Farmers market real deal
Three years ago Frances Deters took a full kitchen to the farmers market and started cooking. She cooked and served the fresh vegetables from the market right there for everyone to taste.
Deters figures the other members must have seen that initiative and decided she would make a good manager because she has been managing the event ever since.
The Socorro Farmers Market takes place Saturdays and Tuesdays at the plaza in town. Many of the 16 dues-paying members can be found there hawking their products, which include much more than just vegetables. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, shoppers can find pottery, jewelry, honey, alpaca wool, locally raised meats, breads and other baked goods at the market.
“I consider it one of my duties to make sure there are enough supplies at market so people can come and get a meal,” Deters said. “I sell meat, some sell cheese in addition to the veggies, eggs and bread.”
This year has been tough, Deters said. It has been a dry and windy spring but the vendors at the market prevailed.
“This past week we had 13 farmers and three crafters and three processors (people who bake or make jams and jelly),” she said.
On Saturdays, folks can get a breakfast sandwich and coffee from the Grab N Gourmet truck and sit and visit before shopping.
“It’s not just come down and shop,” Deters said. “It’s come down and interact with your community. Get your vegetables and sit down and have a coffee with your friends. It is a good way to start your Saturday.”
The farmers market can accept WIC checks and EBT cards to encourage healthy choices. Deters also tries to provide live music during the market times. Local entertainers can often be found playing at the plaza gazebo Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons.
To encourage more people to go to the market Deters said there is an email list people can join featuring promotions and the farmers. Those who visit with her on market day can get added to the list and receive a prize for signing up.
Also Deters has prizes for regular customers who bring friends who don’t shop at the market. She calls it her Bring-a-Buddy program.
“I believe in the farmers market in a great way,” she said. “I believe in keeping the money local. I think it’s a safer food supply.”
The Socorro summer market held in the plaza runs from May to around mid October, Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, Deters said. The winter market continues from November to April behind Finley Gym on Saturdays only.
The farmers market motto:
“Come for the real, go home with the meal. Real food, real farmers, real community,” Deters said.