Tools of the Modern Farmer

This is a fun article called  “The Tools & Tactics of the Modern Farmer” by Bambie Lund in Edible Baja Magazine.

Interview Mark Killian from AZDA

Mark Killian is the director of the AZ Department of Agriculture.  Check out this interesting article “Arizona’s Farmhand” in the spring edition of Edible Baja by Lee Allen.

Heart Health in Finland!

Read here the article how a Finnish doctor transformed the heart health in Finland: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

AZ Finest Honey

Kaur Honey

Arizona’s Finest Honey Gerard Kaur, proprietor of “Arizona’s Finest Raw Honey, chats with visitors who were excited to discover that one of Gerard’s sons is deployed in their homeland Korea. People always ask Gerard Kaur “How do you get those different flavors of honey if it’s all natural?” The answer is simple when you think about it…it’s the surrounding environment. If the hives are enclosed by a forest of acacia and cat claw, that’s one variety.  If it’s spring you could be tasting late bloom-ing mesquite, or if it’s been a great year for wildflowers their essence is incor-porated by the bees into honey. There’s also honey infused with the aroma of horehound that tastes like old fashioned cough medicine!  Gerard has been keeping bees since 1973. His first hives were located in what became Slide Rock State Park.  Now they’re scattered through out Yavapai County, including at Arcosanti. What does Gerard find so fascinating about bees? He says, they can pretty much manage themselves, and he likes their energy. Although the other morning he went to check on them and discovered that they were “angry!”   Gerard’s honey is raw and unfiltered so all the healthful attributes produced by the bees are passed along, like one customer succinctly put it, “it’s angel food!”

Written by Laura Cox

Photo by Farmers Market

Aguiar Family Farm

Aguiar Farm Family

“My Dad is the hardest working person I know,” says Rocío Aguiar of her father Fernando. His hard work is showcased every Friday at the Sedona Community Farmers Market, with a mouth watering display of garden-fresh vegetables picked that morning by the family on their farm at Paulden, Arizona. Fernando believes you can “live a good life when you work hard.” At the Aguiar booth you will find peppers, chilies (roasted on site if you choose), cabbage, rhubarb, corn, beets, onions, garlic, squash, tomatoes, lettuces, black, red and green grapes, herbs-in fact everything you need for a delicious, healthy meal!  Fernando spent almost two decades as a plumber in Phoenix before returning to his roots in agriculture. Growing up in Mexico, with seven brothers and sisters, working the land to help feed the family was just part of life. All the produce on the 17 acre Paulden farm is grown from seed without pesticides, chemicals or herbicides. There is a small greenhouse for starting plants. Aguiar Farm is an approved WIC certified producer and WIC checks are ac-cepted at his booth. It is truly a “family farm,” with Fernando, his wife and four children all involved in the daily farming activities. And, at the Aguiar Farm and booth, hablamos Español!  This is Fernando’s 2nd year at the Sedona market. Our customers are delighted. How does Fernando respond to his daughter’s comment? With a big grin!

written by Laura Cox

Fridays 9-10am Tai Chi with Laurel!

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“You move like a butterfly,” said Master Gao and then gave Laurel Harr a new Chinese name “Hu Daie,” to reflect the delicacy of her movements. Laurel studied the Northern Chinese “Yang” Tai Chi style in Chicago as a private student for more than eight years, learning eighty-eight different moves. One day the Master said, “I give you permission teach.” Join Laurel at the Market most Fridays as she shares her skills with the community.

