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Sunrise market dawns Sundays at Quartermaster Depot
YUMA, ARIZONA - Along with the fresh fall weather, Yumans can welcome the return of locally grown produce and locally made specialty food products as Sunrise Farmers Market's new season dawns this Sunday (Oct. 20) on the historic Colorado River.
Organized by Alex Trujillo, a Yuma-born and Cordon Bleu-trained chef, the Sunrise Farmers Market opens from9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this and every Sunday through April 27 at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, 201 N. 4th Ave. Admission to the park is free during the farmers market, and free parking is available at the main entrance, with additional parking at the back gate (2nd Avenue and 1st Street, below Old City Hall).
This is the second season for the Sunrise market, which aspires to be what Trujillo called a "true farmers market, where people can buy fresh local produce and specialty products made here.
"Last year the market had lots of support," Trujillo said. "This year will be even better; the community is more aware of where the market is and that will help with a better turnout. Plus, new vendors have reached out to us and want to participate."
So what's new this year besides veggies that haven't taken a round-trip truck ride to Phoenix between field and consumer? Trujillo said that Hillside Farms is bringing a roasting tumbler to the market, so customers can buy peppers roasted onsite to take home and enjoy with the heirloom tomatoes for which Hillside is known.
Or, to truly please your palate, pair your freshly roasted peppers and ripe tomatoes with locally made goat cheese from Toggenburg Goats of Arizona. Along with cheeses made from their special recipes and other goat-milk products, Suzanne and Bob Eaton sometimes bring baby goats to meet customers, too. (They'll offer tours of theirfarm this season, look for more information in the our new visitors guide, coming "hot off the press" in the next week and available at the YVB Visitor Information Center at the same site.)
The chance to maybe meet a baby goat is just part of what makes this farmers' market ripe for a relaxing family outing, Trujillo said.
"The Quartermaster Depot is the perfect venue ... a family environment that allows people to enjoy the beautiful park and tour the exhibits," Trujillo said. "Families can really stay all day long ... buying lunch at the market, picnicking, playing ball or even flying a kite. Parents can sit on a park bench and enjoy some fresh-squeezed orange juice while their children play in the grass."
The Yuma Quartermaster Depot currently operates as a partnership between the City of Yuma, the Heritage Area and YVB, which moved its Visitor Information Center to the park in 2009. Moving toward the future of the historic park, a new exhibit on the dams of the Colorado opens later this fall in the original warehouse building. This joins other exhibits installed in 2012 on the innovative Yuma siphon, an underground water tunnel that celebrated its centennial that year, and on Yuma's wetlands restoration efforts. The 10-acre site also contains some of Arizona oldest buildings, dating to the military supply depot era, and serves as the site for Civil War Days, Jan. 25-26 (2014) and Yuma Lettuce Days, March 1-2. The park is located at 201 N, 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364 (800-293-0071, 928-783-0071), and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week through the end of May.
The Sunrise Farmers Market is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday, Oct. 20 through April 27 (2014). Interested in showcasing your locally grown produce, or food product with local flare? Go to www.yumafarmersmarket.comor call Trujillo at 782-0063 for more info.
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is an independent nonprofit corporation governed by a local board of directors. It was among the first national heritage areas in the West to be officially designated by the U.S. Congress. The Heritage Area's master plan projects earned the Governor's Arizona Preservation Award in 2009. Info at 928-373-5198 or www.yumaheritage.com.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Direct travel spending in Yuma County in 2012 totaled more than $657 million, supported 6,660 jobs and generated more than $40 million in state and local tax revenues.
Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,300 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three modern casinos. To plan your visit, head to www.visityuma.com or call 800-293-0071.
Recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's sunniest spot, Yuma offered free meals to guests "every day the sun doesn't shine" for a full year during Arizona's Centennial. Final score? Sunshine 365, Gloom 0.
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