The Pagosa Farmers Market Online will make local food more plentiful, accessible and affordable to the consumer, will enhance economic opportunity for the grower, producer and maker and will contribute to the economic vitality of our community.
Why We Do What We Do:
As with the Saturday “Live” market, the online market will continue to promote the Growers and Producers involved in the food supply, Growers need no explanation; we simply need more people doing it, whether as small operations with a few acres or as backyard operations with even less space. The Small Growers Coop at the Market will continue to be available to our backyard growers when they have extra food to sell but not enough to support a solo operation.
With the Producer class we begin to expand our thinking to suggest new products ideally suited for sale online. In this class are those smart folks who have taken the CSU Cottage Food Production Classes and have their certificates. They are able to preserve, dry and bake food in their own kitchens for sale directly to the consumer. The possibilities are near endless: breads, biscuits, scones, cookies, tortillas, candy, dried pasta, dry baking mixes, fruit pies, empanadas and tamales, jams jellies, preserves and honey. A search of “cottage food products” will serve as an inspiration for additional ideas that treated creatively will sell. People love home made products!
Also included in the Producer class of vendors are those who raise livestock and have chicken, rabbits, pork and USDA beef for sale. Cattle ranching is a major business in this county but the beef is either sold on the hoof or butchered for family consumption. With a year-round online venue, ranchers would find profit in raising good quality beef, processing through a USDA facility and selling locally. The Online Market is a simple and convenient way to display and sell these perishable products.
This brings us to a class of vendors – Makers – for whom the Saturday Market is not appropriate but the Online Market is now actively promoting and who are immune to the seasons and very well represented in our community. .
These vendors, whether Artist, Artisan or Crafters, they work with their hands and minds and imagination to make aesthetically pleasing, or useful or fun items. The Online Market offers a perfect venue for Art (oil, acrylic, water color, feather…sculpture, photography), for Artisan skills (carving quilting, sewing, ceramics, jewelry…), for Crafts (fine soap, body lotion, bead work…). Our objective is to have this huge variety of local Makers on display for local and visitor viewing and purchasing.
What purpose to an online Market? With an online venue the folks who grow and produce food can plan to increase their production and sell year-round. The boost to production will have the effect of increasing the local food supply and year-round sales will boost the bottom line of those so engaged. Our Makers will appeal especially, but not exclusively, to the tourist who wants to take back home something of Pagosa that travels well. The end result is a more resilient and economically vital community. It is this scenario that interests the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Pagosa Springs Area Tourism Board and has prompted both organizations to support the Pagosa Farmers Market, both the Live and Online venues.