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Fresh52 expands farmers market to Tivoli Village

Some say corn tastes better when it’s freshly harvested, and peaches shouldn’t come in a can.

Such produce can be found at t he fresh52 Farmers & Artisan Market, which is open from 8 a.m. until about 1 p.m. Saturdays at Tivoli Village at Queensridge, 302 S. Rampart Blvd.

Summerlin resident Danyelle Lorenzo takes her girls — 4½-year-old twins and a 2-year-old — to the event almost weekly. Come early Saturday, the children put on their own shoes and tug eagerly on their mother’s sleeve, asking when it’s time to go. She makes them wait, or they’d interfere with the vendors trying to set up.

Besides buying fruits and vegetables, the family buys apple cider from Gilcrease Orchard at the weekly market.

“That way, we don’t have to drive all the way to North Las Vegas to get it,” she said. “You know it’s safe and good for the kids.”

She said the vendors are always happy to tell the children how things grow and how good they are for one’s body, a mini science lesson for her home-schooled children. The event includes balloon artists, air brush tattoo people and stilt walkers. There’s even a bike rider pulling a cart who hands out long-stemmed flowers.

“The girls think they’re princesses when they get them,” Lorenzo said.

Why is a farmers market a good fit for Tivoli Village?

“It’s a micro climate there,” said Carrie Hogan, founder and manager of fresh52, who added that Tivoli Village already was a European shopping v illage, so the only thing missing was the farmers market aspect.

“We get a lot of feedback from the consumer about how cool it is,” she said. “I think it’s all the stone work.”

But triple-digit temperatures can negate that coolness, so to make shopping more pleasant and ensure that delicate produce stays fresh, Tivoli Village has agreed to let the market use an empty store for the summer. Called The Walk In, that portion of the farmers market is across from The Dog House and Charming Charlie.

Kristin Silva shops at farmers markets almost daily. Fresh produce is the mainstay of her business, Artisan Baby Co. , which makes baby food. Because there are no preservatives, the baby food must be eaten in three to five days.

Silva began making the food for her own child, 9-month-old Tillman. A girl friend was visiting and asked if her baby could try it. Word spread, and Silva started her business. If there was no farmers market, “then I wouldn’t do it,” she said.

Between 500 and 1,500 people show up each Saturday. There are 40 vendors signed on, but not all 40 are represented each week, mostly due to crop vagaries and other commitments. But expect at least 30 on any Saturday.

Fresh 52 offers more than produce.

Brenda Stimmel of Bizy Bee’s Creations said the farmers market is perfect for selling crafts such as hers. The long time seamstress took her interest in sewing one step further to be an entrepreneur. One of her products is a shopping tote, an effort to keep plastic grocery bags out of landfills.

“Everything I make is recycled, and I like the concept of helping locals helping others,” she said.

Mark Ruben , director of Gilcrease Orchard, said July’s crop will see Gala apples —- sporting yellow skins due to the high heat —- zucchini, tomatoes, okra, cantaloupes and other melons. He said the orchard wanted to be part of the Tivoli Village event to entice locals to its northwest Las Vegas location .

“Farmers markets are fun for everyone but the farmer,” he said. “We have to pick most of it that morning, which means we start at 5 a.m.”

Alan and Judie Lane of Oak Lane Farm in Pahrump know a thing or two about getting up early. Their free-range chickens, which are fed organic feed, are out in the yard by 5:30 each morning. Oak Lane Farm has its roots in Oregon, where the pair were part of an organic farmers market movement since 1982.

Now in Southern Nevada, they still follow those principles. They grow greens, including herbs such as the hard-to-find Sicilian oregano.

“No one here in the valley grows it,” Judie Lane said. “It’s very difficult to grow.”

Michael and Gery Hackney bring their produce —- such as green beans, beets and carrots —- from Sandy Valley.

She said there have been so many shoppers that they sell out before the end of the day.

“We’re busy as soon as we open,” Gery Hackney said.

The 52 in fresh52 refers to the weeks in a year, as produce is grown in all seasons.

Besides the Tivoli Village market, fresh52 also operates a farmers market at Sansone Park Place, 9480 S. Eastern Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, visit fresh52.com, call 900-2552 or email info@fresh52.com.

Contact Summerlin and Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

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