As the Cortez Farmers Market prepares to open for business, registration has already opened for returning vendors.
The market, which includes produce sellers from Montezuma and Dolores counties, will be open every Saturday morning from June through October in the parking lot near the Montezuma County Building on 109 W. Main St.
This year, the market’s board of directors has changed a few regulations, but hopes to see as many participants as ever.
Registration for returning vendors opened Monday, and registration for new vendors opens May 5.
The farmers market board met Saturday to discuss this year’s regulations and deadlines for vendors. New regulations include a requirement that food producers keep a trash can near their booth, a limit of one vehicle per booth space and a rule that all vendors should display a sign with the name of their business. The rules also prohibit any vendors from closing their booths before 10:30 a.m.
Although a few producers complained about that rule at the meeting, market manager Theresa Titone said it’s necessary because the market typically stays busy throughout the morning, and if too many producers sell out and leave early, the empty-looking market area could discourage more customers from visiting.
Vendors will continue to accept food stamps for produce, but Titone reminded them that the coupons do not apply to ready-made products that could be eaten at the market.
Last year, about 39 vendors participated in the market, and Titone said she expects all but two of them to return this year. She also hopes to open up space for one more booth than the market has had in the past. The market’s recurring vendors include SongHaven Farm, Grasshopper Flats, Summit Roots Farm, Mick’s Coffee, The Pie Maker, Lonewolf Arts.
Producers who have participated in past markets can turn in 2017 applications through May 5 at the Colorado State University extension office in Cortez. New vendors can apply May 5-12. Extension agent Tom Hooten said he will accept applications by mail and email.
The fee is $150 for new and returning vendors.
“Happy spring, everyone,” Titone told producers at the meeting. “I can’t wait until June 3.”