Know your farmers market, know your community |

Know your farmers market, know your community

Downtown Market
Sharill Hawkins
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“Know your Farmer, Know your Food” is the initiative started by the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture. “Know your Farmer” doesn’t just focus on connecting consumers to farmers and other producers, it also focuses on local and regional food systems. Last week was the 11th National Farmers Market Week as declared by the USDA. The agency is acknowledging the role of farmers markets play in stimulating local economies, strengthening communities and supporting farmers.

Earlier this week, I met Marjorie Comer, a Glenwood resident and gardener at the Glenwood Springs Community Gardens. Marjorie asked me the question, “What makes a great community?” She said she has received many different answers to that question. We agreed that the farmers markets in Glenwood and the Community Garden have brought many community members together in a friendly and unassuming atmosphere. Many of us have moved to Colorado from other parts of the country and food is the one thing that connects us all. Neighbors have met, some for the first time, and talked about what they can grow in Glenwood. They discuss what they can buy locally for their families and have shared recipes. A new initiative could be, “Know your Farmers Markets’, Know your Community.”

This Tuesday, Aug. 10, 4 p.m.till dusk, the Glenwood Downtown Market, will be full of regional produce vendors and local artisans. Other local residents will also be they’re showcasing their talents. Mike Mccallum, is our chef this week for the 6 p.m. cooking demo. Mike wowed the crowd last year with his marinated, grilled beef. For dessert, he prepared ice cream with a warm fruit sauce. Mike is not only a great cook, but also an industrious gardener.

In the music tent this week starting at 5:30, Dale Loper, Dan Brennan-Combs and Tom Mercer of The Rock Dogs will be performing. The trio has been playing together for more than 10 years. They all share a common philosophy, music performance is not about the musicians’ egos, instead, it’s about the people who come out looking for a good time. You may want to bring your dancing shoes this Tuesday. The music this week is sponsored by Main Street Gallery.

You may want to be near the music tent at 6:00, I’ve heard that there could be a special performance by seven Glenwood community members. This is YouthZone’s 20th anniversary of the their Kiss-n-Squeal fundraiser. Watch for the now famous, all in pink, “porkin’ and oinkin’ pig rap group.

New to the market this season is Nathan Stowe of Blue Oak Studio Nathan returned to his hometown after receiving has Bachelors of Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Oregon in 2003. His popular booth is a nod to the Peanuts comic strip where Lucy dispensed “psychiatric help”. Why not ask the Designer? It is only 5 cents to discuss a garden design question or general design question with Nathan while enjoying a glass of lemonade. Nathan says,” I wanted a way to get the word out about my studio and allowed me to connect face to face with the community.” Blue Oak Studios specializes in landscape design, installation, interior design, weddings and event planning. Nathan says he has “enjoyed the social energy of the Downtown Market and feels that all of us are ‘planting’ seeds of involvement and connection for the greater good of our community. Let’s Grow.”

If you are a gardener or designer you may also be interested in two other events in Glenwood Spring on Wednesday, Aug. 11. Glenwood Springs Garden Club is sponsoring a talk by Jim Knopf, a well-known landscape architect specializing in Rocky Mountain water wise design.. He is the author of two books, The Xeriscape Flower Garden and Water Wise Landscaping with Trees, Shrubs and Vines. Jim will be giving his presentation at 1 p.m. in the US Bank Community Room, 1901 Grand Ave.

Wednesday evening, 6-8 p.m. join the Community Garden gardeners for a stroll through their gardens. Enjoy cookies and lemonade; take a walk through 66 garden plots to appreciate what has been accomplished by a community that came together.

I’ve always lived in houses that have a front porch we could enjoy in the evenings and easily visit with neighbors. Gradually, my vegetable garden partially migrated to my front yard. Now I had someone to share enormous amounts a zucchini with, my neighbors. “Know your Front Yard, Know your Neighbor”, “Know your Farmer’s Market, Know your Community” and “Know you Farmer,’ Know your Food”

The Glenwood Downtown Market wants to thank all of you have supported the market the first half of this summer’s season. We also want to thank the Noone family for the 25 years of work, dedication and passion in bringing music and our community together.

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