By Pauline Benetti
Southwest Organization for Sustainabililty
A farmer’s market in Pagosa. Between a short season and poor soil, who could grow vegetables in Pagosa? That’s what they said when we opened back in 2006 and guess what? There is a thriving Farmers Market in Pagosa. The start date is this Saturday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and it will continue every Saturday through Sept. 29. It’s at the same location on the east end of downtown — the mountain side of the East Side Market.
Are we back to normal regarding COVID-10 precautions? Well, almost. Since we are outside, masks are optional; however, we do ask that you maintain social distancing both for your own safety and for that of others.
So, what’s to be found at the Pagosa Farmer’s Market? Quite a variety which, naturally, changes as the season goes on. Growers operating their own booths will offer a full range of freshly harvested vegetables as well as baked goods, jams, pestos and a selection of naturally raised and USDA-inspected beef cuts. It’s easy enough to shop for lunch, dinner or a snack on Saturday morning at the Pagosa Farmers Market. Then there is the Small Growers Coop, where backyard growers can bring the excess they have to market. There will be tomato starts here for sure, but there’s no telling what else; it depends on what growers have extra.
We continue to accept SNAP cards and continue to hand out free a $20 value of Double Up Bucks for the first $20 SNAP purchase, essentially doubling purchasing power. In addition, we will be redeeming coupons from the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging which have been distributed to local seniors to encourage shopping at the Pagosa Farmers Market and buying nutritious local food.
Consider your visit an excellent time to renew your membership in Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS), the organization that supports the Pagosa Farmers Market and organizes our celebration of Earth Day plus other activities that promote sustainability in Archuleta County. Look for the SOS booth. Support also comes from the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Pagosa Area Tourism Board. Both of these entities recognize the important role played by the market both for locals and tourist.
See you Saturday.