LONGMONT — Extending a purple wand above rows of growing organic vegetables, Lauren Culbertson provided the liquid nourishment that keeps her plants, and her business, afloat.
“Look at this gorgeous basil,” she said. “It’s my favorite.”
Today marks the opening of the 2005 season of the Longmont Farmers’ Market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, and Culbertson’s family will be there, selling organic vegetables and fruit.
“I love the people and the other farmers,” she said. “It’s kind of like an extended family.”
While running the Pachamama Organic Farm, 10771 N. 49th St., is hard work, Culbertson said it’s all worth it when she and her family go to market.
“I love to nourish people and feed people with good, healthy food and give them a face to the farm,” she said. “They know what they’re buying, and they know who grew it.”
Heather Burtness, manager of the Longmont Farmers’ Market, which is affiliated with the Boulder County Farmers’ Market, said the nonprofit is concentrating this year on more than just fresh fruits and vegetables.
“We are trying to focus on the community,” she said, noting that each month, the market will feature events, including those directed at children and at people interested in learning more about the agricultural life.
“We have been analyzing our demographics, trying to find out what people want,” Burtness said.
Aside from the peaches and sweet corn, of course.
Last year, for example, when market managers offered entertainment for children, market customers were thrilled, she said. So to provide fun for children who come to the market every week with their parents, face painting, children’s music and bouncing castles will be regular features every Saturday.
Because the market is focusing on improving its exposure and becoming better known in the community, Burtness is working to forge connections among the market, local businesses and annual events in the city. Doing so, she said, will be mutually beneficial for both the market and its business or event partners.
“We want to introduce businesses to what we’re all about,” Burtness said.
Longmont also has a second farmers’ market on Saturdays on Main Street. The Downtown Longmont Farmers’ Market, which is not affiliated with the event at the fairgrounds, takes place at 17th and Main every Saturday.
Market on calendar
What: Longmont Farmers’ Market
When: Saturdays through Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Where: The north plaza of the Boulder County Fairgrounds, at the corner of Hover Street and Boston Avenue.
Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.