This week will be the final opportunity during the 2009 season for those who want to celebrate and support local producers at the Salida Farmers Market in Alpine Park. The winding down of the Market is seeing an upswing in vendors as other markets across the region wrap up and farmers and artisans seek to make their goods available before the onset of winter. New vendors to last week’s market brought items such as socks, dog beds, seeds, orchids, as well as herbal salves, teas, and oils. If you missed last week, be sure to come by this Saturday and check out the new goods.
This week’s music will include Andrea Early-Coen and friends playing old-time favorites with fiddles, guitars, and voice. Early-Coen, is a bit of a star in the local music scene and has played and trained extensively throughout the country. Her performances are always well worth attending. Be sure to stop by and check it out.
Finally, make sure you pick up your tickets for Shedfest on sale at the Market this weekend. Shedfest is a celebration of the local food economy and its various producers and is hosted by the CCFA. Tickets are $20 and include a catered dinner, contra dancing, a silent auction, preservation classes, a showing of the film Fresh, live music, a market, preservation classes, apple pressing and more. For more information, contact Seth Roberts at 719-207-2287 or email@example.com or stop by the CCFA market booth and ask for Eric Belsey.
It can be tough to grow squashes and pumpkins between seven and eight thousand feet, even in a Valley mysteriously dubbed a “banana belt.” With autumn ushering in Halloween, that can be a down side to living in the mountains if you want locally grown and sustainably produced Jack-O-Lanterns.
Fortunately, patrons of the Salida Farmers Market have an edge with Javernick Family Farms, who, thanks to their 5,300 foot elevation in Canyon City, can make such seasonal imperatives available.
Javernick Family Farms is a family operation with the very capable Beki Javernick at its helm. The Javernick’s market table is always a welcome site, laden as it is with lettuce, salad mix, spinach, cilantro, beets, turnips, cabbage, kale and other greens, garlic, summer squash, corn, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, melons, basil, onions and cucumbers. In the fall, the squashes and pumpkins are added to the mix.
Beki is visibly proud of her produce and equally so of the work she does which includes a diversified collection of operations. “We have a beyond-organic family farm. I’m the third generation there,” she said. Adding, “We do about 10 acres of produce, grass-fed beef and then we also raise hay.”
The family that runs the farm includes Beki, her mother Carolyn and Father Earl, along with the help of daughter Hayden, 17, and son Greg who is 14. The two teenagers also help out with the younger members of the family, a two year old named Zia and latest edition, Kiana, who was born in July.
But the family doesn’t run it all on their own; they have interns who help out along the way. Beki explains that, “We do the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program so there were probably ten different people coming through on and off.”
Interns who spend time on the farm get to learn about what Beki calls, “beyond organic,” a handle which she uses to distinguish herself from an industry that doesn’t meet her own high standards. “Some of the things they allow in organics shouldn’t be and we just use more sustainable practices than are required through the organic certification,” she said.
Beki provides her “beyond organic” foods to four markets throughout the region but says she enjoys coming to the Salida the most. “I love it,” she said. “It’s definitely my favorite and we’ll be back next year.”
For those that aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to the Javernicks, you are welcome to attend the farm’s annual Harvest Hullaballoo to be held at the farm on Halloween. The event is free and includes a costume contest, farm Olympics, a pot luck, and live music. For more information, or to contact Beki, please visit Javernickfamilyfarms.com.