Planting seed for farmer’s market | SteamboatToday.com
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Planting seed for farmer’s market

Tamera Manzanares

— Locally grown lettuce, radishes, green onions, peas, beans and more soon will be available to Hayden residents with the premiere of a farmer’s market in town.

Hayden Mercantile owner Bill Hayden is organizing the first market for July 31 in the store’s parking lot, where Hayden residents are invited to sell homegrown produce and handmade crafts.

“We know a lot of people have gardens, and they want to share their excess bounty with neighbors, and this will be a good way to do that,” said Hayden, who wasn’t aware of any past farmers markets in the town.

The idea for the market came from the entrepreneurship of 10-year-old Aubree Haskins, who sold rhubarb from her family’s garden at the Mercantile to raise money to attend Bible camp this summer.

Aubree sold the rhubarb, which has won awards at the Routt County Fair, for 75 cents a pound, raising $27, she said.

“It was so pleasant, and the customers were so enraptured by having that available to them,” Hayden said.

He suggested an appropriate name for the market would be the “Aubree Haskins Farmer’s Market.”

“That’s pretty cool,” Aubree said.

Hayden wanted to wait to schedule the market later in the summer. Residents’ gardens are just starting to produce vegetables, he said.

Dana Haskins, Aubree’s mother, said cool-season vegetables, such as greens, peas and green beans, grow well in the area’s short growing season, though some people living in higher areas in the valley grow cherries and other fruit.

Starter plants make it possible to grow some warm season produce, such as tomatoes and squash, which are available later in the summer.

Though the town has the seeds for a successful farmers market, it may take time to get established, Haskins said.

“I think it’s worth a try,” she said. “There are people that garden here and have a lot to give.”

In addition to fresh produce, residents also may sell homemade food such as jams, jellies and soup as well as crocheted and knitted items, homemade candles, soaps and other crafts, Hayden said.

Although Hayden would like to see the market become a late-summer staple in the town, the first market will be key in gauging the town’s interest in the event, he said.

“I think the first time is kind of wait and see,” Hayden said. “But if we don’t take the first step, nothing happens.”

Spaces at the farmers market are free, but sellers must bring their own set-up equipment. Residents interested in selling items should call Hayden at 276-3922 to reserve a spot.

— To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com


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