Texans aren’t the only ones enjoying all the delicious bounty the Llano Estacado has to offer this year. Our friends to the west in Clovis and Portales, New Mexico have a farmers’ market experience worth bragging about. Margie Plummer has played a big role int he success of both of these farmers markets. In this blog post, we want to share a little about her work in New Mexico and what visitors can expect at the Clovis and Portales markets.
Margie had her first experience with the Clovis market in 1992, when she began participating in the market as a vendor. Three years later, she and Floyd McAlister (Extension Agent at the time) and C.M. Baker (a local grower), worked with the State Farmers Market Association to get the Portales market started. Over time, Margie’s role would shift to be a lead person for both markets.
Both the Clovis and Portales farmers markets have a set of rules that comply with State Farmers Market and WIC rules. All produce must be grown within a specific radius around Portales and Clovis and must be grown by the farmer/vendor selling it. Margie and her team inspect fields prior to a new vendor selling to be sure he/she actually grows the product being sold. This practice guarantees that customers receive locally grown, fresh produce that is grown by the farmer selling it to them. Most growers don’t use chemicals, and consumers can ask each grower and usually find that the produce is chemical free.
Visitors to the market also enjoy the fellowship, display of produce and excitement of all the bustle of setting up produce and selecting the products they want to purchase. It is a social event for many people, especially the older members of the community. The Clovis market has even grown to include live music throughout the market season. Margie and her team have worked with the Business Organization of Old Town Clovis to make the market an event that people in the community look forward to each week.
The Portales market meets each week on Monday and Thursday, from 5:00 pm until sell out. It is located at the corner of First Street and Avenue B. The Clovis market is held on Saturdays at 8:00 am and on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm (both until sellout). It is located at Goodwin Lake Walking Trail, North Prince Street. The markets will continue through the end of October. During the fall months, visitors can expect produce to include pumpkins, winter squash, and other fall crops (all of which should be available in a few weeks).
Margie shares that visitors to either market can expect to find a beautiful variety of produce, including green chiles, corn, green beans, blackeyed peas, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, onions, red potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, and an assorted varieties of peppers. Margie was also generous to share with us a list of local producers who attend the market each week:
- Rick Ledbetter — green chile and sweet corn
- Urbano Ordonez — green chile, sweet corn
- Garrett Viss family — squash and variety of other veggies
- Pam Wortham — variety
- Margie Plummer (Veggie Shack) — variety
- Don Wiley — variety
- Jill Denton — variety
Have you attended either the Clovis or Portales markets? We would love to hear about your experience there in the comments below!
Credit for photos: Clovis Farmers Market Facebook Page