The Farmers Market on Saturday, the Wine and Food Festival all weekend, as well as the Black Canyon Ascent on Saturday and Mission Bike Race on Sunday, all brought folks outside on a weekend when the rain threatened but never really fell.
Opening day of the market went extremely well, said Market Director Frances Baer, with 17 vendors setting up shop on a closed off section of South First Street next to Centennial Plaza.
As the season progresses, more vendors will be coming on board, she said.
“Most of our veggie people weren’t even there, and we will have a lot of fruits and vegetables,” she said. “We also have three people selling meat, more than we ever have.”
The market has lots of bedding plants for the growing season, she said, and at least one vendor, Day Spring Farms, is back after skipping last year when the market was held at the south end of town. Baer said lavender vendors are also very popular this year, and that San Juan Gardens is selling fresh rhubarb.
Mike Young of Mountain View Winery is also using rhubarb, to make wine that he sells at the market.
Other new vendor is Rhonda Williams of Eula Mae’s Heavenly Delights, and Trash Bags, where attractive purses, handbags and other items are made out of old grocery bags.
Another new vendor called Baer to see if what he had to sell was appropriate: earthworms for gardens or fishing.
“I told him it was perfect,” he said.
The vendor list grows every week, Baer said, as more and more produce gets harvested.
“We have a real good mix this year, with lots of fruits and vegetables and organics,” Baer said. For a complete list of vendors and to learn more about the market, go to the website at www.montrosefarmersmarket.com, or call Baer at 209-8463.
The market, now in its 35th year, is expanding to include Thursday afternoons during Main in Motion from June through August, in addition to regular Saturday morning markets from May through October, she said. Starting in June, the market will also include Wednesdays, through September.
Even though opening day went great, Baer said she has the same complaint voiced recently by the organizers of Main in Motion, the weekly summer festival in downtown Montrose. She said the county has hit some food vendors with prohibitive fees that are keeping them from participating in the market.
“We are a small enterprise, and it’s hard to get those kind of people to participate because we are small,” she said.
The new ordinance caught vendors by surprise this summer because there were no special events over the winter months, she said.