Now in its third year, the Windsor Farmers Market brings freshly-picked garden vegetables and Colorado-made artisan products to the corner of Main and 5th streets on Saturday mornings through Sept. 20.
The market features items like fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, cheese, honey and other products grown or made in Colorado. Some market days also include live music, kids activities and visits from the Clearview Library District’s bookmobile, according to Carrie Shimada, horticulture associate with the CSU Weld County Extension Office.
Specialty fruits and vegetables — like Olathe sweet corn, Rocky Ford cantaloupes and Palisade peaches — are also available from vendors at the market, Shimada said.
Thadd Hollis, assistant cheese maker with MuoCo Cheese Company in Fort Collins, said the business began selling the company’s five different varieties of cheese at the Windsor Farmers Market this year.
“The biggest response we get from most people is that they’re happy that we’re there,” Hollis said. “It’s a nice way for people to get the cheese and talk to people who work here and make it.”
Blue Bench Farms has also been selling produce that owner Susan Van Deren grows in her garden just north of Windsor Lake. She said she has been bringing a variety of vegetables, and she will have harvests of sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers for sale in the coming weeks.
“We’ve had a great response from people, it’s been a really positive thing for us,” Van Deren said. “Every week we find something unusual to bring to market.”
With August approaching, Shimada said growers will be harvesting more fruits and vegetables, meaning that shoppers will have a larger variety of fresh produce from which to choose. She said the market also plans to host kids days on alternating weeks through August, offering kids activities and educational opportunities with the bookmobile.
The farmers market is a collaboration between the Colorado State University Weld County Extension Office and the town of Windsor.
“The town of Windsor came to us in 2011 and asked if we were interested in starting a farmers market,” Shimada said. “We started working on it and it took about a year to get our location finalized. 2012 was the first year and now we’re in our third year.”
The market hosts about 10-13 vendors each week, including Blue Bench Farms in Windsor, MouCo Cheese Company in Fort Collins, Miller Farms in Platteville and TUCCI Fresh Produce in Denver.
“Many of the surrounding markets have been around for 30-plus years,” Shimada said. “So we are definitely a baby in the farmers market scene.”
She said shopping at local farmers markets helps out small agriculture producers in the area and helps keeps money moving through the local economy.
“You’re more likely to support smaller agriculture producers who aren’t able to get paying contracts with grocery stores,” she said. “Farmers market produce is also shown to last longer when taken home because it’s been picked so recently. The fruits and vegetables travel shorter distances, so they’re fresher when they get to you.”
Trish Chavez, event coordinator for the Town of Windsor, said shopping at local farmers market supports local businesses, gets people out and about and builds a strong community.
“We are honored to provide the community with a diverse group of vendors and look forward to the continued growth throughout the season,” Chavez said.