Regional
2:26 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Farmer's Market Transfers Ownership

This weekend is moving weekend and homecoming all at the same time for merchants at the Las Cruces Farmer's Market as the City of Las Cruces transfers ownership to merchants.

The official transfer will be complete July 1.

It's a temporary neighborhood merchants set up three times a week. Pat Cornelius, owner of a clothing booth, sets up shop on Main Street every week.

"A lot of people live in Las Cruces who have never seen what we really have."

A few things are starting to change with the transition. Before the transition started, she was up the street.

"I was one space over," said Cornelius.

With the change in ownership from the city of Las Cruces to the merchants, some rules have to be more closely followed. Before, fire lanes weren't strictly enforced, but now they have to be left open, even if that means less space for vendors.

...but I was blocking a door, so I had to move down one."

Pat's vendor neighbor, Lincoln Michaud had to move his booth too. "You know, people don't like change and moving is one of the most stressful things you can do. And the older you are the more stressful it is. Not that I'm old," said Michaud.

He says the market is one of the great places to visit when people come here.
"...if they're coming to see their kid graduate at the university and they say, what do we do here and they say why don't we go to the farmer's market?

Sarah Crover did just that on her visit from Canada, who was here for what else but "a little heat?"

"Vancouver in particular likes fusion cooking...of course none of it's as authentic as it is here," said Crover.

Vendors have to live in Dona Ana county and can only sell products made in the county. Those are the rules anyway.

"...but we've had a lot of people trying to break the rules so we're gonna crack down on that," said Jean Williams, second vice president of quality control of Farmers and Crafts of Las Cruces, Inc.

Jean Williams serves as quality control for the newly created company, Farmers and Crafts of Las Cruces, Inc. "There have been a lot of infractions over the years..."
You might call her the friendly neighborhood cop in this 'town' that springs up every few days.

The city will still play a role after the transition. The merchants were independent until 1999 when the city took over. Williams says the city is still there to help with the transition.

"It's been a really rewarding process for all the vendors working together," said Williams.

For these vendors, it's moving day but it's also homecoming.