My husband, Will, and I enjoyed an unusual breakfast at home Sunday. We knew we were living the good life as we savored fresh duck egg omelets filled with antelope barbacoa, a side of homemade hash browns, and a slice of toasted Dakota bread. We even taste tested a few bites with homemade mango salsa or a bit of apple butter. Nearly our entire meal was either harvested and processed ourselves or obtained locally this Saturday morning from vendors on the courthouse square in Columbus.
Columbus’ Country Market, formerly Farmers’ Market, will still be around the last weekend of the month and I can tell you from personal experience that it is always fabulous. This new market, known as Saturdays on the Square, is filling in the remaining Saturday mornings in the same location, thanks to a project spearheaded by Debbie Damon, Farmer Bill, and others. But no matter who’s running the show, it’s the local vendors that really shine.
Will and I came home Saturday with fresh herbs, lettuce, kohlrabi (I need to figure out how to prepare this), radishes, homemade mango salsa, apple butter, Dakota bread, a Scentsy room spray, and even a cute pair of earrings – for me, not Will. The diversity of what is available is impressive. If you come out next Saturday, you’ll discover homemade crafts, soap, live plants, fresh treats, and local honey.
Buying from your local neighbors allows you to support small, local farmers and vendors. Purchasing food grown by Farmer Bill or another local grower means that the food you are eating does not require the precious resources to ship it around the world. You’re eating food from this area and it’s fresher, too. Because it was grown locally, there’s probably a really good chance that the herbs I ate Sunday morning were picked the day before and they naturally taste better. That next-day service would be impossible for a large supermarket.
Even if all that isn’t enough to convince you to join me at the market next Saturday, I have one more nudge for you – going to the market downtown is simply fun! Come out and enjoy an extraordinary time visiting with vendors and other patrons, enjoying the fresh, outdoor air, and an take advantage of an opportunity to take your four-legged friend on an unexpected trip.
When I visited my good friend in Red Lodge, Montana, I had a chance to enjoy one of the best farmers’ markets I have ever seen. Fresh bread, green vegetables, and simple crafts stretched over acres of land. I weaved past hordes of patrons to shop for a variety of items. We have the opportunity to create that here at home, but it takes you coming out and supporting what is happening now. Without you, new vendors won’t come and Saturdays on the square will die. If you spend a few dollars downtown now, you have the power to create something incredible right here at home.
As soon as my pecan trees bud-out giving me the all-clear that winter is over, I’m planting my garden. But even after I harvest my first round of home-grown tomatoes and jalapenos, I’m still heading down to both Columbus’ Market Days and Country Market. And I’ll let you in on a little secret – I heard Weimar is getting ready to launch their own market days, too. It isn’t competition, it’s simply more opportunity to obtain local goods, isn’t it?
See you Saturday.
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Julia Child
Michelle Banse Stokes is the Publisher of the Colorado County Citizen and lives in Weimar. Connect with Michelle on social media: fb.com/MichelleBanseStokes