IDAHO FALLS – The Idaho Falls Farmer’s Market will kick off its 34th year this weekend.
More than 125 vendors will be on Memorial Drive every Saturday from now until the end of the season.
Cort Pincock, president of the market’s board of directors, tells EastIdahoNews.com this will be one of the largest years yet.
“Last year, on average, we had between 60 and 70 vendors each week, with a high of 85 or 90 on our busiest weeks. This year, we’re on track to average about 100 vendors a week with a high of 125 to 130,” Pincock says. “There’s some new ag and produce vendors. There’s some new food vendors.”
One of the new vendors is Four Arch Farms, owned by Shelley natives Courtney and Tyler Archibald. The couple launched their farm in 2021. They’ll be offering customers grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork, along with certified organic eggs. They’ll have certified organic vegetables later on in the season as well.
Their desire to offer locally-raised food and to educate consumers about where their food comes from is what prompted them to participate in the farmer’s market.
“A lot of people want to support the local-food movement but don’t know how. Wanting people to taste the difference between local food and food that comes from a factory … was our main goal behind wanting to join the farmer’s market,” Courtney says.
Courtney is excited about what she calls their beginning butcher box, which will have a sampling of all their products.
She and her husband will have an enclosed trailer on A Street and Memorial Drive every Saturday between now and the end of the season. They’re hoping to meet lots of people, help answer questions and promote interest in farming.
“We hope that we can meet our customers’ needs,” says Courtney.
Julie and Eddie Henicksman, of Sterling, will return for their fifth year at the market, selling similar products — black Angus beef, lamb and pork — from their family farm.
For the first time, they’ll have homemade tallow candles — made from beef fat — for sale. The Henicksmans will also be selling suet (fat from sheep and cattle made available to birds as a food source).
And, of course, their potbelly pig will be there for people to pet.
The farmer’s market will host a spring carnival during its second week on May 13. Julie is in charge of that, and she says there will be games for all ages along Memorial Drive that people can play to win prizes.
Everyone gets a piece of candy for playing, but if they win, they’ll get a white ticket, which they can enter into a drawing at the farmer’s market booth for a gift basket with items donated from vendors and other local businesses.
“They write their name on it and put it next to any basket they choose. Every half hour, we’ll draw a name, and that person will win something,” says Julie. “Starting next Sunday, we’ll pick a winner every day and give them away on Facebook.”
Lynn Morrison, who also lives in Sterling, is the longest-participating vendor at the market and also a member of the farmer’s market board. Since 2009, she’s provided homemade goat cheese for patrons through her business Wood ‘N Goat Garden. A wide variety of flavors are available, but the most popular is garlic chive.
Morrison started doing this as a retirement project, and what keeps her coming back every year is the interaction with people.
“Most people have tried goat cheese at the grocery store. Mine doesn’t have the strong goat note that the store’s (cheese) has. It’s fun watching people try my (cheese) and realize they aren’t turned off by that goat background note,” Morrison explains.
The Idaho Falls Farmer’s Market began in 1989. It was called the grower’s market at that time. It’s not clear where it was originally located, but it operated next to KeyBank for many years. It moved to Memorial Drive in 2017.
Pincock is grateful for the community interest and support of the farmer’s market over the years. Being able to expand its offering of fresh produce and ag products, while supporting small businesses, is what Pincock is most excited about.
He and the board are working with the city of Ammon to offer a Wednesday night farmer’s market later this summer.
He’s inviting people to stop by the Idaho Falls Farmer’s Market this season. It runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We’re excited for the new season to start,” says Pincock.
Those interested in becoming a vendor can click here.