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Sat, Oct. 19

Farmers Market

Sunshine Reilly owner of Burnin' Daylight Farm in Chino Valley, talks with Jean LeFever about her tomato plants Tuesday afternoon during the first day of the Prescott Valley Farmers Market.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier

Sunshine Reilly owner of Burnin' Daylight Farm in Chino Valley, talks with Jean LeFever about her tomato plants Tuesday afternoon during the first day of the Prescott Valley Farmers Market.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier

The word "green" assumes more than one meaning for Matt Hyde and Sarah Wertz of Run Rabbit Farm in Paulden.

Hyde and Wertz, both former classmates at Prescott College, are "green" at farming by themselves, and when it comes to selling at farmers markets. They only grow vegetables, which are green (and other colors).

They marked their debut at the Prescott Farmers Market - now in its 14th year - May 15, and set up a booth at the return of the Prescott Valley Farmers Market Tuesday afternoon.

Hyde, 24, said he gained experience before going into business with Wertz, 23, by working during the past hunting season at Wades Custom Meats in Chino Valley and interning at Whipstone Farm in Paulden during the past growing season. He and Wertz farm 2 acres that they lease from another farmer.

They started planting vegetables in late March, and began harvesting their crops before the farmers market kicked off in Prescott.

While facing a cold spring, the wind became the major challenge "just blowing things around the farm," Hyde said. "It is hard to work in the wind.

"We use floating row covers to help to protect (crops) from bugs and wind," Hyde said.

Hyde, from Minneapolis, said he is pleased with the fruits of his labor.

"I like growing food for the community," Hyde said. "It's everything from seed to the plant to the customers' hands."

Rabbit Run Farm's booth sported freshly harvested radishes, romaine lettuce, beets, spinach, butterhead lettuce, braising greens, baby chard, bok choy and other vegetables.

The farm was among 14 vendors who sold goods during the resumption of the farmers market in Prescott Valley.

The farmers market started in 2007 in Prescott Valley but did not take place in 2009 because of a shortage of vendors, market manager Erin Lingo said.

"This year I'm really impressed," Lingo said. "I'm impressed with how many vendors are ready to come back" to Prescott Valley.

The vendors sell vegetables, baked goods, home-grown chickens, goat-milk soap, massage oils and other goods.

They enjoy better visibility at a parking lot across Glassford Hill Road from the Fry's shopping center than the previous location at the M&I Bank parking lot, Lingo said.

The farmers market drew first-time visitor Betsy Gravel, and she was pleased with what vendors offered.

Gravel, a physical therapy assistant, said she arrived to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, "and see what is available to help the community. I just got here, but I did not realize they had other things. I see there is jewelry and artists."

The farmers market will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 28 in Prescott Valley's Entertainment District.

Wertz said she and Hyde will attend all farmers markets in the tri-city area "if everything grows."

For more information, visit www.prescottfarmersmarket.org.

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