Farmers markets reap harvests

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— No summer is complete without a farmers market.

Routt County residents and visitors have three months worth of farmers markets from which to peruse and purchase an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, one-of-a-kind arts and crafts and other novelties.

What: Main Street Steamboat Springs Farmers Market

When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; July 1, July 15, July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 19 and Sept. 2

Where: Routt County Courthouse parking lot and east lawn, 522 Lincoln Ave.

Call: Tracy Barnett at 846-1800

What: South Routt Nursery

Farmers Market When: 9 a.m. to noon July 8, July 22, Aug. 5, Aug. 19 and Sept. 2; 5 to 7 p.m. July 12, July 26 and Aug. 9

Where: South Routt Nursery, 21250 Colorado Highway 131 south of Phippsburg

Call: Tracy Zuschlag at 846-4404

The farmers markets kick off Saturday morning, when Main Street Steamboat Springs will welcome vendors to the Routt County Courthouse parking lot and lawn.

"I'm surprised about how many calls I have been receiving about the (farmers market). The impression I get is that people really want us to have it," said Tracy Barnett, executive director of Main Street, which sponsors the markets.

Barnett said this year's markets will feature fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as beef, buffalo, lamb and handmade crafts and displays.

"Sweet Pea will be there, of course," she said. "We're having Bonjour Bakery back, and Wing Time will be attending. There's just going to be tons more food items to make the farmers side of the farmers market bigger."

In addition to fresh foods, Barnett said she has heard from a taxidermist, a juice company and other vendors who are eager to display their goods.

"I'm really excited for it," she said. "Markets are huge all over the country."

Barnett said the idea behind the farmers market is to draw people to downtown Steamboat and provide a fun event for Saturday mornings.

"We wanted to put feet on the street," she said. "We were trying to create more events that would bring people downtown. We wanted to give them a reason to come visit."

Barnett said the markets still have space available for vendors.

Tracy Zuschlag said the second annual South Routt Nursery Farmers Market will bring back some of the favorites that drew people to the market last summer. A few new booths and programs also will be added.

"We hope to offer some new things this year in addition to our local coffees, eggs, canned goods, soaps and fresh produce we had last year," she said.

Zuschlag's husband, Chris, owns the South Routt Nursery with Tim Fink. This year, the men plan to offer free how-to workshops on composting, water features and water usage during the farmers markets.

For those who aren't able to attend Saturday morning markets, Zuschlag has planned a few evening markets.

"We just want to see if it's an option to attract more people," she said. "I'm hearing that people are really excited about it. Everyone's really pumped we're doing it again."

Zuschlag said there is plenty of available booth space for vendors. Booth rental is $50 for the summer or $10 per market. Vendors must bring their own tables, she said.

Zuschlag and Barnett coordinated the Steamboat Springs and South Routt markets so there would be little overlap.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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