By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
The first Pagosa Farmers Market of the 12th season was a huge success with great weather, crowds of people, garden fresh veggies, a huge variety of potted starts to be taken home and put out when the weather is right, two new vendors and two more coming soon.
Now, for those who could not find tomatoes, just relax. They will be here in nature’s own good time and not one moment before. This is our local growers’ greatest challenge — the short growing season.
In 2018, The Pagosa Farmers Market was the recipient of a grant from the national organization Farmers Market Coalition in the form of an EBT terminal that will accept SNAP cards, allowing the market to continue the Double Up Bucks program supported by Live Well Colorado.
Now we want all SNAP recipients to know that for the rest of the season through Sept. 21, they can double their food dollars. Every SNAP dollar spent is matched with a dollar from the Double Up Bucks program to a maximum of $20 per visit. Essentially, that means free fruits and veggies. That’s what the Double Up Buck Program promises. How can anyone turn that down? The terminal also facilitates purchases of healthy food with a debit card, thus increasing the customer count for our growers.
Here are three of the many reasons shopping at your local Pagosa Farmers Market makes sense:
1. Since local and regional products travel fewer miles, produce is allowed to ripen on the trees and in the fields, ensuring the best flavor.
2. Buying local maintains jobs, sustains family farms and ranches and contributes nearly $16 billion to the state economy annually.
3. Local farmers and ranchers are right here in your backyard. They are readily available to answer questions about their fresh products. “Know your farmer, know our food.”
If you did not make it to the first Pagosa Farmers Market, let’s see you this Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Find us at the east end of town where you will also find music, shade, tables and very likely your neighbor.
Consider this also an excellent time to renew your membership in Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS), the organization that supports the Pagosa Farmers Market, organizes our week-long celebration of Earth Day plus other activities that promote sustainability in Archuleta County.