10 Fresh Facets to 2017's Durango Farmers Market
Bouquets of bright flowers, the smell of local in the air and morning strolls with a cup of coffee through Durango's favorite al fresco grocery store? Must be the Durango Farmers Market!
Back and bigger than ever, the beloved open-air Saturday shindig kicks off this weekend, May 13, at 8 a.m. in the First National Bank parking lot (259 W. 9th St.) and runs every Saturday thereafter through October 28. The DFM is excited to unveil some hot new vendors, welcome back old friends, and rev up for what's looking to be the most thrilling market season to date. Read on for 10 fresh DFM happenings to anticipate this year:
1. "More farms than ever"
"We're looking forward to a fantastic year with more farms than ever," says Cody Reinheimer, manager of the Durango Farmers Market. That is, 35 farms from the local five-county region will be bringing their bounties to share with the community. Those five counties include La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta, San Juan Colorado and San Juan New Mexico.
2. Community Sponsorship Program
New this year is the super cool opportunity to become a Friend of the Market. "This is what helps us meet our basic needs," says Reinheimer. Support your farmers market with a $25 or more donation, and receive a 10-percent discount on merchandise and "a sweet sticker." Donations help the Farmers Market maintain the sound system and other infrastructural needs, like this dire necessity:
3. Shorter bathroom commutes
Market vendors and patrons alike are excited to celebrate that, thanks to help from Amber Blake, director of transportation and sustainability for the City of Durango, the transit center bathrooms will be open this year on Saturday mornings, so no more panicked runs to find a restroom on Main Avenue! Halle-loo-jah!
4. Durango Coffee Company returns
"The people will be really excited to know that Durango Coffee Company is coming back," says Reinheimer. After missing last market season, DCC is ready to pour scintillating cup after scintillating cup, fueling your shopping craze and making sure you have plenty of energy to take in all that the farmers market has to offer. Thank goodness for that shorter bathroom commute...
5. Mom's win
Considering the DFM kicks off on Mother's Day weekend, it would be a crying shame to not honor these hardworking souls in some shape or form. Why not with the gift of free flower and tomato starts donated by Rhower's Farm to the first 50 moms who show up on Saturday morning? "Come on down, moms, and get an early start on the garden," says Reinheimer. Mom's for the win!
6. Lettuce, goat cheese, chilies, oh my!
Besides the usual suspects, like farm-fresh eggs, meats and cheeses, the DFM is also proud to introduce Peak Season Farms, a year-round lettuce production company that grows greens hydroponically in industrial-sized storage containers. What that means for your shopping basket: tender greens all season long! And while variety is the spice of life, chilies are the spice of the Southwest, adding that extra zip to enchiladas, stews and more, so load up while you can. Another spicy not-to-miss neighbor is Mount Foodie, which specializes in spice rubs for more scrumptious dinner plate action. For a full list of vendors, click here. Bon appetit!
7. Soup slurpin' & other indulgences
This year's ready-to-eat food vendors include memorable faces, like Mountain Stir Fry, Bread, Fired Up Pizzeria, Serious Delights and Asian-inspired cuisine from Mariana's, as well as new-kid-on-the-block, the Soup Palette. The Soup Palette features "artistically-designed and creatively-prepared seasonal foods, like soups, quiches, sandwiches and more," according to their Facebook page. A lunch inspired by local ingredients? Yes please!
8. Artsy fartsy gifts galore
The Durango Farmers Market is so much more than food. There's also live music, occasional dance performances, and a colorful array of fascinating local wares. Alpaca wool spun into yarn, horseshoe art, hanging plant baskets and furniture made from reclaimed beetle kill wood are just some of the latest additions to an all-star lineup of lotions, soaps, balms, pottery, clothes, jewelry, cutting boards, hats, etc. And let's not forget the lovable Ruby the Balloon Lady and her whimsical creations for the kiddos!
9. Kick back time
Don't feel like you have to wear the dogs out all morning (your feet, that is; dogs aren't allowed at the DFM). Take some "you" time and checkout the Acupuncture or chair massage services for a little TLC.
While it’s not “new” to the scene, gratitude is fresh in the hearts of all involved in the Durango Farmers Market, which would not be possible without the pillars of First National Bank, the Business Improvement District (BID), the Wells Group of Durango, Renewal by Andersen, and long-time vendors, like Bread, who "always give a little extra money to help out first-year agriculture vendors," says Reinheimer. And of course they couldn't do it without encouragement from people like you, who keep driving this local train onward to a healthier, more sustainable future in food, art, flowers and friends. So thank YOU for supporting your local farmers, artisans, chefs, baristas, pastry makers, and knife sharpeners. Here’s to the best DFM yet!