Sowing good seed
Appeal Staff Writer
In its first year, the farmers market at the Dayton Valley Floral and Nursery on Dayton Valley Road attracted a steady stream of customers last week, and it didn’t take them long to do their shopping.
According to Truddee Arkell, manager of the nursery, “This is only the beginning.”
The Dayton Farmers Market will take place Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. through Sept. 15. Some vendors show up every week, while some alternate their weeks, according to Arkell.
Among those who have appeared at the Dayton Farmers Market since it began on June 2 are Smith & Smith Farms of Dayton; Sue’s Garden of Carson City; K&J Orchards of Winters Calif.; and a former nurse who makes healthy and chemical-free skin care products.
All of the growers selling at the market are members of the Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association, Arkell said.
“That means they have all been inspected by the state Department of Agriculture.”
Smith & Smith Farms of Dayton offers fruits, vegetables and fresh flowers to shoppers.
Among the choices from Smith & Smith last week were turnips, spinach, baby squash, chards, strawberries, beet greens, garlic, lettuce mix and rhubarb.
Miguel Lozada, grandson and nephew to the owners, said that in addition to selling at farmers markets, Smith & Smith is a part of a Community Supported Agriculture program that offers produce subscriptions. According to co-owner Brenda Smith, the farm has already sold out its subscriptions for the season.
Lozado said Smith & Smith also sells at the Carson City Farmers Market on Wednesdays.
The farm also offered “buckaroo bouquets” of calla, lilies, posies, Oriental poppies and more species.
“This is an early bouquet of all field-grown flowers,” said employee Rachel Holloway, working her second summer at the farm. “We’ll have lilacs and others next week. It all depends on the season.”
Jim Beutel of K&T Orchards in Winters, Calif., was selling apricots and peaches. He said he has been selling fruit at farmers markets in Nevada for 10 years.
“It s a nice place to be up here,” he said, adding that he and his wife split their time between the farm west of Sacramento and a house they own in Dayton.
“We love selling fresh fruits to people who don’t always get to have fresh fruits, but who remember how it used to be.”
Dayton resident Sara Rose, shopping with her daughters Maggie, 7, and Mary Jane, 4, was excited about the new market.
“I just love this,” she said. “Hopefully, more vendors will come. We can’t wait to get home and eat our goodies.”
Along with the edible goodies, skin-care products and handmade jewelry and crafts were also for sale.
Lona Gabree, a former oncology nurse, offered all-natural skin-care products made by her company, Hummingbird.
Gabree, a Dayton resident, said she had cared for cancer patients in seven countries during her career and found a common complaint – not enough lotions without chemicals. So she created some.
Her products are made from oils that she said are known to possess healing powers such as beeswax, emu oil, olive oil and others.
Claudia Johnson of Silver Springs will be selling silver jewelry with turquoise and other stones made by Jason Cooley of Austin in Lander County. She also sells handmade crafts of crystal, electroplated leaves and “hangies” – bees, birds and other ceramic creatures hanging on springs and wires, used most often to decorate porches, she said.
Though the Dayton Farmers Market started out small, it was a hit with attendees.
“This is great,” said Tom Haas of Dayton, who was browsing with his wife, June. “It gets it started anyway.”
June Haas was equally pleased. “We’ve been to the one in Carson, but this one’s closer,” she said.
Arkell sees the market as becoming more than just a place to buy fruit.
“It’s going to be a place people can come and gather once a week and get together,” she said. “Where we can offer fresh-grown fruits and vegetables in a family atmosphere.”
To add to that atmosphere, Arkell hired singer-guitarist Kit Lefevre of Carson City, who performed 1960s and ’70s tunes.
Arkell said, although the number of vendors was small, the turnout of customers was good.
“It’s going to take a little time, but we all think it’s going to be a really good market,” she said. “It’s a nice setting.
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 881-1274.
Weekly costs for space at the Dayton Farmers Market:
For produce vendors: First 10-by-10 foot: $25, additional 10-by-10 foot: $10.
For commercial vendors: First 10-by-10 foot: $30, additional 10-by-10 foot: $15.
For local artists and crafters: First 10-by-10 foot: $15, additional 10-by-10 foot: $7.50.
For food on-site preparation: $45, additional space: $10. Food vendors must obtain a permit from the Nevada Department of Health.
For more information, call Truddee at 246-5296, ext. 107, Wednesday-Saturday.
If You Go
What: Dayton Farmers Market
When: Thursdays, 3-7 p.m. through Sept. 15
Where: Dayton Valley Floral and Nursery, 209 Dayton Valley Road.
How to get there: Take Highway 50 to Dayton Valley Road then go south. Just over the bridge is the nursery. Walk through the nursery to get to the farmers market.