Tess on the Town: Paonia bazaar has gifts for foodies
If you have a foodie on your holiday shopping list, one place to visit is the Christmas bazaar at The Living Farm Cafe in Paonia.
This past summer, The Living Farm Cafe hosted a farmers market. With Christmas rolling around, the cafe is hosting a bazaar. Featured are items that are grown, raised and crafted in the North Fork Valley. One of the goals of the bazaar is to keep local dollars in the community and support the growing agribusiness in the valley.
Although the cafe has been open for only several months, the farm and family behind it have deep roots in Delta County. Three generations of the Gillespie family have farmed and ranched near the base of Mount Lamborn since the 1930s.
Today, Tom and Lynn and their children run the 110-acre organic farm. Son Mike Gillespie is the chef at the cafe. All of their foodstuffs come from the family farm or other orchards, farms and ranches in the area.
The bazaar will have creations by artists and craftspeople, but food will play a major part in the bazaar.
Already, it has attracted more than 10 vendors, most from within 10 miles of the quaint town, according to Ann Marie Gambino, manager of the cafe.
“The response from the community has been tremendous,” Gambino said, adding she expects other artisans to join as the bazaar picks up steam.
Some of farmstead products already stocked in the front room of the cafe:
■ Razorz Roost fresh duck eggs.
■ Award-winning Avalanche cheese.
■ Sourdough breads from Mountain Oven in Crested Butte.
■ Organic meats from The Living Farm.
■ Grass-fed elk and buffalo from High Wire Ranch.
■ Syrups, jams and cherry pie filling from Fire Mountain Fruit.
■ Infused olive oils, canned vegetables, spiced vinaigrettes and Paonia plum chutney from Westwood Farms.
■ Big B’s juice, all varieties, from Delicious Orchards.
■ Honey from Austin Family Farm.
On the non-edible side:
■ Artwork by locals is displayed and for sale throughout the cafe (see http://www.thelivingfarmcafe.com for pictures).
■ Ann Chapman, also a server at the cafe, sells aprons, fabric crafts and jewelry.
■ Skeins of naturally dyed wool and handwoven scarves, mittens and sweaters from Lynn Gillespie and The Living Farm.
■ Tote bags made of both vintage fabrics and recycled feed bags. Perfect for outings in Aspen, and well, not Aspen.
■ Lavender goat milk soap from a woman who raises goats and grows lavender on Lamborn Mesa.
If wine is on your Christmas list, venture off the highway and explore the vineyards and tasting rooms of the North Fork Valley. Downloadable maps are available at http://www.deltacountycolorado.com/maps/.
I’m going on too long here, but should you feel peckish on your shopping foray, the cafe’s menu is ever-changing depending on the seasons. I haven’t visited yet, but here are a few items on Chef Gillespie’s fall menu:
Turkey chorizo and fresh eggs with potatoes and Avalanche cheese; gluten free pancakes, brownies and apple crisp; smoked pulled pork sandwich; elk osso buco with cherry demi-glace, Parmesan risotto and butternut squash ravioli with sautéed kale.
NIXON REDUX: A reader noted, correctly, that I confused Tricia Nixon for Pat Nixon in my last column. Thelma Catherine (nicknamed Pat by her father) Nixon was married to Richard Milhous Nixon, and was the mother of Tricia Nixon Cox.
QUOTE: “There is a vast difference between the savage and the civilised man, but it is never apparent to their wives until after breakfast.” — Helen Rowland (1876–1950)