In recent years, farmers markets have been popping up around Utah nearly as quickly as actual farmland has been disappearing. Most of the markets offering locally grown produce and handcrafted goods tend to sprout up in parks or parking lots during the summer months, but the Harvest Market held each Saturday in the northern Cache Valley city of Richmond, is among the few held on an actual working farm.
The Richmond Harvest Market is held on the grounds of Rock Hill Creamery, a small batch artisan cheese-making operation run by Pete Schropp and his wife, Jennifer Hines. The approximately four-acre farmstead, which is listed on the Utah and National Historic registers, includes the couple’s historic home as well as a barn, a granary repurposed as a farm stand and local goods store, a cheese-aging cave, and livestock pens for the dairy’s brown Swiss milking cows.
Schropp says the market began in 2009 in a collaboration with the city. “The city started a farmers market in 2008 and was holding it next to the city office building, but they were not getting much of a crowd,” Schropp explains. “We had our farm stand open on Saturdays and were not seeing the kind of traffic we wanted. We thought that having it on an actual farm might get more people out.”
The crowd and vendor sizes have varied over the years, but the market has remained a low-key event, drawing mostly locals from Cache Valley and nearby Franklin County in Idaho.
“We do get people from Salt Lake, Park City and Provo, who want to know how we treat the cows and come see them for themselves,” says Schropp.
In addition to visiting the cows and produce vendors, visitors can check out the creamery where Hines makes cheese and see the aging “cave” dug into the hillside where cheeses are readied for sale.
The Richmond Harvest Market at Rock Hill Creamery is located at 563 S State Street in Richmond, and operates every Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Detailed directions are available at the Rock Hill Creamery web site .