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It’s just not the summer season without the Payson Farmers Market — and now no one needs to be afraid it’s too expensive to go.

Founders Lorian and John Roethlein, along with partners Mandie and Joe Sanchez, have a wonderful lineup of vendors, events and specials for everyone in the community including low-income seniors and families. That makes the Payson Farmers Market accessible to everyone.

This year, the Payson Farmers Market has partnered with the Arizona Department of Health, Pinnacle Prevention and the USDA to offer four federally funded programs to help low-income shoppers.

The programs include, WIC (women, infants and children), SFMNP (Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program) and SNAP/EBT benefits.

But Lorian said the Farmers Market has added one new program this year.

“We are excited to announce the addition of the Double UP Food Bucks Arizona program,” said Lorian. “Double Up Food Bucks matches your SNAP spending dollar for dollar, up to $20 per day, with tokens you can use for Arizona grown fresh fruit and vegetables; that’s up to $20 of free produce each week.”

For more information, visit www.doubleupfoodbucksarizona.org or the information booth in the middle of the market.

Lorian has said the Payson market strives to source its fresh produce from sources within a 100-mile radius of Payson.

“Our farmers are all from within 100 miles and I’m happy to say our ‘Backyard Growers’ booth will be swelling in July when our local Payson growers harvest their fruit/veggies, otherwise, the farmers are mostly from Camp Verde and Gisela,” said Lorian. “For that matter, we require that all vendors are from Arizona, so Arizona local.”

She did admit last year they snuck in the Alaskan salmon guy, but that was because there are no salmon in Arizona. That said, he’s not scheduled to return said Lorian.

Lorian said the Sanchezes will run the weekly events at the market.

“We’re bringing back favorites like the annual Payson’s Rock Paper Scissors World Championship, Cantaloupe Bowling, National Farmers Week with Tractor Show and FFA Petting Zoo, Watermelon Eating Contest and live music,” she said.

Lorian also ticked off the list of new events coming to the market.

“We’re adding several new events like Crawling Baby Races, the Dog Days of Summer, Kids Minute to Win It, Plinko and Game Day at the Market,” she said.

Plans are, the market will have some sort of event or game for each week it runs on Saturdays from May 27 through Sept. 16.

Then, of course, there are the vendors.

“Desirable Desserts is returning full-time with award winning carrot cake, cheesecakes and fresh pies,” said Lorian. “Sunflower Honey returns after taking a year off.”

New vendors include: Pawsitively Nutritious Dog Treats; RA Seasonings & Spices; Squarz Pies – savory and sweet stuffed croissant squarz; Copper State Carnivores Plants; and Mel’s Chocolate Therapy.

“We’ve added a few Rim Country farmers and a variety of Rim Country artists rotating on a weekly basis,” said Lorian.

Another new addition to the market this year, the Adventure Where We Live campaign put on by the Town of Payson.

“We’re proud to be one of the many great adventures in the town’s ‘Adventure Where We Live’ campaign,” said Lorian. “Stop by the marketinformation booth to scan the QR code for points, then take a fun picture for your photo bonus points.”

But Lorian said just getting to know the folks who feed us through their labor is an adventure of its own.

“As Joel Salitin, author and owner of the famous Polyface Farm says, ‘every time we eat we participate in farming,’” said Lorian. “So make an adventure out of it and get to know the good folks who feed you every week.”

For more information, visit www.PaysonFarmersMarket.com or call 928-468-0961.

contact the reporter at: mnelson@payson.com

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