In support of the Boulder County Farmers Markets still being held in Boulder and Longmont, we are printing in full the recent Media Alert from Mary Rochelle. Please give it a quick read and more importantly, get out to support the local farmers if you can. – Editor
Farmers Market Urges Enthusiastic Shopping as Post-flood Cure
Local farmers need peak commerce to ensure their annual sales aren’t drenched by flood
BOULDER, Colo. (Sept. 24, 2013) — The recent storm and flood wrecked havoc throughout Northern, Colo. including devastation to homes and agriculture. Boulder County Farmers Market cancelled its Saturdaymarkets in Longmont and Boulder on Sept. 14 due to the storm’s impact, and concern for human safety. Last week all farmers markets managed by the nonprofit resumed with 98 percent of all vendors showing up to sell locally grown and made products.
Early reports from each farmers market show a measurable downturn in post-flood sales, and this has BCFM officials and local farmers worried. With only eight total Saturday markets and two Wednesday markets left in the season, farmer and food artisans need to generate as much revenue as possible for their respective small businesses, especially after the cancellation of two top markets due to the 100 year flood and 1000 year rain.
“The perception of our farmers markets may be different from reality. Many think the markets are done for the year. In truth, the market still has almost everything one would need to fill their fridge,” said Brad Burger, Forensic Market Specialist for BCFM. “The harvests are continuing despite the epic rain and flood, and our farmers depend on this income now, in order to be sustained until next season.”
“For those who care about local agriculture, the best way they can support local farmers, ranchers and food artisans, is to re-engage with the farmers market community and simply SHOP the markets. We consider commerce at our farmers market restorative– good for farmers—good for our shoppers,” said Kristy Anderson, BCFM, board chair and co-owner of Longmont-based The Fresh Herb Company, a founding farm of BCFM.
For those in our community who wish to help beyond shopping at markets, Farm Aid, the national nonprofit, has set up a Colorado Farmer Disaster Relief Fund which provides grants to help offset farmer’s living expenses, and provide other types of support, such as legal, financial and emotional counseling. Anyone can donate to www.farmaid.org/ffdf.
Boulder Saturday Market Status:
- Farmers/Ranchers: 98 percent of BCFM farmer and rancher members who are normally at market in Sept. will be at upcoming markets. Only two – both local flower growers – will not be able to participate: Glad Factory farm and The Fresh Herb Company. Both incurred damage from the rain and flooding. 100 percent of every BCFM farmer and rancher has been impacted by the rain and flooding. Some lost 60-70 percent of their product. Some lost none, but subsequently lost out on the income from two cancelled markets.
- Prepackaged/Prepared Food: All but one vendor, the Lyons-based Sisters Pantry, will be at market for the rest of the season. The popular food stand lost all of its product for market and grocery stores due to flooding and damage to its production kitchen. Laudisio’s Woodburning Pizza was also flooded and expects to return this weekend. All other vendors will be at market for the remainder of the season.
- Back to normal hours – Saturdays, 8-2 PM. Market runs until November 16.
Longmont Saturday Market Status:
- Farmers/Ranchers: Ginger Cat Farm was hit the hardest of all our growers. They had a total loss and will not be returning to market this season. Here is an email from Cheryl and Darrell:”Ginger Cat Farm is out of business for the year, due to the flooding in our field. Our home stayed dry, and we hope everyone else is either fine or recovering best as possible. We’d like to thank everyone for their business and conversation this summer, and we’ll see everyone in the spring!” Also, The Fresh Herb Company will not be returning this season due to flooding and product loss. All farms have been impacted in one way or another.
- Prepackaged/Prepared Food: The Heirloom food truck was not at market this past weekend because the owner was cleaning up his home in Jamestown. His truck was not damaged. He should be at market this weekend. Also, Angie’s Secret Garden will not be returning this season due to product loss.
- Back to normal hours – Saturdays, 8-1 PM. Market runs until November 2.
Boulder Wednesday Market Status:
- Farmers/Ranchers: 90 percent of our regular farmer/rancher members plan on selling at the final twoWednesday markets. There are a few farmers who will not be returning to the Wednesday market for the remainder of the season including Ollin Farms and 2R’s farm.
- Prepackaged/Prepared Food: Baby Cakes, Sisters Pantry, Angie’s Secret Garden and Street Fair/Boulder Homeless Shelter. The Beer and Wine Garden will continue for the next two Wednesdays – Twisted Pine and Asher will be at the next two markets.
- Back to normal hours – Wednesdays, 4-8 PM. Market runs until October 2.