Belen has many best kept secrets.
• A vibrant art scene with several galleries and lovely museums, one of which is focused on an artist enshrined in the art history books.
• A world-class brewery and three exceptional wineries.
• One of the only Fred Harvey houses still in operation.
• The Bugg Lights and a WPA historic courthouse slated to become a performing arts center.
• And the healthiest secret of all? Just possibly the best little Farmers Market this side of the Rio Grande.
Every Friday, from mid-June to the last Friday in October from 4:30-7 p.m., Juanita Silva and Eileen Jaramillo run the market at Anna Becker Park. They do it with such grace and efficiency one is never aware of all their hard work that makes it a success.
Up to 25 vendors sell crafts, veggies and specialty items on any given Friday. Here is just a quick sampling: see Lawrence and Dorothy for fine wooden bowls, Darrel and Emlyn’s artistic wood creations, Dan and Pat’s bowl cozies and pottery shard jewelry, soaps from Steve and Karla, and sugar scrubs from Melissa; sample Dorothy and Bea’s biscochitos, chow down on yummy Yaquis’ tamales, or incredible Navajo tacos, Frank’s buttery roasted corn, and beef jerky from Comidas de Nuevo Mexico.
And, as expected, there’s lots of fresh farm produce to purchase: Ray’s eggs, Raymond’s honey, Mose’s veggies, Larry and Dennis’ incredible variety of produce, Chris and Jim’s microgreens and specialty vinegars, and Dan and Pat’s cucumbers, glass corn, and roasted chile.
There’s always lots of tomatoes, melons, squash, zucchini, super greens and odd veggies you’ve never even tried … but really should.
The best thing about buying food directly from the farmers who grow it at your nearby growers’ market? Meeting all the lovely vendors, and your friends and neighbors.
What a great community gathering! Get to know a farmer who picked your food just that morning and transported it from less than a few miles away.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.