Oh, Fourth of July. So much barbecue. So much beer. So many brats (the wurst kind, not the badly behaved-child variety).
After you wrap up your patriotic partying in Durango, Colorado, you might want to clean out the ol’ system with some fruits and veggies, so swing by the Durango Farmers Market to pick up some fresh, local and organic produce.
The Durango Farmers Market is every Saturday in the parking lot on the south side of the First National Bank of Durango at 259 W. Ninth St., less than 2 miles from the Durango Quality Inn and easily accessible on the city’s free trolley that runs along Main Avenue.
The farmers market features about 60 vendors, including more than 30 farmers and ranchers, about a dozen ready-to-eat and prepared product sellers, half a dozen herb and flower vendors and half a dozen artisans.
Fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, breads, jams, jellies, coffee and chocolate — the Durango Farmers Market has a plethora of healthy (and not-so-healthy) goods.
But before you sample the wares at the market, here’s a sample of who and what you’ll find there:
James Ranch: Ten miles north of Durango is the 400-acre James Ranch in the Animas River Valley. Kay and David James raised their five children on the ranch, and their children began migrating back to the land about 15 years ago. Today, the family runs several flourishing agricultural enterprises at the ranch: grass-fed and grass-finished beef, Jersey milk cows, cheese and eggs, an organic vegetable and flower garden and a spruce tree nursery.
Animas Valley Farms: This 4-acre farm — located in the Animas Valley just north of Durango — is part of the Sugnet Family Ranch, which was established in 1990. In addition to selling its organic produce (tomatoes, onions, radishes, greens and soooo much more leafy goodness) at the Durango Farmers Market, Animas Valley Farms supplies local restaurants and grocery stores, including East by Southwest, The Ore House, The Palace, Guidos, Carvers, Seasons, Strater, Mutus, DNF, Natures Oasis and Vitamin Cottage. Get some!
Santa Rita Ranch: OK, so, sometimes you just need more meat. At Santa Rita Ranch 12 miles south of Durango, owners Jeff and Linda Mannix raise Texas Longhorn cattle. All of the ranch’s cows and bulls — and the steers they raise for market — are bred on the ranch, not purchased. Santa Rita sells its beef at the ranch as well as at the Durango Farmers Market. Santa Rita beef is also available at local restaurants, including the Glacier Club at Tamarron Resort, the Ore House and Steamworks Brewpub.