Thursday, September 9, 2010

Celebrate Local Food, Grant County, New Mexico

Updates from September 2010 Newsletter

New Crop of Young Farmers Strengthens Silver City Farmers’ Market

According the USDA, "The average age of the principle farm operator has increased... from 50.3 in 1978 to 57.1 in 2007". While this trend of aging farmers does not bode well for the future of agriculture, the Silver City area appears to be bucking this trend.

The Silver City Farmers Market has recently benefitted from an influx of younger farmers who are dedicating themselves to growing food. As highlighted in the last newsletter, Anne LeFerve, 32, and Kyle Skaggs, 25, of Frisco Farms, have providing an abundance of fresh vegetables in their first year of production in Pleasanton. Doug Smith, 30, has successfully managed a large production of vegetables for two years for Townside Farm. Eric Leahy, 42, has been a regular presence at the market with his veggies for at least 10 years. Zack Bruton, 38, along with the help of his wife Patty, has taken the plunge into farming by planting 3 acres of mellons, cukes and other veggies in his first year of production in Cliff. Genevieve Morgan, 28, manager of the newly formed San Vincente Farm, is preparing for the farm's first season next year, just south of Silver City. Nevadith Casillas, 27, and her husband Horacio, have been providing veggies this season from their farm in Gila.

There are a number of "old-timers" who are are a important presence at the Market with their produce, but as with all of us, they aren't getting any younger. One such gentleman is Ruben Castillo, 70. He has been farming most of his life in the Mimbres Valley. When asked what he thought about the younger farmers appearing at the Market, he replied, "It's encouraging. I'm real proud of these young guys”

Zack and Patty of Cliff

Kyle Skaggs of Frisco Farms

Doug Smith of Townside Farm

Horacio and Nevadith Casillas of Gila

Grant County Food Policy Council Established

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities announced that on August 26, the Grant County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a county resolution to form the Grant County Food Policy Council. Grant County is now the third county in New Mexico and one of the few rural counties in the United States to have such an advisory group on food and agriculture. The Food Policy Council will bring together public and private stakeholders to discuss food and agriculture-related issues, form partnerships, recommend policies and coordinate projects to improve the health and well-being of our local communities. Silver City Farmers' Market looks forward to working with the State of New Mexico Food and Agricultural Policy Council and other organizations working diligently to promote good food, public health, social justice, economic development and more!

Salsa Contest a Success

The competition was fierce, with about 14 great entries. The winners were as follows: Red Salsa--1st Place, Armando Teran; 2nd Place, Sylvia Provencio. Green Salsa--1st Place, Mike Anthony; 2nd Place, Felicia Bencomo. The overall "Best in Show" Winner was Mike Anthony.

Silver City Firemen Contemplating Salsa

(photo courtesy of

SCFM Board Member Carolyn Smith presents Grand Prize

to Mike Anthony (photo courtesy of

Special Thanks to our Volunteers

Once again, thanks to Margeurite Bellringer, Socorro Arellano, Renate, and Valerie Quintana!

News from the Board

The Market has a new website/blog:

Newsletters and current information will be posted here, as well as postings of the minutes from Board meetings.

Looking ahead, the Board has announced that this year's Annual Meeting with be on February 19, 2011 at 10:00 at the Silver City Pubic Library. Among other business at the meeting, the vendors/members will vote to fill in vacancies for the Board of Directors. Members and non-members from the community are asked to consider being running to be on the Board. (Last date for candidate submission is January 22) In the first year as a non-profit organization, the Board has made great strides in setting up the infrastructure of the organization, but for the market to keep viable, we need others to come forward to help carry the vision. Speaking of vision, here is the Market's simplified mission statement:

The Silver City Farmers’ Market is a New Mexico non-profit set up to provide an outlet for local agricultural producers to sell directly to consumers including recipients of public assistance. Through the Market itself and ongoing education, we foster producer-consumer connections with the goal of increasing the overall production and consumption of local food in southwestern New Mexico.

