Fewer vendors have signed up for this year’s Cortez Farmers Market, but its organizers hope for a busy summer.
The organizing committee approved its preliminary list of vendors for the 45th annual market on Friday. Several longtime market staples are returning, like Berto Farm, The Pie Maker and Fury’s Funny Farm, and a few farmers and artisans will be selling wares for the first time. The market runs June 2 through Oct. 27.
Last year’s market opened with 42 vendors signed up, enough to fill the parking lot next to the Montezuma County Building on 109 W. Main St., where the market is held. This year, 36 vendors have applied, so a few spots are available. A few vendors, including longtime participant The Bee Tree, have chosen not to return this year.
Committee members said some vendors have moved out of the area, and others have decided to sell at the Durango Farmers Market.
This year’s event will also be a farewell to market manager Theresa Titone, who will be leaving the position after about 10 years. After retiring from her full-time job last year, she said, she wants to spend her summers traveling.
“All the places I want to go are up north, and I can’t go there during the winter,” she said.
She will be replaced by co-managers Jodie Sutton and Alan Rolston.
But there will also be plenty of new faces at the market. New vendors include Botanical Companions, an organic grower from Mancos; Cortez beef producer Paisley Sol; Chimaera Art Collective, a Cortez-based art and jewelry group; and the Mancos-based Terra Sana Farm, part-owned by Laurie Hall of The Farm Bistro.
Sutton said she believes this year’s warm weather could bring some fruits and vegetables earlier than usual, and that the amount of produce typically increases over the course of the season.
Drought conditions could affect vendors. Committee member and longtime vendor Moqui Mustain-Fury said water restrictions have already affected her McElmo Canyon farm.
“Our adjudicated (water) has been turned off once already, and now is back on,” she said. “It’s going to be a touch-and-go year.”
As always, the market will feature live music every week from local artists, starting with Michael Canzona on June 2. KRTZ Radio will broadcast live from the first day of the market, and Cortez Public Library staff will provide storytime for kids, starting 9:30 a.m. each Saturday.
The market also features a “community booth” for nonprofits.
The farmers market will be open from 7:30 to 11 a.m., or whenever vendors sell out. The market accepts SNAP and debit cards at the market booth. A $2 fee may apply to the purchase of Market Bucks.