Growers prep for Farmers Market

-Palisade grower David Cox checks some early cherries which should be ready for the Farmers Market Thursday.

After a spring peppered with bad news, Jaime Cox thinks she’s due for some good.

This, on the heels of bitter mid-March temperatures that hit Cox’s cherry orchards just as they were coming into blossom, resulting in a 70 percent crop loss.

“We were a heck of a lot more worried about the freeze than the economy,” said Cox, co-owner of Palisade Produce, one of the 11 farmers who will have wares to sell Thursday at the first American National Bank Farmers Market of the season in downtown Grand Junction.

Cox and her husband, David, are the only vendors Thursday scheduled to offer cherries.
“We may end up with less, but at least we’ll have some to sell,” she said.

In the weeks and months to come, look for the Palisade Produce stand to include peaches, sweet corn, melons and plums.

“It’s a light June for us,” Cox said.

Kathy Dirks, marketing director for the Downtown Development Authority, said 15 growers have committed for this season’s markets, which on Thursdays will close Main Street between Third and Seventh from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The markets are scheduled every Thursday through Sept. 17.

Of the 15 farmers scheduled, seven will be making their first appearances on Main Street.

Dirks said 70 vendors have signed up, with more itching to get in.

“All our spaces are filled, and we’re working on a waiting list,” Dirks said.

New to this year’s downtown setup: Organizers have added a third entertainment site on Seventh Street, which will close the roundabout at Seventh and Main.

Dirks said no farmers market activities are planned this season on Colorado Avenue, despite extensive renovation efforts recently topped off by the Downtown Authority and the city of Grand Junction. Organizers moved the Cinco de Mayo celebration this year to Colorado Avenue.

“We’ll see,” she said of the prospect of more Colorado Avenue events. “I think any business there extending shopping hours will see increased business (during the farmers market).”


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