Gunnison locals and Western students host a weekly community market.
Stephanie Colton / Staff Writer
Western students and Gunnison community members alike gather at the Gunnison Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM to show support for local vendors. The fair takes place on the intersection of Main Street and Virginia Street from now until Oct 8. The Market will then be held at the Fred Field Heritage Center until Oct 29. Vendors come to the Farmers’ Market from all over the Gunnison Valley to sell locally grown produce and handmade goods to the Gunnison community.
Beth Coop, manager of the Gunnison Farmers’ Market, works with a board consisting of all volunteers that work to coordinate the marketing and logistical aspects of planning the event. The Market thrives on volunteers, so Western students, clubs, or organizations are encouraged to lend a hand to both help the community and represent Western.
The Western Organics Guild sets up a tent at every Farmers’ Market. Sophia Fontana, the Organics Guild president, describes the campus club as an outlet to “teach, share, and promote sustainable agriculture.” The Organics Guild tends the two campus gardens: the Chipeta Gardens and the Pinnacles Greenhouse. The Greenhouse even supplies fresh herbs for Sodexo at the Rare Air Cafe, so the student body can experience what the club has to offer to Western. Organics Guild members appreciate that they can produce something that can be shared among the community. At every Farmers’ Market, the Guild offers up to five dollars’ worth of free produce to all Western Students.
The vendors at the Market come from a variety of different backgrounds. Some have participated in the event for over a decade. Joanne’s Fine Jewelry, developed by Joanne and Paul Ferron, has sold handmade jewelry at the Gunnison Farmers’ Market for what will be twelve years. They are a retired couple that lives in Gunnison during the summer and fall, and Tucson, Arizona, during the winter and spring seasons. They have worked out of their camper as a hobby for fifteen years, and have converted their toy-hauler into a workshop to make jewelry.
Sarah Baughman is participating in the Gunnison Farmers’ Market for her first season. She makes homemade soap, bug spray, sunscreen, salves, and many other organic products from her own kitchen. The Market is a great opportunity for individuals to share their products with the community, but other well known businesses also come to promote their trade. Cherisse Morgenstein designs organic clothing made of cotton and hemp for her business, Damsel Fly Clothing, and participates in other festivals and markets aside from the Gunnison Farmers’ Market. Doodlebug’s Bakery sets up a tent and also offer discounts to Western students.
Whether students want to volunteer or contribute to this local novelty, or just enjoy what the local businesses and community members have to offer, the Gunnison Farmers’ Market is a great way to support the Gunnison Valley.
For more details on the event, visit http://gunnisonfarmersmarket.com/wordpress/.