Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Trip to the Santa Fe Farmers Market July 2011

The Santa Fe, New Mexico Farmers Market is located in the historic, nicely revitalized rail yards area of town. The "water tower" marks the entrance to the market. Last weekend the weather was sunny and hot with a temperature in the mid-80's. The elevation of this town is 7,200 feet and the annual precipitation is just over 14 inches, the wettest month being July.

Plumes of smoke from the Las Conchas fire which has burned 147,000 acres since it began on June 26th were visible in the distance in Santa Fe last Saturday. Luckily, smoke was being blown to the north of Santa Fe, making the air quality fine.

The locals offer strong support to their market, as crowds were heavy and it looked to be a very popular thing to do on Saturday morning. A competing event, the International Folk Art Festival was taking place elsewhere in town. Little Santa Fe is famous for its rich artistic history and claims to be the second largest art market in the U.S., second only to New York City.

Since New Mexico didn't become a state until 1912, writers and artists flocked here to document the primitive native cultures before they were lost. Georgia O'Keeffe was among its famous artist residents and Willa Cather was one author who came to write about the area in two of her books which are favorites of mine, "Death Comes for the Archbishop" and "The Professors House."

Above, a worm stand for all of your vermiculture gardening needs.

Onions do well here and this display was particularly nice.

The above is a nice little hobbyist's product using local dried products of native corn and chili peppers.

Several booths had small, colorful fingerling potatoes.

Dried beans grow well here and a number of booths sold them. One farmer who also sold dried sweet corn told me that if you add a tablespoon of dried corn to your pinto beans "they turn out real good."

I loved observing the above scene! Look at the distinguished guests patronizing the bison stand. In this case, certainly, "a picture is worth a thousand words."

The photo above shows one of a number of stands selling homespun Navajo Churro Sheep wool. The natural dyes and the very special animal from which the wool came make this product highly desireable. If I had time to knit, I'd have bought some!

Another stand with Churro yarn has a relaxed display. Those colors are to die for, aren't they?

When I saw this Yak booth, I was impressed. It sold both meat and yarn.

Two young boys were walking through the market selling these heirloom tomatoes. The Santa Fe market is very strict about its sellers selling only locally produced food, which can be abused if not monitored, as evident at many farmers markets around the country.

These were our three product choices today: Blackberry Jam, Green Chile Mustard, and Raw Honey. Alas, no sighting of Robert Redford on this day, as he purportedly has a home here. Maybe next time.... if I'm lucky.

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