Get ready to find a new food addiction — the fifth annual Payson Farmers Market opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 25 — a great way to start the Memorial Day weekend.
“Last year, people who had never tried tamales before ended up buying some every weekend,” said John Roethlein, who along with his wife Lorian founded the Farmers Market five years ago.
The two have joined forces again this year with Katie and Joe Klein to expand what the market offers.
“We have more events, a full-time local farmer, and new food specialty booths,” said Katie, who organizes the vendors.
Her husband, Joe, brainstorms the creative events.
“I’m in charge of all the weird stuff kids will have fun doing,” he said, “but, I want to make sure the public knows no farmers market produce will be harmed in these events,” he laughed.
The lineup of events this year kicks off with a pie-baking contest on June 8.
“Anyone can enter, but the pie has to be a fruit pie and the contestant must have baked the pie,” said John.
“We’ll also have celebrity judges to judge the pie.”
KMOG’s Stephanie Landers and the Payson Roundup’s own Frank La Spisa will be two of the celebrity judges on hand to make the call for the best pie. Anyone watching can get in on the action to vote for the People’s Choice entry.
“Last year, the baker from Macky’s won with his mile-high apple pie,” said Lorien.
The market has hosted the pie baking contest for a couple of years, but will add new events such as a tomato launch on June 22, cantaloupe bowling on July 13 and a watermelon day on Sept. 7. The ever-popular tractor show (Aug. 10) and world championship rock, paper, scissors competition (Aug. 17) will come back again this year.
“The winner (of rock, paper, scissors) will compete against Chris, the owner of Scoops for a $25 gift certificate,” said Joe.
A & M Photography, the Sweet Shoppe, KMOG radio station, Dan Cobb’s Rim Country Insurance, and others will also sponsor events.
Katie touted the benefits of the co-op table. The market has set aside this table for backyard farmers to bring extra produce they have to sell. “There was no late freeze this year, so the Rim Country will have a bumper crop of fruit,” said John.
The market group hopes enterprising Rim Country residents approach any neighbors overwhelmed with the amount of fruit their trees produce and sell the excess at the market.
“Last year we heard of a neighbor approaching the elderly couple next door to pick their fruit and sell the extra at the co-op table,” said John.
Katie organizes the group and will answer any questions. Contact her at: PaysonFarmersMarket@gmail.com.
The market has 40 stalls that are filled with a waiting list.
“We’re booked,” said John, “For the first time ever we have a long waiting list.”
Along with produce, the market will have baked goods, jams, a nut butter vendor, French, Italian and Mexican food, massage and acupuncture, along with a rotating artist every week.
“The honey guy (Sunflower Honey) will be back every other week,” said Katie. Last year, with the dearth of spring rains, there were not enough wildflowers for the bees to do their work, she said.
Find Payson Farmers Market online at www. PaysonFarmersMarket.info/; on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PaysonFarmersMarket; Twitter account: twitter.com/PaysonMarket; and the Instagram account: instagram.com/paysonfarmersmarket#.