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Home Grown: Ag to Art market supports local growers

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Ag to Art market is an annual winter tradition featuring produce, fruit and jewelry grown right here in our own backyard.

Linda Morgan, executive director for Visit Yuma says many local events this year got canceled because of COVID-19, but this farmer's market is one they wanted to keep around.

"We've got people selling dates, we've got some fresh produce out here. Right behind me is the Keithly-Williams Pot a Plant where you can actually take home some broccoli, a seedling of broccoli or cabbage to grow on your own," Morgan explained.

Misty Mastin is the owner of an 80-acre farm called Naked Dates, which got its name because they are 100% organic. However, they also put their dates to good use.

"We do lots of different baked goods with them," Mastin said. "We make a zucchini date nut bread, we do an oatmeal date bar, we have oatmeal date cookies, we do a date salad on our farm."

Aside from date smoothies, craftswoman Kathy Benitez sells handmade sea glass jewelry that she collects from a beach in Alaska.

"What's special about the beach that I go to is it's where the Gold Rush began," Benitez stated. "So, back in the late 1800s all the passengers were dropped off there to access the Yukon so they could get into Canada."

So, the tradition of Alaska Sea Glass Art was brought right here to Yuma.

"A lot of trash was thrown into the ocean including glass bottles, and those bottles are now returning to the beach, so they've been naturally tumbled by the rocks and the sand," Benitez said.

Even though this year's events have been smaller, the community is still supporting local.

"This year, they're successful, it's just that there's not as many vendors or as many people coming out just due to COVID," Morgan explained.

Vendors are spread apart to ensure social distancing and masks are required. The last Ag to Art market of the season will be March 7.

Tonight at 10 on 13 On Your Side, hear from these local vendors about their passion for selling locally grown products.

Article Topic Follows: Home Grown

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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.


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