DEL NORTE — Summer is in full swing here in the San Luis Valley and what that means for Del Norte is the return of the successful farmer's market — Mercado Del Norte. It kicked off for the first time last summer and grew into one of the largest markets on this side of the Valley, gaining popularity for the availability of fresh produce early in the season.
The market was the brainchild of the local Sol Mountain Farm that is located just east of South Fork. For several years, Sol Mountain Farm also ran a farmer's market in South Fork but due to unforeseen circumstances had to close that market.
The farm was established with the permaculture policy. The policy definition states, “Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.”
Owners Wes and Angela O’Rourke started the farm in hopes of providing healthy, organic vegetables and pork to the greater South Fork community and the Valley and have done so for the past six years. The meat is sold to local restaurants, and anyone interested in buying shares throughout the year. The farm has a large greenhouse that is used to grow all kinds of vegetables ranging from lettuce and leafy greens to cabbage, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, and much more.
The vegetables are available usually from late spring to early October, making fresh produce available for the public through the summer. The market features local artists, handmade crafts, live entertainment and community partnership.
Mercado Del Norte is a lively farmer's market event featuring the best local produce vendors as well as unique, handmade arts and crafts vendors. The event will also feature live music from local musicians as well as big-name hits throughout the season, according to organizers.
The event organizers all live locally around the town of Del Norte and are excited to create this special space for community members to gather, enjoy live music, and shop the variety of local goods offered by market vendors. The market will feature EBT readers for purchasing fresh produce.
The event takes place every Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. and is located on the corner of Highway 160 and Spruce Street in Del Norte.