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Cortez Farmers Market opens on sunny Saturday

About 250 people visit Cortez Farmers Market’s season-opener

The Cortez Farmers Market had perfect weather for its opening day on Saturday, as several dozen local vendors set up shop on Main Street amid sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s.

Visitors and their families, including several parents and small children, wandered between booths selling produce, pastries and pressed flowers, among other locally produced goods. Folk singer Marilyn Kroeker provided a relaxed soundtrack for the morning, and Cortez Library staff hosted a story time for children.

Market manager Theresa Titone said about 250 people visited between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m., which she said was typical for the first day.

“I think it’s going great today,” she said. “I don’t think we saw as many people as I predicted, but I think we did great.”

She noted that vendors brought more fresh produce than usual for the first day of the market. Some booths, like the one for the Tierra Madre herb farm, were still busy and covered with greenery even near the end of the market.

Other vendors weren’t quite as successful. Ava Degreff, from Miller Farms near Mancos, opened a booth at the market for the first time on Saturday. She sold some herbs and handmade jewelry, but she said the farm’s primary crop, apples, had mostly been killed by the late frost this spring.

“It’s pretty sad, but it’s nature,” she said. “We’ll see if we’ll be able to have some apples or not.”

Tim Stubbs, co-owner of The Pie Maker bakery, said this was his fifth year hosting a booth at the market. He was doing a brisk business throughout the morning on Saturday, and gave some credit to the good weather.

“It’s been a good start to market,” Stubbs said. “It’s a beautiful day.”

Both Miller Farms and The Pie Maker, like most vendors, will show up to the market every weekend this summer. Not all the vendors who signed up were present on Saturday, but Titone said she expects a full roster by the end of June.

The community booth, though, will feature a rotating number of not-for-profit organizations and advocates. On Saturday members of local historical preservation boards used the booth to advertise their goal of raising money to preserve the McElmo Creek Flume. Linda Towle, president of the Cortez Historic Preservation Board, said they hope to raise more than $4,000 this summer.

The market’s live musicians will also change every week. Next Saturday, the performers will be local blues rock band The Moetones.

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