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Value Added Agriculture

Rally celebrates local agriculture

Cottonwood Journal Extra of Cottonwood, Arizona

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Tickets are free to Local Food Lover spring celebration

Spring is the time many people get out and play in the dirt, planting vegetables in anticipation of fresh food for the table and perhaps some to sell at farmers markets.

To celebrate locally grown foods, the Verde Valley Community Supported Agriculture group is sponsoring a Local Food Lover event Friday, March 30, in Sedona. The event is to promote gardening, farmers markets and to celebrate a proposed Local Food Proclamation from the city of Sedona to proclaim June 2012 as Artisan Food Awareness Month. "This is how people used to live growing, and buying and selling among neighbors," said Sandy Boyce, with the Verde Valley CSA. "We did a proclamation because it's a statement of values and support for local farmers."

The March 30 event is part of the Gardens for Humanity Spring Planting Festival, which started Saturday, March 24 and will end Sunday, April 1. More people are turning to their own backyards to grow the food they want to put on their family's table.

"The Verde Valley was once the breadbasket of Central Arizona. It used to be a thriving farming and ranching community, and it can be once again," Boyce said.

Many Verde Valley communities conduct farmers markets including Sedona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde and Cornville. Sedona's farmers market is year-round, offering produce from summer and winter gardens.

Katrin Themlitz is the director of the Sedona Community Farmers Market in West Sedona. She is in favor of the principles of the proclamation.

"What connects us all is we want more food grown here and more secure local food sources," Themlitz said. "We have many local growers at the farmers market, and we always have a big crowd of people buying."

The rally will be at 2115 Mountain Road in West Sedona on Friday, March 30, from 7 to 9 p.m. Members of the Verde Valley CSA will show a documentary about local food in the Verde Valley, a panel of farmers will present information and answer questions, and the proclamation will be presented. Local foods will also be available for purchase. Admission is free.

The Verde Valley CSA is a nonprofit, volunteer-run group of Verde Valley farmers who provide locally grown, hand-tended, pesticide-free produce.

The event is free, but space is limited. Call 203-1100 to register.

Copyright 2012 Cottonwood Journal Extra, Cottonwood, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: March 28, 2012

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