National Farmers Market Week celebrates local farmers, artisans | CraigDailyPress.com

National Farmers Market Week celebrates local farmers, artisans

Lauren Blair

Locally grown zucchini and squash were bountiful in the late summer months last year at the Craig Farmers Market. Bob Grubb will have his zucchini available for market-goers this week.

— Summertime is farmers market time. August is when the bounty really starts to roll in, which is perhaps in part why Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared this National Farmers Market Week, according to a press release from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support family farms and help grow rural economies," Vilsack said in the press release. "They bring communities together, connecting cities with the farms that support them and provide Americans across the country with fresh, healthy food.”

Farmers markets also offer opportunities for smaller or newer local producers to test the waters. This is especially true in Craig, where the Thursday market is largely populated with home gardeners and small-scale artisans.

"We're really a low-key local market for people that are just trying to start and get an idea of whether they can actually do something," organizer Bob Grubb said.

Vendors at the Craig Farmers Market offer everything from vegetables to handmade frames built from salvaged barn wood to homemade ice cream. Grubb sells his homegrown lettuce, arugula, beet greens and onions every week, as well as his wife's pies.

Individuals can pay a nominal fee of $5 to join the market for a single day or $25 per month, which opens up possibilities for successful local gardeners who end up with a surplus of tomatoes, squash or potatoes, for example.

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"We roll with the punches to try to help out the different people," Grubb said. "Our attempt is to (cater to) the locality, to people here in Craig."

Secretary Vilsack has identified strengthening local food systems as one of the four pillars of USDA’s commitment to rural economic development, according to the press release. The Craig Farmers Market is doing its part to keep avenues open for local growers and artisans alike.

Visit the Craig Farmers Market from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday at Alice Pleasant Park.

Reach Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.

If you go

What: Craig Farmers Market

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays

Where: Alice Pleasant Park in the 500 block of Yampa Avenue