Written by Laura Cox

Mina’s Farm and Orchard

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MINA FARMMany people travel far before stopping at the Sedona Community Farmers Market but perhaps none farther than Joao Mina. Joao, or John, to those of us not comfortable with Portuguese, was born into a family of 10 brothers and sisters in a small town in Portugal. As a youngster he sought his fortune wandering and working his way through Spain, France and Belgium before finding a job, at age 17, as a dishwasher on a cargo vessel headed to ports in the Mediterranean and beyond. When the ship docked in Houston, Texas, Joao decided he had enough and in his own words “jumped ship” to make a better life in America.  A much varied career followed: herding sheep in Buckeye, construction in Phoenix and Flagstaff before settling down in Camp Verde in 1995.  Fresh vegetables can be found in abundance at the Market, but tree ripened fruits are rare unless you visit Mina’s booth. From late summer until early fall there’s a profusion of beautiful, luscious peaches, pears, persimmons, apples and pomegranates ready to sample or bring home to create your own cobbler, smoothie or salad. There are pecans as well, and according to Joao, all cracked and cleaned by hand. Seventy to eighty chickens and a herd of goats make their home with Joao, along with his wife Rosemary on one and a half irrigated acres on Salt Mine Road. He says it’s hard to give an exact count of his flock due to predators! Keeping track of all those chickens and managing the orchard is a full time job for any one person but not to Joao who also sells his fruit at the Prescott and Flagstaff markets and owns the Vaqueros Grill and Cantina, described as a “hidden gem” by one reviewer, just up the hill in the old mining town of Jerome. He may be retired but he’s still traveling.

written by Laura Cox

Da’Nede Farm

Munozweb1When you talk to Freddy Muñoz at the Da’ Nede’ Farm booth you would never suspect that he hasn’t spent all his life farming. But in fact, after growing up in Flagstaff, Freddy moved to San Francisco and spent the next thirty-five years as an electrician working in the tallest high-rises. He retired to Camp Verde to “chill out” only to discover he couldn’t sit still. It was then he found a new passion: growing vegetables.
Da’ Nede’ Farm is located on Middle Verde Road in Camp Verde. There’s one acre planted in crops which are grown without chemicals or pesticides. Freddy likes to say “We farm with love, not a certification.” Freddy doesn’t have a particular favorite crop, but he does love to search seed catalogues to find unusual items. That’s why you’ll find things like Russian Brown and Serpent Armenia cucumbers, Zephyr squash and garlic flowers at his stand. He’s always happy to educate folks about his produce as well.
For most of the year Freddy manages his farm on his own, but come summer his daughter Molly returns from Europe to lend a hand (ask her for her tomato sauce recipe. It’s delicious). Da’ Nede’ Farm has been a contributor to the Sedona Community Farmer’s Market since its inception. Freddy’s customers are just as loyal!
And where did the name Da’ Nede’ come from? Freddy explains: he had an old friend and mentor from the Navajo Reservation. The Navajo prefer to be known as The Dinē, and in honor of his friend Freddy anglicized the word. The result? Da’ Nede’
written by Laura Cox

Dave Stutzman – Vendor of the Week!

StutzmanwithCucumberThere are gentlemen farmers, corporate farmers, and at the Sedona Farmers Market we have our very own “Fireman Farmer,” Dave Stutzman. For twenty years, until his retirement in March 2015, Dave commuted back and forth between Camp Verde and his job as a Peoria firefighter.  Dave says farming is “in the blood.” Growing up in Arizona, he travelled back to Iowa every summer to work on the farms of his Mennonite uncles. He still loves tractors. He started growing Asian vegetables as a hobby. When his kids were small, he branched out into pumpkins. A friend from Phoenix suggested tomatoes, which are now a specialty for Dave. In fact, his tomatoes were once voted “Best in Arizona.” He’s been featured in Sunset Magazine, and National Geographic interviewed him just this past month. Dave starts some of his plants in a greenhouse but quickly moves them into his fields when the danger of frost has passsed. According to Dave, tomatoes grown in the sun contain the most desirable flavor and the most vitamins. One of Dave’s favorite varieties is the Pierson. He also loves the sweet Old German.

By Laura Cox

On-Farm Food Safety and Wildlife

The Sedona Farmers Market has been pioneering standard practices in Northern Arizona around food safety for growers in collaboration with University of Arizona Agricultural Extensions of Yavapai and Yuma Counties since 20011, promoting USDA GHP/GAP procedures.

Here is an interesting article on the latest research of wildlife on farms and how it relates to food safety.

Food Safety and Wildlife – click here!