Market offers fresh veggies, fruit

Joe and Laurie Haseloff of Farwell load their pickup truck with watermelons and cantaloupes Friday evening to take to the Clovis Farmer Market that opens today at Pile and Fourth streets. (Staff photo: Tony Bullocks)

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

THE FARMERS MARKET CELEBRATES the peak of harvest with a grand opening today to introduce the season’s yield. There will be demonstrations, chili roasting, samples and recipes, according to Denny Wymore, manager.

What: The Clovis Farmers Market grand opening
Who: Farmers within a 60-mile radius of Clovis who have grown their own produce.
Where: The corner of Fourth and Pile streets
When: 8 a.m. today. Regular hours 4 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays through October

THE FARMERS MARKET IS OPEN until the farmers sell out of produce, which generally takes about two hours, according to Denny Wymore who suggested people arrive early so they don’t miss anything.

SOME OF THE PRODUCE FARMERS may be selling includes:
• potatoes
• onions
• corn
• cucumbers
• tomatoes
• black-eyed peas
• green beans
• chilies, hot medium or mild
• peaches
• apples
• cantaloupe
• squash
• zucchini
• black berries
• rhubarb
• choke cherries
• watermelon
• squash
• jalapenos

THE FARMERS MARKET HAS EXPERIENCED growth after moving its location from the parking lot of North Plains Mall to the downtown area this year, Denny Wymore, manager, said. The farmers have had solid crops this year despite lacking moisture, and customers have flocked to the new location in higher than average numbers.

“We are jumping on everything. The fruit is coming in really well — it just tickles me,” she said.

Part of the reason the Farmers Market decided to move was financial and part was in an effort to patronize the downtown area, said Wymore, also employed as a teacher at Parkview Elementary. “If you’re going to support Clovis you’re going to be big on revitalizing the downtown area and we are trying to do that.”

LOOKING FOR A SUMMER job when school is out, Parkview Elementary teacher Denny Wymore said she discovered the Farmers Market to be a great social and family-oriented experience. “You see people you haven’t seen for a while and meet new people. The whole family is involved. My daughter got a kick out of it,” she said.

By the numbers
2 — average amount of hours it takes the farmers to sell out of produce
351 — Customers that shopped the market Tuesday afternoon. In 2005 customer counts did not exceed 300 at any given point.