A strong wind was the only deterrent disrupting visitors from enjoying their time at the opening of the Durango Farmer’s Market on Saturday.
The market, which occurs 8 a.m. to 12: p.m. every Saturday in the parking lot of the First National Bank, featured 42 vendors and performances from the Patrick Crossing Celtic Band and the Durango Shimmy Mob.
“I heard a number of people say that was one of the best market openings they’ve ever seen,” market manager Melanie McKinney-Gonzales said.
Vendors were busy the entirety of the four-hour time period as people wandered from booth to booth as they perused the market.
“We were able to do a good job on the advertising,” McKinney-Gonzales said. “Word of mouth in Durango is a phenomenal way of letting people know about your events. I was real pleased with the turnout today.”
McKinney-Gonzales said that sometimes the first day of the market faces adverse weather conditions, but was pleased it was just the wind instead of rain or snow.
“We all had to put up with some of the wind, and the vendors bore the brunt of that,” she said. “But I’m glad that was it.”
Many farmers have been concerned about their crops this year because of the dry weather conditions, but the season has been pretty mellow so far, Tyler Hoyt of Green Table Farms said.
“The year’s just getting going,” Hoyt said. “It got really hot, really quick. It’s been really dry so we’re a little bit ahead in field prep.”
However, he is concerned about the amount of water the area will receive.
Rachel Bennett, co-owner of SolVita Kombucha in Durango, participated intermittently in the Farmers Market last year and plans to have a booth at both the Durango and Telluride farmers markets all summer.
SolVita Kombucha brews craft kombucha, a fermented sweet tea, using all organic ingredients. Bennett’s company is a wholesale distributor and uses the farmer’s market to make a personal connection with customers.
“This is the only way we sell directly to the community,” she said.
Farmers weren’t the only ones who had booths at the market, as there were a number of artisan vendors as well. One such booth was Vanasoap, a local company that makes handmade artisan soaps with locally sourced ingredients.
Vanessa McCowan, owner of Vanasoap, started out by making soaps as gifts for family and friends before creating her own company. This is her first year at the Durango Farmers Market.
“It’s a cool mix of chemistry and art,” McCowan said. “I really wanted to bring it out to the community and get to know people.”
Locals enjoyed the opportunity to purchase vegetables and socialize with friends.
“The fresher the food the better it tastes and the better it is for us,” Molly Ferrer said. “And I like seeing all my friends here.”