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September is locals appreciation month at Farmers Market

With September comes a quieter time in Pagosa.

There are definitely fewer tourists walking the streets, and fewer cars on the roads. You can get gas now without waiting in line.

After eight weeks of bustling Farmers Markets, the pace will be slower, the out-of-towners fewer. Chances are we won’t see folks from as far away as Barcelona, Spain, British Columbia, California or Louisiana as we have seen during the past weeks.

September, then, is the time to show our local folks that we really appreciate their presence.

The one thing that is not tapering off is our local harvest; it’s in full swing and locals will benefit from the abundance.

We will be giving away a basket of fresh produce from our vendors every week until the end of September. Folks with local IDs will receive a free raffle ticket to enter into the drawing, and everyone else will pay $1. That’s one way we say “thank you” to our local supporters.

Then there are the special events: a tortilla-making demonstration with samples and butter to spread. Lucy Gonzales, who sells the best tamales in Colorado at the Farmers Market, rolls her tortillas out on a wooden board with a wooden rolling pen, then cooks them on antique wood burning stove lids. She is also considering the possibility of a sopapilla-making demonstration, so stay tuned — there’s nothing better than a hot sopapilla with honey and butter.

The Pagosa Fiber Coop will be doing a felting demonstration where animal fiber is converted to sections of fabric that then can be used to make a variety of products — purses, scarves, etc.

Brenda Wanket will bring her bunnies and harvest their soft, angora fiber. OK Organics, that’s Kim and Allen Meinhausen, are working on a giant apple cider pressing, complete with antique apple press. Grass Roots will continue to produce great lunches based on grass-finished beef. There are other plans in the works to bring in more music — bagpipes, accordion, etc.

The scheduling for the above events will be announced in the PREVIEW weekly calendar and over KWUF, so stay tuned and keep informed.

Prizes, good eats, demonstrations, music — all add to the old -fashioned fun of visiting with your neighbors as you do your shopping. However, there are other and rather serious reasons for shopping at your local farmers market:

• Instead of traveling an average of 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate, local produce is harvested within a 30-mile radius, reducing our carbon footprint substantially.

• Because fresh produce spends less time in transport, it retains more of its nutritional value.

• Fresh produce tastes better!

• You are supporting the local economy; continued support over time will mean a larger selection and lower prices; statewide, buying local contributes $16 billion to the economy.

• Buying at your local farmers market is your way of participating in the movement away from factory farms and their negative environmental and health effects that we read about every day.

Enough said.

Be there.

East end of the Ponderosa Lumber Company parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday of September.

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