Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Kerri Santoro’s hard work pays off

Posted on April 1st, 2011 in Events, Health, History, Programs | No Comments

APPLE VALLEY • Every Thursday morning for nearly two decades, crowds of residents have visited the High Desert Farmers Market at Victor Valley College looking for fresh fruit or work by a local artist.

Jenny Moore, a Spring Valley Lake mother of three, regularly shops for almonds and flowers. And Athena Gorospe loves the vegetables and shoes.

That market, along with one held Tuesdays in Big Bear, wouldn’t exist without the dogged determination of one woman: Kerri Santoro.

Via Victorville Daily Press

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Bright Lights Newsletter Article

Posted on March 5th, 2011 in History, Programs | No Comments
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Over 18 years ago Kerri Santoro, an agricultural student at Victor Valley Community College (VVCC), and the VVCC Orna-mental Horticulture Club started the High Desert Farmers Market to educate residents about farm direct food, and issues surrounding agriculture. Every Thursday the college campus has served as a destination location for locals to buy fresh pro-duce, shop outdoors and buy merchandise from local vendors, and become familiar and feel welcome at the campus. Throughout the years Santoro’s vision for the High Desert Farmers Market grew. Her passion for quality produce led her to apply and receive certification as a Farmers Market—which means all the produce sold by farmers is grown by those selling the product. It’s more than a guarantee that the products are genuinely farm fresh, but one can have a conversation with the farmer who harvested it.

In addition to ensuring high quality, Kerri also wanted to make it easy for low income families to eat healthy farm fresh food. This month the High Desert Farmers Market celebrates its first anniversary of accepting EBT for those on the supplemental nu-tritional assistance program.

Beyond providing quality, farm fresh food to residents, the Farmers Market has become a small business incubator. The venue offers fresh flowers, hand-made items, clothing, crafts, jewelry cosmetics and more. Kerri is proud that some small local High Desert businesses actually began as vendors at the Farmers Market!

What’s new for the future of this great outdoor market? Look for the new workplace produce delivery program coming soon.

The High Desert Farmers Market is held every Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon, and is now located on lower campus off of Fish Hatchery Road.

Farmer’s Market History and Vision

Posted on March 5th, 2011 in Farmers, History | No Comments

Victorville College - Farmer's Market

The High Desert Farmers Market was started July 1992. As an agricultural student at Victor Valley College, Kerri Santoro had top grades. Her instructor, Bob Adams, appointed her president of the College ‘s Ornamental Horticulture Club.

The first order of business was to start a State Certified Farmers Market to help bring recognition to the Agricultural Department and to demonstrate that agriculture is a viable industry. Adequate food supply is essential to survival, and bringing a reliable source of farm-direct produce to the High Desert was important to Santoro.

For the first couple of years, club members volunteered, but by the third year Santoro was pretty much running the market herself. The following year, she became the sole owner, as she had been nurturing its growth and had a vision of where it needed grow.

Santoro’s mission over the years has been to educate the local community on the importance of eating fresh, locally-grown produce. Every community needs local fresh, healthy, sustainable food from a farmers market, and it helps supports farmers within our region of southern California.’ Connecting local farms and local communities offers many benefits, like cutting waste and lowering the use of fossil fuels. Many people aren’t even aware of where their produce is coming from these days.

Farm Fresh Produce

Remember, dollars spent locally are circulated within our community. And the health benefits are tangible, too. Produce grown nearby is ripened longer, offering has more nutritional value. Imported produce is usually picked hard and green, sprayed with chemicals to ripen it, and then shipped for three weeks!

To help people develop a healthier relationship between mind, body and soul, the High Desert Farmers Market offers education and information that teaches how to shop for, store and cook fresh food. If food is just made available, people aren’t going to benefit from it. They need to know how.

Come and learn about recipes and ideas. Many of the farmers are happy to share simple handling tips and easy recipes … just ask!

High Desert Farmers Market is licensed to accept SNAP, aka “food stamps,” “EBT,” and also senior WIC. Much more is planned for the future, like a “produce box” program for work ing folks, delivered directly to the office (www.gardencellar.net ). Food handling, preparation tips, cooking classes, field trips, special events, and health awareness are all in the works.

Thanks to the many local retail merchants, entrepreneurs and non-profits who have supported the market over he past 18 years, becoming an integral part of the Victor Valley Community College campus.

The High Desert Farmers Market is located on the lower campus of Victor Valley College, with easy access and lots of parking! 18422 Bear Valley d, Victorville, near the gym and tennis courts, 8am – Noon every Thursday year- round. For more information visit: www.highdesertfarmersmarket.com or call (760) 247-3769 for info.

Bread Baked Fresh for the Farmer's Market