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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan Farmers Market Boasts Fresh Food and Friendly Farmers

Aug 22, 2016 03:55PM ● By Sandra Osborn

Farmers offer produce that was picked within the last 24 hours. –Sandra Osborn

By Sandra Osborn | [email protected]

Peaches, apples, nectarines, tomatoes, corn sweet enough to eat raw, watermelons, crenshaw melons, raw honey, beeswax candles, gourmet fudge, kettle corn, loaves of jalapeño cheese, Jewish rye and 8-inch ham and cheese croissants that sell out before 10 a.m –All of this and more can be found at the South Jordan Farmers Market.
The South Jordan Farmers Market is a food-only market put on by the Utah Farm Bureau.
“There are no brokers at this market, which means that the people who are selling it are the ones who grew it,” said Matt Hargreaves, from McMullin Orchards.
Hargreaves is also the vice president of communications for the Utah Farm Bureau. He married into the McMullin family and the orchard way of life.
McMullin Orchards offers a selection of peaches, apples, pears and other fruit. They are one of the farming groups that helped open the South Jordan Farmers Market eight years ago, though McMullin Orchards has been selling fruit for three generations.
“At the Farmers Market, you get the best-tasting food because it is able to ripen longer because it is closer,” Hargreaves said. “The Farmers Market helps build relationships between people and farmers. It’s a good opportunity to learn a little bit more about where food comes from. Sometimes it is easy to forget about the realities of what it takes to grow it. By meeting the farmers, people appreciate more what it takes to get it. It’s a neat opportunity to involve everybody.”
Kerry Langston, from Langston’s Garden, is as local as a farmer gets. His stand offers zucchini, tomatoes, red potatoes and more just-picked items from his half-acre South Jordan garden. He has been at the market for three years. His main product is summer squash, which he regularly sells to Harmons grocery store, but here at the market, he is able to meet people and keep a higher percentage per every retail dollar sold.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, farmers usually get less than 16 cents per average food dollar. At the farmers market, since growers sell directly to the customers, Kerry and his wife Darleen Langston to sell their “funny,” large but slightly bent, cucumbers at three for a dollar and still take some money home.
There are many returning farms and vendors such as Nelson’s Farms, Green River Melons, Schmidt’s Salt and Pepper Corn, Tamales Tita, Volker’s Bakery and Salsitas Mendoza. New to the market this year is Burningham Bees, a small table run by Ross Burningham and his daughter Sierra Burningham.
“He’s the master,” Sierra said. “I only help out a little bit.”
Ross remembers being six or eight years old when his father got their first beehive. He grew up tending beehives until his teenage years. Now, years later and after a hiatus of several decades, he has returned to the fun of his childhood. Burningham Bees offers honey and beeswax products from more than 150 hives located from North Salt Lake to Layton.
“The South Jordan Farmers Market’s great,” Ross said. “There is another honey seller here, but we both seem to do fine.”
Aside from the friendly vendors and local products, the city has planned events for each Saturday.  The market kicked off with an opening day party and has had face painting and a quilt show. Upcoming in September, are the  chalk art competition and chili cook-off, and October will offer a photo booth and cookie and pumpkin decorating and will end with a Halloween costume contest.
Market-goers can get a chicken or mole tamale for $2 or a chocolate pastry for $3, pick up summer squash for 50 cents and bunches of beets for $1. Conversations between farmers and buyers can be overheard about whether Early Elbertas are good for canning or what exactly is a flavor grenade. Others discuss how hot ghost pepper barbecue sauce is or how to use red tomatillo salsa in dishes throughout the week.
The South Jordan Farmers Market runs every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m until the end of October at the South Jordan Towne Center.