Innovative and Sustainable Scrubs and Apparel

Market season returns to the mountains

Telluride Farmers Market kicks off Friday, MV launches market in Heritage Plaza

By Katie Klingsporn

Aspen leaves are unfurling in exuberant bursts, grasses are growing tall and dandelions are popping up on the Valley Floor.

And Friday on Oak Street, another sure sign of summer will sprout up: The Telluride Farmers Market.

Regional vendors return to Telluride this week for another season of peddling fresh, local, organic and sustainable food.

This season, roughly 50 vendors will offer fingerling potatoes, baby leeks, sublimely-sweet peaches, granola, crimson beets, heirloom tomatoes, artisan cheeses, pastured poultry, grass fed and finished meats, baked goods and fresh eggs to Telluride’s food-savvy populace. It’s all organic, sustainable and grown and harvested within a 100-mile radius of Telluride.

Although Telluride is a tough place to grow food — a shadowy box canyon at nearly 9,000 feet in elevation with a very short growing season — it’s in close proximity of aprons of sun-soaked lowlands and fertile river valleys. Farmers from Paonia and Hotchkiss, Colona, Durango, Delta, Norwood, Hastings Mesa and Montrose will haul their goods to Telluride to sell on Fridays.

The market will also feature jewelry, art, clothing, wine, music, educational booths and prepared food — it’s a great stop for lunch.

The market runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Friday until mid-October.

Typically, the market starts out a little thin since it is still early, but there is usually a selection of greens, lots of starts and cut flowers, as well as meats and eggs.

“[Vendors] are working very hard and there’s definitely going to be some stuff … lettuce, kale, chard, spinach,” said Patricia Low, market manager. There are definitely a lot of starts, so come out and get stuff for your garden.”

This year, expect the more established farm vendors back on Oak Street. Abundant Life will return with its nectar-sweet melons, jams and giant beets. Borden Farms will bring its selection of crook-neck squash, hanging greens and roasted chiles. High Wire Ranch brings bison, elk and fish. James Ranch will sell its grass-finished beef and selection of delectable cheeses. Indian Ridge, out of Norwood, will sell its fast-selling eggs, addictive granola, soft baked goods, poultry and breads.

Bohemian Spirits Designs will sell jewelry, Mandala Dyes will peddle hand-dyed clothing and Matt Downer will sell wood furniture and art.

The market, which was established seven years ago, has grown into a hugely popular event; some days it’s so busy lines snake from tables and only the early birds get eggs.

Low said Telluride shoppers are drawn to both the quality of the food and the practices behind them.

“The flavor of the foods is definitely huge. A lot more people are interested in the sustainability of their eating habits as well as the earth in general,” she said. Lots of people prefer eating and cooking food that comes from 100 miles away as opposed to Mexico, South America or China, she added.

For more information, visit thetelluridefarmersmarket.com or call Patricia Low at 415-728-2509.

A market over the mountain

Up and over the mountain, the Town of Mountain Village is launching a farmers and artists market of its own.

The outdoor market will spread through Heritage Plaza in Mountain Village and will run in conjunction with the Wednesday night Sunset Concert Series as well as a small number of special weekend events.

The first market of the season will take place next Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will run alongside the free FirstGrass Concert in the Village.

The idea behind the market is to increase vitality and foot traffic in the Mountain Village Core and build the town’s sense of community.

“The Mountain Village Farmers and Artists Market can be a great way to enhance the town’s sense of community and vibrancy and create local tradition,” said Community Development Director Chris Hawkins in a release. “Also, the market will provide an avenue to support regional and local businesses that offer homegrown and homemade products.”

Hawkins added that the Mountain Village market is not intended to compete with Telluride’s; rather it should compliment the event.

The market is scheduled to run on 12 dates through the summer. Shoppers can expect handcrafted soaps, essential oils, jewelry, candles, mirrors, hiking sticks, carrots, onions, greens, meats, wine, massages and more.

“The community will see a diverse and unique group of vendors for the market’s first year,” planner John Olson said in a release. “And the town will continue to look for an appropriate mix of vendors who don’t compete with existing Mountain Village Center businesses.”

The town is still accepting applications from vendors who would like to sell Colorado-grown food or home-made goods. No prepared foods will be accepted except for vendors who have an existing restaurant in Mountain Village. At least 20 spaces per market date are available, and vendors may purchase a 2011 Mountain Village Business License and space in all 12 of the season’s markets $50. For more vendor information, contact Planner John Olson at jolson@mtnvillage.org.

See story http://www.telluridenews.com/articles/2011/06/10/news/doc4df1742d021b1171820457.txt

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