By Pauline Benetti
Southwest Organization for Sustainability
Archuleta County growers are accustomed to overcoming obstacles; we have overcome the short growing season, poor soil, wind, a late killing frost, marauding deer and voracious voles to produce and support our thriving Pagosa Farmers Market for 11 years.
This latest challenge in our 12th year will not stop us. We open on June 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our same location at the east end of downtown. We invite you to participate with your purchasing power to support our local growers and provide yourself with fresh local produce which we know is far superior nutritionally to produce shipped in from somewhere.
We will open, but the Pagosa Farmers Market must be different. Perhaps the biggest difference and the most lamentable one is that we will not be a place for community gathering, for meeting up with friends, for sitting down to talk and listen to some music. No, like everywhere else, we are asking our friends to visit, make their purchase and leave with, perhaps, a wave to a friend here and there.
Available for purchase will be essential products only and we will provide you with more detail about our vendors in a later communication. Crafts and art, unfortunately, do not qualify, so the East Side Market will be closed. The layout, including parking, will be different and we will provide specifics later also. There is no change to our SNAP policy, however; we continue to accept SNAP cards and continue to hand out free $20 worth of Double up Bucks for the first $20 of purchase, increasing purchasing power by 100 percent.
A note to vendors and potential vendors — please log in to the Pagosa Farmers Market page on the Southwest Organization for Sustainability website — sospagosa.org — for applications with reduced fees, new rules and contact numbers. Remember our Small Growers Coop which was created for the backyard grower who has, on occasion, too much of something and would like to sell it.
Our motto for this year for both experienced growers and new ones: “Plant Now and Plant More.”