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.