Guest opinion: Glenwood Saturday market deserves support | PostIndependent.com

Guest opinion: Glenwood Saturday market deserves support

Ken and Gail Kuhns

A youngster enjoys the offerings from Glenwood Springs' Saturday farmers market in this 2008 file photo.
Post Independent | Post Independent

Thanks for your article on the new “events group” coming to the city for money to run a “farmers market event” at Sayre Park on Tuesdays.

A few thoughts need added to this debate as we consider this issue. We would appreciate an opportunity to visit further with City Council about this matter.

We are writing on behalf of the Glenwood Farmers Market, which has operated in the heart of your town every summer Saturday for the past 33 years.

In short, we recommend that the city get out of the “farmers market” business or use any money available to promote all associated “farmers market” businesses in town, especially those that have farmers.

We have been involved in local agriculture (Garfield County) for nearly 40 years. Our farm is in Peach Valley, west of New Castle. Beside many other activities, we helped start the Saturday Farmer’s Market in midtown Glenwood, whose board was run by farmers to benefit farmers.

We formed a marketing cooperative our first year, with 12 growers, no crafts or trinkets. Music was provided by the farmers and workers.

That was 1985. About eight farmers markets existed in the whole state of Colorado then.

We remain in the same area (Rite Aid Pharmacy) today — three growers, five food and cottage vendors. Every Saturday, June-October.

You’ll notice this 15th Street location lies outside of the Downtown Development Authority district, which ends at 13th Street, so we were never afforded any DDA money or promotion.

We have worked hard to establish our Saturday Farmers Market over the years, keeping a lean and sensible budget. We currently run our Saturday Market on a budget of roughly $4,000. (Yes, that’s $4,000 not $40,000).

Could we use more to promote with big ads, paid music, paid chef demonstrations, paid everything? Absolutely. But any money for that comes directly out of our pockets and our customers’ pockets. We rely on our customers, some of whom have been with us from the start, to help us meet our budget goals and keep us farming full time.

In the last 33 years, we have never come to the city for money or promotion. We have paid our sales tax and vendor fees as required.

So it is with great displeasure that we see the city taking our tax money to promote and pay for another “farmers market” on Tuesdays. We have used and registered the name “Glenwood Farmers Market” and must still correct people who use the name to promote their event or promote events as “farmers markets” when no farmers are even a part of it.

We recommend that the city get out of the “farmers market” business or use the money available to promote all associated “farmers market” businesses in town.

Most of this grant money will be used to blanket the airwaves, newspapers, etc., with ads promoting a “new market,” and all its associated “wonderfulness.”

Can we confuse the public again for another 10 years?

Let’s level the playing field.

If the city truly believes in promoting tourism and building community, it should not use this money to destroy an established business in town. It is foolishness to take our hard-earned tax money and hand it to newcomers to compete against we who have been promoting and serving Glenwood for more than 30 years.

Our first market of 2017 will be June 24, the first Saturday after Strawberry Days. You’ll find three growers, two whose farms are in Garfield County.

Peach Valley CSA Farm; Houston Mountain Ranch; DeVries Farm Market (Mesa County). We will be joined by four cottage vendors selling frozen salmon, fresh breads and pastries, homemade pies, freshly canned jams, pickles and more.

Ken and Gail Kuhns, Peach Valley CSA Farm; peachvalleycsa.com, 970-876-2850.


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