By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Between a short season and poor soil, who could grow vegetables in Pagosa Springs? That’s what they said 11 years ago, and guess what? There has been a thriving farmers market in Pagosa all these years.
The Pagosa Farmers Market (PFM) start date is this Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and every Saturday through Sept. 21. Plan to visit and make it early for the best selection. Make it a habit.
So, what’s to be found at the PFM? Quite a variety of produce which, naturally, changes as the season goes on, though our June markets do not represent the full range of products — remember our short season.
Producers operating their own booths will offer a full range of freshly harvested vegetables (even greenhouse tomatoes), vegetable starts (lots of tomato plants) as well as baked goods, jams, honey, pestos, salsas, cheeses and a wide selection of naturally raised beef cuts. It is easy enough to shop for lunch, dinner or a snack on Saturday morning at the PFM. The PFM also features unique art created on feathers as well as locally created hemp products ,and this year, after a long break, alpaca products will return.
Finally, and very importantly, we must mention that the PFM also invites SNAP recipients to buy fresh, locally produced vegetables and fruit at the market and to benefit by the Double Up Bucks Program, which will double their purchasing power up to $20 dollars at each market. No one can pass up a bargain like that.
An often-asked question: Exactly where is the PFM located? Here are the directions. At the east end of town, park at the East Side Market, enter and go back to the last row of vendors. Here, you will find the produce and select arts and crafts that make up the PFM.
The PFM “brand” emanates from the mission of its sponsor, the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS). That mission is to promote sustainability efforts in Archuleta County. The PFM does that by providing a venue and services to small local growers and producers who also subscribe to the sustainability mission and by encouraging customers who also believe in that mission to buy locally.
Another aspect of the PFM brand encourages consumer to know their farmer in order to know their food, thereby encouraging the creation of community and the consumption of healthy food. Quite clearly, the PFM is an expression of a value system.
For more information, please contact email@example.com or visit the SOS website, www.sospagosa.org.
By Pauline Benetti