Fresh produce and specialty products are pairing nicely with the cooler temperatures and changing trees in Fort Collins.
The Fort Collins Farmer’s Market offers a variety of produce, plants, honey, meats and other agricultural products, all made by local Colorado people.
You can expect different vendors every week through November, but here are three to keep your eye on:
Small Acre Farm
This small farm is located just north of Fort Collins and specializes in products made from goat milk. Small Acre Farm offers goat soap, lotion, lip balm and laundry solutions. The milk for these products come from a small herd of Alpine dairy goats.
Besides goat milk products, this farm also offers fresh eggs, raw wool fiber from their sheep, lamas and alpacas, and they even breed English shepherd puppies.
”I enjoy making these bath and body products, but fiber is my love,“ said TeDi Jansen, owner and head shepherdess of Small Acre Farm. “I am a fiber artist, so I have yarn, bags and scarves that I weave. We will have different products when it comes closer to the holidays.”
Jansen said that her partner is a woodworker who uses her skills to make soap dishes, wooden toys and other gifts for the holiday season. This farm keeps their herd small so they can give attention to each animal regularly, resulting in higher quality products.
Turtle Mountain Fermentery
If there is ever a place to get into fermentation, Fort Collins is it.
Sister duo Hannah and Natalie DiSanto founded Turtle Mountain Fermentery, a small batch brewery offering tea, kombucha and fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut. The company started just offering tea until they realized the many benefits of kombucha.
“Three years ago, hardly anyone knew what kombucha was, and now it’s gotten really popular,” Hannah DiSanto said. “Something different about ours is that we use Yerba Mate tea as the base, and we think it gives it a more subtle and drinkable flavor. We love these farmer’s markets where we can interact with customers, and it is actually where we started our business.”
The DiSanto sisters are planning on opening a kombucha taproom in December. It will be located off on Link Lane near Horse and Dragon Brewery. They will have six flavors all the time, where customers can fill up growlers and enjoy Turtle Mountain’s fermented food as well.
When operating a farm, there is great opportunity to offer multiple unique products, which is exactly was Sunray Natural Farm does.
This eight acre farm offers dry herb and spice blends, herbal tea blends, fresh eggs and produce, and grass fed, all natural meats. In addition, they also breed border collie and Boston terrier puppies.
“We want to give people a chance or a start to eat better for themselves,” said Sydney Weber, an employee of Sunray Natural. “There’s a lot of people who come through that have allergies or insomnia or other ailments, and have found that our products give them a more natural way of dealing with it.”
Sunray Natural already has a storefront on their farm, but they are planning on expanding business. A food truck and commercial kitchen is on the way so that this farm can start selling cups of tea and a larger line of herbs and spices, all while doing it sustainably.
The Colorado Agricultural Marketing Cooperative was created in 1984 with the idea of connecting the farmer and the consumer. Farmer’s markets are a good way to get fresh and honest made products while getting involved in Fort Collins booming food economy.
These farmer’s markets are Sunday and Wednesday in Fort Collins and Saturday and Tuesday in Loveland. More information can be found at www.fortcollinsfm.com
Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SarahEhrlich96.