By Liliana Castillo, Freedom New Mexico
For Kelly Boney and Tyra Davis of San Jon, selling ground beef, lamb and goat aside homemade lip balm and soap at Clovis’ Farmer’s Market is more than an odd combination. It’s a necessity.
The two ranchers from San Jon have teamed up to sell mesquite logs and chips and meat for three years. But last year, the pair realized they needed to do something more.
“We’re just ranchers trying to stay on the land,” Boney said, between questions about the colorful home-made glycerine soap sitting in bags on her table. “There are high-end products here, (so) we needed (the soap and lip balm) for the traffic.”
Boney, a third-generation rancher, said she learned how to make the glycerine soap and lip balm, but hopes to soon be producing goats milk soap as well. But her positive projects for this year’s farmer’s market don’t rely entirely on her beauty products.
“I think it’s going to be a good year,” said Boney. “This is our first year being FDA approved. We were approved by the state in previous years, but people recognize the FDA.”
Boney said she emphasizes the quality of her meat.
“You eat what I eat,” she said. “And I like to know what I eat.”
The Clovis Farmer’s Market, held on the corner of 4th and Pile streets, brought eight vendors to its first Saturday of the season, according to manager Denny Wymore. She said she’s always looking for variety and the eight vendors present provided some of that variety, offering everything from flower plants to carrots to ice cream made at the market.
“I think this year will be a boom year,” Wymore said. “I’ve had so many calls from vendors.”
Wymore predicts that this years average number of vendors will jump to 17 from last year’s 13.
But even the number of customers attracted by the variety of the market won’t be enough for Carlos Paiz and his grandson Charles Paiz of Portales.
The Baiz’s brought 300 pounds of squash to the market and sold most of it, but Carlos Baiz said his second crop is already in the ground.
“I might have to go to Amarillo to sell it all,” Paiz said.
Though Saturday was the Paiz’s first time at the Clovis Farmer’s Market, Carlos Paiz was pleased with the turnout. As was his right-hand man, his 6-year-old grandson Charles.
“He helps me sell it and helps me pick it,” Paiz said of his grandson. “He likes to see the people.”
What: Clovis’ Farmer’s Market
When: Tuesdays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m.
Where: The parking lot on the corner of 4th and Pile Streets
Information: Curry County extension office at 763-6505
What: Portales Farmer’s Market
When: Opening July 10, 4 p.m. every Monday and Thursday
Where: First and Avenue B