MONTROSE – On the first and third Saturday of each month, from November to April, about a dozen locals can be found waiting outside the former city council chambers off of Centennial Plaza in Montrose.
It's almost 10 a.m. and the group has gathered to be the first of the day to get fresh eggs, vegetables, baked goods and other items at the Montrose Winter Farmers Market.
“I love the Farmers Market, and it is the reason I live in Montrose,” Irm Schubert said.
Schubert moved to Montrose from Columbus, Ohio, about five years ago. It was the small-town atmosphere that caught her eye, she said.
In the summer, Schubert visits the biweekly market and said she is thrilled to be able to pick up many of the same items in the winter that she's grown to love.
“I always get Karen's [Byler of Straw Hat Farm] eggs, and I love the fresh produce and baked goods,” Schubert said.
The Straw Hat Farm booth is one of the busiest because of its all-organic products. People line up with their egg cartons to be filled throughout the morning.
But Straw Hat Farm is not the only vendor.
There are 12 vendors who participate in the winter market – a perfect amount for the size of space that market director Frances Baer has to work with.
Baer said she'd like to see the winter market, now in its third year, grow even larger next year, but she's not sure what space may be available to accommodate more vendors and activity.
Because of space constraints, nonprofit organizations and businesses interested in staging cooking and other demonstrations can't be as involved in the winter market as they are in the summer Farmers Market, she said.
Market regular Lisa Sink said she too would like to see more vendors at the winter market, but that she is pleased by the array of good organic items available, nonetheless.
Not just produce and baked goods are showcased at the market – there are also goat-milk products, jewelry, knitted items and meat.
“It's so nice to have a venue to sell my product twice a month,” said Sue Whittlesey of Hotchkiss' High Wire Ranch, which provides grass-fed bison and elk meat, along with chicken and fish.
The market continues through April, just off Centennial Plaza at South First Street and Uncompahgre Avenue. It is open the first and third Saturday of the month, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, visit www.montrosefarmersmarket.com.
Contact Kati O'Hare at firstname.lastname@example.org