MV Farmer’s Market gears up for season

MONTE VISTA — As summer kicks into full swing, the Monte Vista Farmer’s Market is right around the corner. The annual market provides locals and visitors with a place to find fresh organic produce, homemade goods, and local art. 

This year’s market will run from July 9 to Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday. It will be located as usual in the Fassett Parking lot at Highway 160 and Jefferson Avenue, across from the Monte Villa Inn and the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce building. 

At the Monte Vista City Council meeting on June 17, Market Manager Chelsea McNerney-Martinez asked permission to hold the farmer’s market in the parking lot and provided the council some information about this year’s market. 

McNerney-Martinez said that this year they will be following some COVID-19 safety precautions set by the Colorado Farmer’s Market Association and will be using the suggestions for the low-risk counties. She also told the council that she did confirm with the Rio Grande County Public Health Department. 

McNerney-Martinez also said that there is not going to be a mask requirement but that masks will be highly encouraged at the market.

“Because some transactions can’t be 6 feet apart in that environment. But they will not be required. We won’t be doing the single-direction movement anymore this year,” McNerney-Martinez said. 

According to a flyer, this year’s farmer’s market will have a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, honey, green chili, local art, eggs, fudge, personal care, the MOKI food truck, and much more.

During her presentation at the council meeting, McNerney-Martinez also gave a snapshot of what the market brought in last year.

“We did $20,367.47  in food sales last year, and $1,911 in non-food sales. Provided $814 to the community in the SNAP coupons,” she said.

Anyone who receives Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program benefits can bring their card and the farmer’s market officials will run it at the market on their credit card machine and give them vouchers to spend at the market. 

SNAP customers can spend however much they want at the market on any food item that normally qualifies. The vouchers do not expire, and the market does not issue refunds. 

The market also participates in the Double Up Food Bucks program. It matches the customer’s SNAP benefits up to $20 a week. DUFB vouchers can only be spent on produce or beans at the market. This year, the farmer’s market received $600 DUFB to use this season.

“That keeps fresh and local produce and healthy foods going to the people in the community that need it the most,” McNerney-Martinez said. 

Martinez also shared with the council that other farmer’s markets happening around the Valley will be happening on different days. 

Del Norte’s farmer’s market is Thursday afternoon and evening, Monte Vista’s is Friday mornings, and Alamosa's is Saturday mornings.