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.
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.