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Ag + entrepreneurial spirit – there’s something going on here

April 15, 2011

This Saturday, April 16, is the final day of the Scottsbluff Winter Farmers Market (Hampton Inn 1-4 p.m.). It’s really pretty amazing that we have such a thing. (Props to Kathi Manville of Country Chicken Girl fame!) No other city I’ve lived in has provided the luxury of access to locally-produced food and other goods at a winter farmers market.

I wrote about the success of the winter market in the sexily-named “PRIDE II” section of the newspaper last month. Here’s a link to that special section. The story is on page 18. I hope you can read it on your computer. (I’ve had mixed success, depending on the computer I was using.)

I’ve had the opportunity to write about a lot of other entrepreneurial, small-scale, local, ag-related topics in my newspaper travails. Connecting the dots here, it really looks like we have a notable groundswell. I’ll take the occasion of the last farmers market of the winter season to write about it.

Yep. We have a healthy summer farmers market, and a winter one as well. The only season not covered by a local market is spring. (That may change if someone steps up to organize it. I’ve heard rumblings.)

Here are some other developments I’ve written about:

  • An online farmers market pilot program set to expand into this area
  • Promotion of high tunnels to expand the growing season
  • An idea for a geothermal greenhouse (on page 6 of PRIDE II linked above)
  • A proposal to link local producers to a cooperative grocery store
  • The bloom of CSAs in the area (one more – Meadowlark Hearth – has since started operation)
  • A commercial kitchen incubator at the Goshen County Fairground, for small-scale, food-based businesses as well as larger-scale home canning/baking (Dangit! The article’s not online.)
  • The many summer farmers markets opening in the area. I did a photo page story (also not online) of the markets in Scottsbluff, Gering and Morrill, with info on other area markets. (There’s a listing here.)

Awesome!!

And here are four stories I’ve written about market vendors.

  • The “jam lady” (Boo! She won’t be officially selling at the market this summer. But she will be making the occasional batch available to the public at the Creative Bubble booth.)
  • The “peanut butter people” (Wish they would have been at the winter market. I like picking up their peanut butter as a spontaneous purchase. I know they will also sell it out of their home on occasion, but I am too lazy to call.)
  • The “pepper guy
  • The “honey guy

There are many, many more vendors that have good stories – some have been written about by other people, some have yet to be written about. Feel free to post links to the ones I’ve missed.

Also feel free to post a comment about why you like farmers markets.

I’ll be working Saturday and covering a lot of the local Earth Day events, but I’m making sure to take time out to visit the last winter market. See you there!

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2011 7:29 am

    I really like these stories about entrepreneurs. I’m going to try to do something similar on my blog.

  2. April 15, 2011 11:19 am

    It is a super place for seeing and chatting with friends you don’t ordinarily get a chance to see…

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