers Market in downtown Clovis.

On this morning, he was selling raspberries, pecans and rhubarb. He said he hopes to sell tomatoes, melons, Chinese green beans and Japanese daikon radishes next time.

The market opens at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and closes once the farmers have sold all their produce, said market manager Denny Wymore. About 240 people came to market on Saturday, she said. The market also opens at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and closes once farmers have sold all their produce.

Organic vegetables are also available at the market this year, Wymore said.

“That was a big step, a big process, lots of paperwork,” she said.

But it wasn’t all just produce at the market.

Judy Wade, 53, of Clovis, stayed up until 3 a.m. to bake different pastries, she said.
Wade said this is her second year as a vendor at the market.

“I’ve been coming to Farmers Market for a long time,” she said. “I usually help a friend sell vegetables.”
The market participates in the WIC Nutrition Program. The program gives money for women and children to spend at the market, according to the Farmers Market Web site.

Wymore said the market will also participate in a nutrition program for the elderly by the Salvation Army.
“Seniors will be given a check to buy fresh fruits and vegetables,” she said.

The market opened June 23, and Wymore said a grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 11.

“We’re going to do a lot of different sampling,” she said. “And there’s going to be a grill.”