Joy Junction: Farmers Markets deliver fresh and fun on a weekly basis


We all know how even a moment of pure joy can turn our whole world around, and I suspect that’s one of the main reasons we flock to our Farmers Markets – for the sheer fun of it!
Where else do you get to talk to the beekeeper who combed the honey, or meet the guys and gals totally into seeds and plant starts and maximizing yields with all-natural farm-ecology? Their passion is infectious and, like a shot of adrenalin, makes you want to do a jig for joy.
Here you’ll find locals and tourists, vendors and customers, crowding the booths and filling tote bags with specialty foods and products, all typically created within 75 to 80 miles of the market.
Maybe that’s what turns on the kids – the music, the colors and smells, the crispness of the veggies. It all seems to spike the air with joy-juice and the kids and pets, people and produce seem to beam with newfound health and vitality. Whether it can be measured scientifically or not, there’s something in the air of a Farmers Market that unquestionably reinforces of all the good things in life.
Taos Farmers Market
Easily the biggest market around, Taos Farmers Market won Best Farmers Market, Best Place to Buy Fresh Flowers and was second only to Cid’s Food Market for Best Place to Buy Fruits and Veggies in the annual Best of Taos survey this year. Jennifer Helsel, TFM’s Market Manager, notes online that it’s “one of New Mexico’s most diverse and visited farmers markets.” 
Walk the Historic Taos Plaza crowds on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and you’ll frequently overhear gushing wonder at the heirloom produce like purple carrots and multi-hued tomatoes, grass-fed Salazar Meats, cream-colored beige, green and pink pastured organic eggs and fair-to-bursting seasonal fruits.
Questa Farmers Market
A relative newcomer but hugely vigorous team at Questa Farmers Market features live music and local foods, all located in the Questa Visitor Center parking lot on the northeast corner of State Roads 522 and 38.
“Come for lunch, connect with the community and get your veggies for the week,” says Market Manager Gaea McGahee.
The Questa Market is a small but mighty market with intentions to grow and serve northern Taos County and southern Colorado. They accept EBT/SNAP, does Double Up Food-Bucks and accepts WIC and the Senior Nutrition Program checks.
“Keep dollars local and grow community,” is a prime tenet of all Farmers Markets and its at the center of Questa’s Farmers Market.
“A farmers market can be a major driver in regenerating the local food system,” McGahee explains. “It creates an agricultural outlet and employment, builds community resilience, supports multigenerational engagement, makes opportunities for  entrepreneurs, youth and others’ economic activities, and brings residents and visitors an enjoyable and regular event all summer long.”
On average they have about seven booths, plus outdoor café-style seating for a morning cuppa your fave bevies and noshes. Current offerings include a mix of unprocessed ag (lettuce, garden goods, eggs and honey) and processed foods (pies, breads, cookies) and a few handmade items.
Things to look for this season: Cerro Vista Farms and a growing number of local gardens and small farms, special cooking events prepared on-site, like chicharrones and handmade tortillas, music and a puppet show, Frito pies and watermelon water, direct-trade coffee made pour-over style,
and more.  
Questa Farmers Market is a program of Locally, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Questa. 
Taos Farmers Market  
Saturdays 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Taos Plaza
Questa Farmers Market 
Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Questa Visitors Center
Angel Fire Art+Farmers Market 
Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Frontier Park 
Area artists, music, artisanal baked goods fresh produce (Hatch chiles), eggs, local meat and dairy, raw honey and more. 
Dixon Farmers Market
Wednesdays 3:30-6:30 p.m., Dixon Co-op Market
Fresh local produce. The weekly $5 vendor fee proceeds go to the Embudo Valley Library. Facebook/dixonfarmersmarket


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