The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Rob Langrell
Publisher 

Vendors buzzing at farmers markets

 

Rob Langrell

Lucas Fredericks, 3, enjoys his sample of honey with his mom, Kelsey Fredericks, on Tuesday evening at the Farmers Market in Clovis.

I received a crash course in beekeeping last week.

Firstly, I had no idea there are hives located at residences right in the heart of the city of Clovis. Little-known fact No. 2 — at least to me — is pollen is collected right off the little legs of bees. And it's edible.

Marcus Petroski, a longtime Clovis resident, owns and operates W.W. Honey Co. He and a bunch of other vendors / farmers / families are starting to bring their respective wares to the local farmers market, which has started to gear up this month.

Clovis has a farmers market in the Goodwin Walking Trails parking lot on Prince Street on Tuesdays (5 p.m.) and Saturdays (8 a.m.) Meanwhile, Portales' farmers market is held Mondays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. at the corner of West First Street and South Avenue B. Both markets are open until sellout.

Both markets have been open for the past few weeks, but organizers say the first week of August marks the time when they start having the most vendors. The markets will run through at least the end of October, but into the first part of November if the weather cooperates.

Both marketplaces are perfect stops to pick up everything from eggs, fruits and vegetables to home-baked breads, cookies and sweet rolls.

In Clovis, you can find Petroski's honey display that he runs along with his 17-year-old daughter, Avery, and 13-year-old son, Eric. He's been going since 2012.

He has one of about 30 stalls available for vendors. He said usually there's about 15 vendors on site, but that number increases toward the end of the summer.

As part of my beekeeping and honey education, I learned about the numerous ways honey is packaged and sold. Who knew?

Petroski's family has it available the most common way — 100 percent pure and in a container ready to eat. He also sells Mason jars with the edible honey comb inside it as well.

Additionally, he showed me lip balm made from beeswax in five different flavors, hand salve that helps dry or chapped skin as well as many other conditions/ailments, candles, bars of beeswax and pollen.

The pollen was one of the most intriguing items for me.

Petroski explained that he uses pollen traps on some of his hives. The bees pass through a screen when they enter the hive and it strips the pollen out of the bee's pollen sack on her legs. It falls into a tray where it's later collected.

When it's packaged in a jar it looks a little like granules of gold. Studies have shown that it contains about 40 percent protein and helps with such things as allergies, inflammation and healing.

Both farmers markets are chock full of locally grown and produced items. It's worth a stop if you're looking for the rewards of some of our local crops.

Rob Langrell is the publisher of The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at: [email protected]

 

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