Evening farmers market draws new vendors to Cortez

Ansley Livingston sells produce from her Food For All booth at the evening Cortez Farmers Market in City Park. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Ansley Livingston sells produce from her Food For All booth at the evening Cortez Farmers Market in City Park.

The smell of fresh pizza and sound of live folk music filled the air at the first evening farmers market in Cortez last Tuesday.

The event drew a different mix of artists and farmers than the regular Saturday morning farmers market.

“I think it’s a great idea for people who may not be able to make it on Saturday,” said Monica Marty, the owner of Sweetwater Gypsies Wood Fired Pizza.

A large variety of crafts and goods was spread across the shady lawn, including ceramics, custom woodwork and local cornbread mix and mushrooms.

Cecila Berto, the owner of Berto farms and a regular at local markets, noticed artists she hadn’t seen before.

At one artist’s booth, fantastically detailed cards featured children exploring the Sonoran desert and a variety of native wildflowers.

“You don’t see cards with kids playing in the garden,” said April Baisan, the artist.

She just started selling her cards two weeks ago, and they are featured at the Cortez Cultural Center, where she hopes they will draw the eye of other gardeners.

Another artist, Leslie Pfeifer, was constructing a soft leather pouch as her business partner, Lyn Lance, arranged their custom purses, shirts and necklaces.

As recent newcomers to the area, the market was good option for them because they missed the signup deadlines for the other area markets. The two learned their craft at a shop in Sedona, Ariz., and eventually hope to open a similar leather store in the area.

While some vendors remarked that the evening was slow, the produce booths did well.

The School to Farm booth sold out of carrots, beets, radishes, cilantro and peas. Most of the booth’s produce came from the gardens at the Cortez Middle School Garden and the Cortez Recreation Center, said Stacy Armbruster, the Cortez Middle School AmeriCorps garden coordinator.

Food for All Farms offered mostly fresh greens and had a good night, said Ansley Livingston.

“It’s been steady,” she said.

She normally takes produce from the Mancos farm to the Durango farmers market on Saturdays, but she saw the evening market as an opportunity to reach Cortez buyers.

The evening farmers markets will be held the first Tuesday of every month through October in City Park from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.