Steamboat Springs Farmers Market is flourishing | SteamboatToday.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Steamboat Springs Farmers Market is flourishing

Frances Hohl/For Steamboat Today
Steamboat Farmers Market
Matt Stensland

If you go:

What: Steamboat Springs Farmers Market

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., every Saturday through Sept. 17

Where: Intersection of Seventh and Yampa streets

Farmers Market favorites

Featured critic: Craig Kennedy/Steamboat Springs

Juice Plus Tower Garden vendor

Kennedy on his fellow vendors:

• Need More Salsa

“That salsa lady, she’s got me totally addicted!”

• Farm to Fork

“Every time I see Charlie from Farm to Fork I buy habanero bacon from him.”

• JJ’s Pure Rocky Mountain Honey

“Best honey I’ve had in a long time.”

• Remy’s Rainbow

“My buddy Remy who’s in a power chair, who’s a quadriplegic ... he makes his own jewelry. It’s amazing. I bought a bracelet from him for my wife’s birthday last month. She loved it.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to reflect that Sept. 17 will be the last Farmers Market of the season.

Stone-ground heirloom chocolate, bear fat soap and a real garden you can grow inside your house are all being made or sold by local vendors at the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market this year, which is entering its final month of operation for the summer.

Not surprisingly, MainStreet Steamboat, the nonprofit group that runs the farmers market, has a little trouble getting actual farmers into this part of the Northwest Colorado Rocky Mountains.

MainStreet Steamboat Manager Lisa Popovich said they beef up the farmers market with regional farmers and also welcome craft vendors.  

“We have a very limited selling season and growing season so we concentrate on meat, and a lot of things like salsa and baked goods,” Popovich said.

It seems to be working as downtown fills up every Saturday with people munching on pretzels, smoked salmon and delicious pastries while shopping.

Lisa and Antonio Marxuach hold one of their rare cocoa beans used to make their handcrafted chocolate in Steamboat SpringsFrances Hohl

One thing’s for sure, this part of that state has no problem contributing local meat and beef to the market.  Yampa Valley Beef has a popular booth with grain-free and hormone- and antibiotic-free angus beef.

“Exposure is pretty decent,” said salesman Charlie Preston-Townsend. “A lot of people are asking about everything from a couple of steaks to half an animal and even more than that.”

Then there’s the Steamboat Springs couple in the Pura Vida Chocolate booth. They grind rare “heirloom” cocoa beans to make a delectable 70 percent dark chocolate.

“We are importing the beans from a 100-year-old orchard down in Costa Rica,” said owner Lisa Marxuach. “It’s a rare cocoa nut called ‘criollo’ and only makes up about 1 percent of the world’s chocolate.”

Rocky Mountain bear fat soap is one of Routt County’s homegrown businesses that line Yampa Street during Steamboat Springs’ popular farmers market on Saturdays.Frances Hohl

If you want to grow your own food without a tiller, yard or even dirt, then Craig and Andy Kennedy’s Juice Plus Tower Garden booth will set you up with an aeroponic growing system.

“As long as it’s not a root vegetable, you can grow it,” said Andy Kennedy showing off what looked like a huge PVC plumbing pipe with plants growing out of it. Add sun, and voilá.

Here’s a question: how do you make bear fat smell delightful? Turn it into soap of course.

Hayden’s Dana Haskins, owner of Rocky Mountain Bear Fat Soap, realized that bear fat was a resource that was just going to waste.

“I get it from meat processors and taxidermists during hunting season,” Haskins said. “Last year, I got 300 pounds. I render it in the backyard. People with eczema just love it, and mechanics say it cleans really well.”

Farmers Market favorites

Featured critic: Craig Kennedy/Steamboat Springs

Juice Plus Tower Garden vendor

Kennedy on his fellow vendors:

• Need More Salsa

“That salsa lady, she’s got me totally addicted!”

• Farm to Fork

“Every time I see Charlie from Farm to Fork I buy habanero bacon from him.”

• JJ’s Pure Rocky Mountain Honey

“Best honey I’ve had in a long time.”

• Remy’s Rainbow

“My buddy Remy who’s in a power chair, who’s a quadriplegic … he makes his own jewelry. It’s amazing. I bought a bracelet from him for my wife’s birthday last month. She loved it.”

The local farmers market wouldn’t be the same without long-time craft vendor Recycled. Hannah Fishman grew up in Steamboat Springs and took the business off her parents’ hands a few years back. She sells vegetable-dyed bags, cloths and recycled rug ornaments. The company also supports nonprofit groups and employs some of India’s poorest people.

“I have visited some of the small villages that we work out of and actually got to sit and weave with these women for hours,” Fishman said. “Some of them happen to be untouchables, which is the lowest caste system in India, and they would otherwise not have jobs or a way to make a living.”

Despite construction on Yampa Street, vendors have been very pleased with this year’s market.

Artists Kathy Thayer and Sherry Murphy say their ceramics booth has been getting a lot of traffic thanks to the hard work by MainStreet Steamboat.

“It’s become more welcoming, more inviting to tourists and the local population,” said Murphy. If you want to see Murphy and Thayer’s beautiful pottery dishes and art — or maybe taste a bit of what Colorado farmers and ranchers have to offer — the Farmers Market will continue every Saturday until Sept. 17 in downtown Steamboat Springs on Yampa Street.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User