Autumn is working its way haltingly into the Central Colorado mountains this year, but at Salida’s Market, there was little denying that a slim and colorful season is all that lies between us and the coldest part of the year.
The trees in Alpine Park hold fast to their green form, but the circumference bounding the City was lighting up in hues of flashy gold. Vendors loading their vehicles and quaffing cups of steaming coffee met first a crisp and clear morning, still dark and festooned by shimmering starts and an imposing lunar glow.
With dawn came the clouds, the cold, and a sneaking wind which whispered to all the plants, still fresh with dew, “turn, turn.” Meanwhile, right on schedule, locals and visitors alike, streamed from the comfort of their houses and hotels to browse the stands, find the perfect fruit, and take home some hand-crafted gift for a child or loved one.
Amidst the children running and climbing and puppies loping and slobbering, the heartiest of shoppers stayed true to summer with tank tops and shorts. Most, however, felt better with jackets and sweaters. As if on cue, giant bouquets of sunflower, amaranth, and poppy pods caught the eye of the casual observer and assured that, indeed, the eternal shifting of the seasons is upon us.
Buena Vista’s Market was less marked by the affairs of Nature and more so by the makings of man. The highlight of Sunday was the musical talents of the Local Old-Time All Stars which brought together the talents of various musicians. Throughout the day, lively rhythms meted out by violins were tempered by repetitious guitars and garnished by clogging and clapping. The tunes contributed a welcome feeling of old-timey ease and comfort. It was a fitting finale for a first time Market held at the historic Turner Farm with its barns, orchard, and 19th century architecture.
Many of those who attended the final Market expressed sorrow at its closing, but were assured that it will return next year. For those who simply aren’t ready to see the season end, the Salida Market will continue for the next five weeks. The very last hurrah will be the Shedfest celebration, an all-day affair beginning at 11 am at the SteamPlant and followed by an evening gala. More info to come.
It’s hard to miss the gregarious and vocal Ken Atkinson who, when not swamped with bread sales, is usually making his way around the Markets cracking jokes and shaking hands. Atkinson, a finish carpenter by trade, says he’s worked off and on for four years, plying these wholesome breads at a total of 6 markets in 5 days. He does so for his friends and neighbors, Shannon and Klaus Campbell, owners of Styria Bakery.
Atkinson, though not the owner or the baker at Styria, shines with pride at the product he brings to the Valley. And, according to Atkinson, he does so with good reason.
“It’s just the different people,” he said when asked why he enjoys coming to the area’s Markets. “They come and you see them smile because they get something you can’t get anywhere else. It’s just good to see them smile.”
Smiles at the Styria Bakery tent make a lot of sense. Aside from their mouth watering cinnamon log and blueberry log donuts, Styria offers fourteen additional varieties of bread and several more variations on balsamic vinaigrette dips.
The breads fall into an assortment of sourdough and potato-based recipes. The sourdough includes a multigrain, an assiago cheese, a roasted garlic, a German rye, a Jewish Rye, and a white Tuscan. The potato breads round out the collection with cranberry walnut, a foccacia, a ciabatta, a lemon-mint white chocolate, a jalapeno jack, an assiago basil, a lemon sage, and a dill with cottage cheese and sweet onion.
Atkinson says he enjoys working for the Bakery that crafts such breads which are stimulating to both the eye and the palate.
“It’s a family owned business,” he said between the exchange of bread and bills. “I like it because it’s a mom and pop kind of place. Shannon is the entrepreneur side and Klaus is the baker.” The Campbell’s kids also help out whenever they can.
The Bakery acquired its name from Klaus’s hometown, Steinmar, Austria. According to Atkinson, Steinmar sits in the County of Styria. Fortunately, fans of the bread don’t need to travel that far for it. The Bakery, based in Frederic Colorado, will continue to provide its product at the Salida Market and will soon offer pickup points in both Buena Vista and Salida for easy winter access.
In Salida you can preorder at Café dawn and in Buena Vista you can visit the Buena Vista Roastery. Atkinson says he looks forward to the opportunity.
“It’s been a good year. Order more bread. Ken will be glad to deliver.”