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June 7, 2012
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MATHIS: Farms and orchards, Release your bounty!

One of the benefits of living in our little slice of heaven here in the Grand Valley and all around western Colorado is when our local farms and orchards start to unleash their offerings to us in the local farmers' markets.

Yeah, I know we can usually find fresh fruit and produce in the grocery stores, but we all know that it ain't the same. I mean, would you rather grab some fruit that is grown in California, Florida, Mexico or wherever or stop by your local farmers' market and actually talk to the growers, know where it was grown and when it was picked? Come on!

The Downtown Grand Junction Farmers' Market starts Thursday, June 14, and runs along Main Street, from Third to Seventh Street, starting up around 4 p.m. We will once again be there for our sixth year, and we will be back right near the Rockslide. Stop on by.

The Sunday Palisade Farmers' Market starts up on Sunday morning at 10 a.m., June 17, in downtown Palisade. The Fruita Farmers' Market starts Saturday, June 30. And just a little to our east, the Glenwood Springs Farmers' Market will be starting up again on Thursday, June 12, at 4 p.m. and we will once again be participating.

Whether it is the first fresh fruits and vegetables of the season, locally processed meats, cheeses, honeys and the like or just to check out some of the other local vendors, take a little trip down to your local markets, help support your local businesses and enjoy. It don't last forever.

As this is the last food column coming out before Father's Day, let's all take a minute and thank all of the dads out there. I lost my father almost 30 years ago and there is not a week, heck a day or so, that goes by that I do not wish that I had more time with him especially once I lost the arrogance of youth and realized just how special he was. So, if you are blessed enough to have your Dad around, make sure he knows how much you appreciate him.

Some of us may not be the perfect Ward Cleaver kind of Dad, but we do try.

This site is one of our local orchards - Z's Orchard, located at 315 33 3/4 Road in Palisade. I have known these folks for years and they are really dedicated to what they do. Our "Recipe of The Week" is also from their website: Liz Z's French Bing Cherry Pie.

Visit www.zsorchard.com.

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. Reach him at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, via the website at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688.

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The Post Independent Updated Jun 7, 2012 03:03PM Published Jun 7, 2012 03:01PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.