ST. GEORGE —From jolly ranchers to artisan crafts, the Hurricane Farmers Market is set to celebrate its two-year birthday bash this weekend, bringing farmers and bakers within a 100-mile radius to one location for fresh food, prizes and community fun.
“I love the community part of farmers markets versus the grocery store. You get to learn so much more from your farmers about your food and where it comes from by being right there and asking them,” said Annie Spendlove, owner of Spendlove Vegetable Ranch and market manager for the Hurricane Farmers Market.
Prior to moving to Hurricane two years ago, Spendlove had her own booth at markets for five years in Texas. When she realized there wasn’t a local market for her family to sell their homegrown food, she called the Hurricane Recreation Center to discuss the possibility of opening one. She was then put in contact with Andrea Wittwer and they collaborated to open the market in 2020.
Spendlove said Wittwer ran the market for the first year and a half. But as her work at the Hurricane City Recreation Center became more full-time, Spendlove took over the market in January – just in time for the 2022 season. She said she has enjoyed leading the market, which coincides with her family’s own business at their ranch. And now – between Texas and Hurricane – her family has been vending at farmers markets for seven years.
“Our ranch gives us an opportunity to have a lifestyle where we are with our kids,” Spendlove said. “It’s also been amazing to watch the progress and success of the vendors at the market. We help them with everything from licensing to vendor booth appearance. Not only have they grown, but I have, too.”
The market officially has run for two years, and they’re celebrating this two-year anniversary this weekend with a special market event for the whole family.
Spendlove said instead of vendors paying their usual vendor fee, they will be donating items equal to the vendor cost. Drawings will happen every half hour for market attendees and prizes will include baskets with everything from gift certificates to food and art. While the market typically sees 18-20 vendors each week, Spendlove said they are anticipating 30-40 vendors for the birthday celebration, which will feature an even split of artisans and food vendors.
The Hurricane Farmers Market runs every Saturday from May to October, with special event markets such as the “Spring Fling” market and the anniversary celebration this weekend. The season will end with a Halloween market at the end of October and will include trick-or-treating and a costume parade.
Outside of the special events, Spendlove said the regular Saturday markets are limited to one-third artisans, making the market outstanding focused on local farmers and bakers.
“We wanted to base our market on more of the farmers markets that are more food and more farmers, which is why we limit our artisans,” Spendlove said. “This makes it more about local food and a place you can come to get fresh produce and meet the farmers in person.”
The market also offers classes held at the Zion Room inside the Hurricane Recreation Center one to two times a month. Classes are taught by Ben Scow, the USU Extension agriculture agent for Washington County, who is also a local farmer himself. Scow said he offers free backyard farming and gardening classes with the goal to support other local growers and encourage more fresh produce at the market.
“We open one of the outside facing doors (to the market) and are able to teach in a classroom,” Scow said. “I cover topics from starting a garden, pest management, fruit trees, pruning, composting and whatever else participants want to learn about.”
Spendlove said she’s thankful for other volunteers who have stepped in to help, such as Becky Wood, the on-site manager. She encouraged the public to celebrate the Hurricane Farmers Market’s two-year anniversary while enjoying the opportunity to meet and support local growers and artists.
For more information on the Hurricane Farmers Market, see their Facebook page.
- What: Hurricane Farmers Market Two-Year Celebration
- When: Saturday, Aug. 20.9 am to noon.
- Where: Hurricane City Recreation Center, 63 S. 100 W., Hurricane
- Admission: Free
- For more information see the event page
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