By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Summer is here and one sure sign is the opening of the Pagosa Farmers Market this Saturday. This is the ninth year of operation for this event, sponsored by Southwest Organization for Sustainability.
For the second year, the market will be located downtown at the East Side Market. After a very successful first year, the Pagosa Farmers Market will again enjoy the luxury of a space that is intended for markets. Customers will also find it a comfortable and pleasant space to spend an hour or two on Saturday morning. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Sept. 19.
For vendors, the market means time to harvest produce from cold frames, hoop houses, domes and/or gardens — time to enjoy the fruit of your labor and get some of it ready to sell at the farmers market. Fresh, natural produce sells out every Saturday. This is an opportunity to add some extra money to your budget and provide the community an essential product.
A word again to all gardeners — remember, the Small Growers Co-op is a place where you can easily sell the occasional overabundance of one or another of your vegetables.
For consumers, it’s time to mark every Saturday on your calendar through Sept. 19 with the words “Farmers Market” and make a promise to yourself that you will collect your shopping bags and arrive early to get the freshest selection and know you are feeding your family the most nutritious vegetables possible, right out of the garden.
At different times during the summer, the Pagosa Farmers Market will support vendors of beef, lamb, iced whole fish, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, baked goods, bath products, natural salves and ointments, sunscreen, handmade soaps, lotions, jams, jellies, preserves and natural cosmetics. As a complement, the Eastside Market offers a wide selection of food to be eaten al fresco, with tables, benches and music provided.
With the opening of our small-town market, we can take pride in joining a movement that is nationwide and 7,800 strong. Though small in size, we offer the same important elements of community and healthy food offered by the USDA as it opened the 20th season of the USDA Farmers Market in Washington, D.C.
Its press release claims, “The USDA Farmers Market is part of USDA’s continued effort to encourage everyone to eat healthy and provide nationwide access to healthy foods every day via more than 7,800 farmers markets across the nation.” It’s nice to know we are part of a nation-wide network of that size.