Visitors happy to be back at Rifle Farmer’s Market |

Visitors happy to be back at Rifle Farmer’s Market

Vendors at the Rifle Farmer’s Market battle heavy rain and wind with smiles on their faces.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Even a sudden squall couldn’t rain on Karen Wagner’s parade.

A massive storm cloud approached from just beyond Roan Plateau, yet Wagner sat smiling, gripping a miniature wine bottle as she listened to live music. It was Friday, the first of many Rifle Farmers Markets slated to run this summer.

“It’s really nice to be back,” she said. “We’ve been coming here since we moved here three years ago, and it’s nice to have everybody and this opportunity to be in Rifle again.”

COVID-19 forced organizers to improvise in 2020. People could order vegetables and fruit then come pick it up, but nothing like the real thing, Wagner said.

Miria Tamayo helps a customer during Rifle’s first farmers market of the season.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Friday’s market, however, offered a scene of “normalcy”: Vendors not only selling produce but an assortment of items like natural remedies, insurance and knitting supplies filled the grass at Heinze Park.

Wagner’s favorite stand was Miria Tamayo’s fruit and vegetable stand.

“She’s the best,” Wagner said of Tamayo. “It’s nice to have more vendors around here, too.”

Rifle Farmer’s Market visitor Karen Wagner shows off a miniature bottle of wine.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Apricots, plums, cherries, potatoes, onions, pinto beans and honey lined her stand. A lot of the items were freshly harvested in Palisade, Tamayo said.

“This is the first market, and I don’t think a lot of people know, but they show up,” she said. “Everybody come to buy things, you know? We had it awful last year, but it’s been better this year. … We do eight markets a week.”

Cheyenne Martin of Vera Herbals in Rifle was selling mushroom-based remedies.

“It’s been kind of slow, but it’s been a lot of nice faces here,” she said. “The first (market), that’s always the slowest.”

People enjoy a live performance by Joey Ball during a Rifle farmers market event.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Martin, however, said she was enjoying the live music by Joey Ball.

“Oh, it’s been an amazing time,” she said. “(Ball’s) got a beautiful voice. … I’ve been enjoying it a lot.”

Note: All events are 4-8 p.m. at Heinze Park.

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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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