Local markets celebrate Earth Day with homegrown crops

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Hugo Brito

The El Paso Downtown Artists and Farmers Market takes place every Saturday at the Union District Plaza.

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

In an effort to benefit the Earth and stay healthy, many people grow their own crops and sell what they grow at farmers markets.

There are multiple farmers markets in the El Paso and Las Cruces areas, including Sprouts Farmers Market, the El Paso Downtown Artist and Farmers Market Earth Day Celebration and the Farmers and Crafts Market of Las Cruces.

Some employees at Sprouts grow their own food with the goal of inspiring, educating and empowering their customers to eat healthier and lead better lives. Their stores offer affordable, fresh food to their patrons and information about healthy and creative do-it-yourself projects and recipes about going natural

“We are supposed to be headed toward organically grown food,” said Michael Kraus, store manager at Sprouts. “There will be no genetically modified food.”

Sprouts will be celebrating Earth Day with their organic and homegrown crops.

“There’s an enormous difference between homegrown and processed food,” Krauss said. “We should try to stay away from eating processed food.”

Some of the benefits of growing your own crops and food include establishing a healthy diet, saving money on groceries and reducing negative impacts on the environment.

In honor of Earth Day, many vendors and stores are providing their patrons with a wider range of homegrown food to choose from.

The weekly El Paso Downtown Artist and Farmers Market celebrated their second annual Earth Day celebration at the Union District Plaza.

The local farmers market features arts and crafts, homegrown food and performances by local artists. The market presents families and visitors the opportunity to create arts and crafts, enjoy organic food and listen to live music from local musicians.

“We try to have at least one big market per month,” said Valerie Venecia, coordinator for the El Paso Downtown Artist and Farmers Market. “This is our second annual, large scale Earth Day Market.”

The market is located on Anthony Street between San Francisco and San Antonio streets. Vendors include local farmers such as Skarsgard Farms and local artists who set up shop there to sell handmade pieces ranging from jewelry and paintings to sculptures.

“We also typically have gardening demonstrations, fitness workshops and free family yoga,” Venecia said. “This is all in addition to the local produce and arts and crafts we have available.”

Much like the vendors, Venecia is an avid gardener and tries to grow as much produce as she can.

“I grow green onions and different kitchen herbs,” Venecia said.

The produce the vendors grow varies from vegetables and fruits to herbs and teas.

“You see a lot of the producers selling things like tomato plants to people, and there’s also a guy who sells really good pomegranates,” Venecia said.

The El Paso Downtown Artist and Farmers Market takes place every Saturday. For more information, call 541-4942.

Julia Hettiger can be reached at [email protected]