I can honestly admit that I love the social aspect of the Durango Farmers Market. And I am not alone.
I am confident that there are those who get to the First National Bank parking lot at 9 a.m. and stay for at least a couple of hours.
Now, I know that City Market has held the distinction for many years as the place you are bound to run into somebody you know. Or if you are my mother, the place you hoped to not run into somebody you know when you were going to get the gallon of milk, or butter, or whatever else one gets Saturday morning in your pajamas.
Maybe it is because I work closely with many of the vendors at the farmers market, or because I am always preaching local food awareness, but I find it virtually impossible to make my way through the market in less than an hour and a half.
I can usually tell that I have been there too long, when: a) my kids have eaten a carrot, a honey stick, and a cookie; b) my wife, who can hold her own when it comes to conversing, asks me to stop yapping; or c) Holly with Napier Family Farms runs out of things to talk about before I do.
Fortunately for me, and for everybody else, the Durango Farmers Market will give me another opportunity to yap, as it begins its Wednesday market next week at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. The market will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.
For those of you who don't live in Durango city limits and commute all week, coming back into town Saturday morning isn't that appealing. Or like 90 percent of Durangoans, you are hiking, biking, camping, fishing, boating or traveling every weekend.
Well, here is your chance. The benefit of having it at the fairgrounds is that it is still in town, has plenty of parking and plenty of food. There will be meat, eggs, cheese, vegetables and who knows what else every week.
Personally, the best part is that it will be all of about 100 yards from my office.
In La Plata County, we are lucky to have numerous markets - the two Durango Farmers Markets, the Bayfield Farmers Market (Saturday mornings), Ignacio (Thursday evenings) and the potential beginnings of a new market at Three Springs on Friday afternoons.
Lastly, mark your calendar for the second annual Iron Horse Chef Competitions that will be held at the Durango Farmers Market. We are planning three events - July 25, Aug. 15 and Sept. 5. Expanding off the success of last year's event, the competition will be a series of challenges pitting two chefs against each other and against the clock. The chefs will have an hour and a half to shop and prepare dishes.
It is a fantastic spectator event, and you will be amazed at what these talented chefs can cook up using ingredients from the market.
Now go shop!
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464.
Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.