The next board meeting will be on October 8, 4:00 in the Coop Community Meeting Room. All are welcome!

(This is the usual time--the second Friday of each month at 4:00)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Updates from July 2010 Newsletter

New Faces – Frisco Farm
New at the market this year are Anne LeFevre and Kyle Skaggs of Frisco Farm, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Bringing food grown from the land and water of the San Francisco River, they will provide a wide array of chemical and pesticide free food choices throughout the season.
Anne grew up in Colorado, but has ten years farming experience in northern New Mexico. Kyle, a Glenwood native, became interested in agriculture while attending Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. He spent a season working on a farm near Santa Fe – a farm managed by Anne – before they combined their farming skills and interests on Kyle’s parents land in Pleasanton. Kyle’s educational and field-work experience is in ecology. This combined with Anne’s extensive farming background gives them a keen understanding of our area’s unique interaction between plants, soil, water, climate, and the importance of local food sources.
This is the first season of production for the farm. They moved back to the area last fall and started plowing the fallow fields, planting cover crop, and building deer fence. This spring, once the ground was dry enough to work, they started turning the cover under and planting crops. With Kyle having grown up in the area, they know lots of local folks that are excited about the farm and willing to help in any way the can. Their crops also have the added benefit of having been grown in fields tilled by a hard working and honorable draft mule. A good draft mule always adds that special something!
Frisco Farm is a great benefit to our market community in that they not only bring great produce each week, but they also bring great people to the market who are members of their CSA.
Here is how Frisco Farm’s explains their CSA: “Community Supported Agriculture is a unique relationship between a farm and consumers in a local community. Members of the community sign up in advance for a share of the produce harvested in a given season. Throughout the growing year, CSA members receive a weekly distribution of goods picked up at the farm or local distribution point.”
Silver City Farmer’s Market is proud to have Frisco Farm as part of their family of growers bringing local and sustainable choices for you at your community’s farmer’s market.

Serenity Bakers!
Another great addition to the market this year is the mouth watering, made from scratch baked goods straight from the kitchen of Becky Ferranti of Serenity Acres Inc. Many in Silver City are already familiar with the generous and caring work that Serenity Acres has provided in the area of equine rescue over the years. Now you can support that work by purchasing generously portioned baked goods made by the same caring hands! All proceeds from their market sales go to feed the horses in support of their continued non-profit work. What a great way to support local food, compassionate horse rescue, and your urge for a wide variety of baked goods to take home or eat on the spot.
For those not familiar with the work of Serenity Acres, they are a 501-(c)3 non-profit that helps to place horses formally associated with the PRE MAR RIN (Pregnant mare urine) industry. They work to find homes for horses throughout the USA. For more information go to

Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival Saturday, September 25th, 9:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m. A day long hoe down, when farmers put down their hoes for a celebration, is planned with valley growers, storytellers, musicians and craftspeople coming together to share their love of the Mimbres at the San Lorenzo Elementary School. Good variety of food options will be available all day long. Bring your entry to The Best Tasting Pie Contest. Events for kids and adults alike will be happening throughout the day. Plenty of free parking with shuttle service provided.
For more information visit their website at or call 505-536-9681

The Silver City Farmer’s Market appreciates the contributions we receive from everyone in the community: Thank you volunteers Marguerite Bellringer and Socorro Arellano, J&J Signs, Silver City Food Coop (great coffee!), The Main Street Project, Janey Katz and Suzi Calhoun, Heckler’s Copies to Go, Town of Silver City, Gila Community Forum, Thunder Creek Quilt Shop/Western Stationers, Griffin”s Propane, Single Socks, Daine’s Bakery.

Notice of Board Meeting
Board meetings for Silver City Farmer’s Market take place the first Tuesday of each month at 2:00 PM in the Silver City Coop’s Community Room. Meetings are open to all please feel free to attend.