TELLURIDE – Studies suggest some people experience a “shopper’s high” from purchasing things like chic dresses and new shoes but in Telluride, some get that serotonin release from buying kale and goat cheese.
Although the organizers of the Telluride Farmer’s Market have only empirical observations from which to base their assessments, their overwhelming consensus is that shopping at the Farmer’s Market actually does make people happier.
And why wouldn’t purchasing locally grown and organic foods and produce give shoppers the warm fuzzies? As Telluride Farmer’s Market Manager Ellie Greene will attest, there’s just something special about buying food from a local farmer.
“When people are considering whether they’re going to shop at a farmer’s market or at a regular retail grocery store, there’s a lot of issues that factor in – like how you’re supporting family farms, creating jobs in your area, supporting the ecosystem by reducing the greenhouse gases created from shipping food long distances… When you look at it, buying food at a farmer’s market is a 100 percent win-win situation. Plus, you have fun shopping, and that makes you happy.”
Whether shoppers flock to Telluride’s Oak Street every Friday for the thrill, or just to fill their shelves with some tasty organic food and local artisan crafts, the Telluride Farmer’s Market has indeed gained a faithful following in its 11 years in downtown Telluride. This Friday marks the start of the 2013 Telluride Farmer’s Market season when it opens at 11 a.m.
In addition to the slew of meat, cheese, produce, prepared food, and craft booths locals and visitors alike have come to know and love over the years, this year’s farmer’s market will also welcome a host of new vendors. Parker Pastures, beef and lamb producers from Gunnison, will have a larger presence this summer at the Market, while Norwood’s Pasture-Powered Meats (a new farm run by past Indian Ridge Farm intern Andrew Riedel) will offer pork products. Organic cheese-lovers will find their mecca, with two new cheese vendors joining the roster this year: Paonia’s Avalanche Cheese Company and Del Norte’s Lazy Ewe Two Bar Goat Dairy will both offer a wide selection of goat and cow, soft and hard cheeses.
While many of the market’s long standing produce vendors hail from the Paonia/Hotchkiss area, two new producers will join the market this year hailing from other regional locales. Colorado Culinary Gardens, which specializes in Asian greens, grows at high altitude from their gardens on Ridgway’s Log Hill Mesa, and Canyon of the Ancients will be another new vegetable producer located in Cortez.
Foodies can expect to see more lunch vendors this year as well, including Telluride local Drew Ludwig’s Fat Rabbit Salad Company, which will be tossing a variety of different fresh and local salads each week, while Paonia’s Skewer booth will be grilling up Japanese-style shish kabobs. Local Lara Young’s Elegant Elephant stand is bound to be a hit with the kids, as she serves up fruit smoothies, artisan sodas, and summer yummy popsicles.
Also new and kid-friendly will be Telluride-bred fairy craft guru Sara Doehrman’s Wings by Sara booth, where in addition to her fantastical fairy wings, crowns, and wands, kids will find weekly art and craft projects.
The Wilkinson Public Library will begin its summer of farmer’s market children’s programming starting June 14 and running through mid-August, with a special kid-friendly event every week at 11 a.m. Live musicians will also provide entertainment every afternoon from 12:30 to 3:30.
All told, the Telluride Farmer’s Market will boast over 60 vendors this year, running June 7 through October 11. The Market is looking for volunteers to help with an array of tasks on market day, who will be compensated with Market bucks; if interested, contact Greene at 970/433-4699, or stop by the TFM booth any Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.