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Tue, Nov. 12

Schaffer Farms gets into CV Farmers Market
Farmers looking to get a bigger name for themselves

Shaunte Schaffer puts some tomatoes in a bag for a market customer. (Jason Wheeler/Review)

Shaunte Schaffer puts some tomatoes in a bag for a market customer. (Jason Wheeler/Review)

For the past couple of months, Paulden-based Schaffer Farms has had a presence at the Chino Valley Farmers Market.

“This is our first year going into market farming but my husband grew up on a farm in Skull Valley and I’m a third- generation Prescottonian,” said Shaunte Schaffer, noting that they’ve been selling at the farmers market since late May. “It’s been my husband’s dream since he was a little guy. Growing up he wanted to be a farmer.”

As they’ve brought their produce to the market, Schaffer said there’s been a lot of enjoyment working one-on-one with the customers and getting to know what they want so she and her husband, Joseph, can get those items to them.

Gabriel Kerns, assistant marketing manager, said the Schaffers have an amazing farm. Most of what they eat is grown on their property which is relatively small, Kerns said.

“I think they have a quarter acre in production,” he said. “It’s consolidated … but there’s a lot going on in that quarter acre.”

Joseph Schaffer not only grows his own wheat, but also the other grains he cuts his wheat with and their main source of protein is their black beans grown at the base of their corn, Kerns said. He’s also an expert seed saver, storing seeds from many of the vegetables he grows and even growing some vegetables for their seeds in order to grow them in the future, he said.

Getting their product to the market this season has been a bit of a challenge thanks to the weather, Shaunte Schaffer said. The late freezes and the heat haven’t helped and growing tomatoes has been really hard this year, she said. One thing they have learned though for next year is what sells and what doesn’t, Shaunte Schaffer said.

“My husband originally went into it wanting to do herb farming,” she said. “Herbs are definitely not something that sells around here.”

Eventually, Shaunte Schaffer said their goal is to get the point of where Whipstone Farm is — meaning getting out and getting a bigger name for themselves.

The Chino Valley Farmers Market is held from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays at Olsen’s Grain, 344 Highway 89, through Thursday, Oct. 24.

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