Food & Drink July 2, 2019

When the Farm Comes to Town

Farmers Markets delight the senses, make economic sense

The Wood River Valley offers copious opportunities for communing with nature, but nothing showcases the myriad reasons for planting roots here better than a farmers market.

Starting in June, Ketchum will hold its market in a new location at the base of River Run at Bald Mountain on Tuesdays from 2-6 p.m. Hailey’s market will be at its old stomping grounds at the grassy lot north of Sturtevants off Main Street on Thursdays, at the same time.

“Farmers Markets are a community gathering place that reconnect people with their food systems, something we have grown increasingly distant from,” explains Kelly Eisenbarger, Wood River Farmers Market Manager. “It’s a place where people can support their fellow community members and, in-turn, keep their hard-earned money in the towns and cities that they live.”

Artisans of all make and model will have booths at either of the markets. Stroll the aisles of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and home-generated honey, cheese, eggs and meats.

“I love it because it’s a great place for the community to gather and support local businesses,” says Sun Valley Community School music teacher, Megan Mahoney. “I always look forward to going to the market after work to pick up produce for the week, the occasional jewelry gift, and a cookie!”

Drop by for a meal-on-the-go with prepared foods that include salads, soups, crackers, cookies, beef sliders, sauces and dinners.

Vendors like Lava Lake Lamb can supply your dinner lamb and your dog treats. And if you are on the way to a dinner gathering, choose a pick-up dessert from endless choices of delicious baked goods, pies and jams.

Shopping for a unique party gift? There are also handmade hard goods like fleecewear from Kernworks; unique jewelry, shawls and clothing from Jam Designs; pottery; and loads of organic lotions and potions.

“We are excited for the upcoming 2019 farmers market season. Both our Hailey and Ketchum locations have a lot of new local offerings this year!” Eisenbarger says. “Ketchum will have on-site pepper roasting (during season), fresh made ice cream, loads of fresh cut flowers, new bakery goods, including energy bars and much more.”

Eisenbarger is also excited about the new location for Ketchum’s market.

“The new location at the base of River Run offers beauty, space, parking, and a ton of activities to do while stopping by the market.”

Regarding the south Valley market, Eisenbarger says, “Hailey’s market is growing with new farmers, crafters, and more ready-to eat-lunch options.”

Thank to a partnership with the Hunger Coalition and sponsors, including The Sage School, DL Evans Bank, NourishMe, and the Fresh Bucks program, the market will be accepting food stamps. In fact, users can double their money. Spend $20 on the Idaho Health and Welfare EBT card and get $4 while funds last to purchase fresh food.

Adding to the flavor of the event, live musicians will provide the soundtrack for the afternoon.

Bring your own bags and baskets; ride your bike in. Pack up a picnic to take to one of the multitude of free music venues around towns. Or, take a break from a work day and let someone else cook for you while you dine al fresco.

As Eisenbarger says, “The farmers market is a one stop shop to truly support our local community and food culture.”

Jessi Cyr Naumes, mother of three, and a long-time Wood River High School administrative assistant from Twin Falls who moved from the Valley last year said she plans to stock up on local fare when she visits in summer.

“I love it, because they don’t have all my local favorites in California.”

This article appears in the Summer 2019 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.