Summer may be coming to an end, but the farmer’s market in Hawthorne isn’t ready to close up shop.

Mary Mortenson shows off her homemade pickles. Mortenson uses her own recipe to make the delicious gherkins, and sells her creations each week at the Hawthorne farmer’s market. (C.W. Wilkinson photo)

Summer may be coming to an end, but the farmer’s market in Hawthorne isn’t ready to close up shop.

The farmer’s market has grown each year since its inception, said Cindy Nixon, coordinator.

One of the key factors in this year’s growth is a change in the rules that govern the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. The change allowed SNAP funds to be used at farmer’s markets.

“One the items that was very successful was the issuance of the SNAP coupons to  the seniors,” Nixon said. “That really helped put a lot of good, local, nutritious food on the tables of our seniors.”

Nixon said the shoppers were a “great cross section” of the whole community.

Shoppers journeyed from as far away as Sparks and Gabbs to visit the market.

Many paid with SNAP coupons, Nixon said.

Much of the produce sold at the farmers market comes from the community garden on 6th Street in Hawthorne, including impressive squashes and sweet yellow watermelons, Nixon said.

The rest came from Lattin Farms, a farm coop based near Fallon, or the fertile farmlands around Sacramento, Calif.

“[Yellow watermelons are] the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “In fact, I’m going to grow some next year so that we have them right here, we don’t have to depend on any other source.”

Also popular with shoppers has been the art, sold be vendors, that appears each year at the market. One artist sold small sculptures fashioned out of metal and polished rocks, another wind chimes made from seashells and key blanks.

Burke’s BBQ, a local catering company, also appeared each week to feed ravenous shoppers.

While many of the farmer’s markets in Nevada have shut down, Nixon said her market still has two events planned for this year: a vegetable stand on Sept. 20, to try and sell some of the produce grown at the community garden; and the year’s final farmer’s market on Sept. 27.

“We want to make that special,” Nixon said. “That’s a surprise.”

Even though the market is a great place for people to find fresh produce, the market has other intrinsic values.

“Everybody who comes in here is smiling,” Nixon said. “Friends are connecting, there’s nothing negative that you can say about it. It’s just an awesome event.”