This year’s Dillon Farmers Market boasts new vendors, live music and more | SummitDaily.com

This year’s Dillon Farmers Market boasts new vendors, live music and more

Krista Driscoll
kdriscoll@summitdaily.com

The Dillon Farmers Market returns Friday, June 5, for the summer season, with weekly live music, new activities and a handful of new vendors, including double the fresh produce from Colorado farmers.

"We are thrilled that we have grown our Colorado fruits and vegetable stands from three to six this year as a complement to our existing stands and niche and artisanal vendors," said Kerstin Anderson, director of marketing and communications for the town of Dillon. "This year, we will also introduce Yoga in the Park, from 9 a.m. to 10:30, with just a $5 suggested donation to Meta Yoga Studios."

Danijel Dukic, with Forte Fruits, formerly Forte Farms, one of the largest stands at the market, has been bringing produce to Dillon from Palisade for about a decade. He's built a loyal customer base of tourists and Summit County folk, who come back year after year for the company's farm-fresh products.

"We grow fruit — the main thing is peaches — but we also have different types of plums, apricots, apples, tomatoes and cherries," he said.

A former manager at Forte, Dukic is now the farm's owner, hence the company's name change; but, the stand still sells the same high-quality produce that customers have sought out the past 10 years. Dukic said the Dillon market is one of the best he attends each summer.

"It's a really nice location that they have, and it's a lot of vendors," he said. "They have certain rules that we like about it, and the people are nice. The market is always crowded — there's a lot of people over there — and the people who run the market are really good."

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Smooth Riders

This year's Dillon Farmers Market boasts nearly 125 vendors, including Smooth Riders, a new company that business partners Carly Davis and Melissa Lyster's started in Breckenridge.

"We wanted to do something different for the summer and kind of challenge ourselves, and we were sitting down one day, and we thought we should make a vendor cart," Davis said. "It started out with making grilled cheese, but then we decided on smoothies, and I knew about the smoothie bike blenders and how those were an up-and-coming trending thing right now."

As the customer pedals, a rod connected to the tire cranks a mechanical blender, which can blend a smoothie in 15 to 30 seconds, depending on the cycling speed. The duo purchased their contraption and started the business about a month ago, and they're stoked to put the bike blender into action at the market.

"It's a perfect place for it, at a farmers market," Davis said. "It's family-friendly, it's healthy, it's organic, it's eco-friendly — it's got everything you need for a farmers market."

Smooth Riders will start the season with two flavors of smoothies — Orange Cream Cycle and Strawberry-Banana — to gauge the bike blender's popularity, collect feedback on customers' favorite flavors and determine the quantity of ingredients that will be needed in the future.

"We're official — we're selling things," Davis said. "It's exciting to see it all come together. We've put a lot of work into it so far and our entire savings, so we're hoping to see something come of it."

AnnaVail Cheese

Anne Kurronen, owner the new AnnaVail Cheese company in Eagle, is another new face at the Dillon Farmers Market. Kurronen will be selling her fresh, organic cheeses, all made within a few days of coming to market.

"I'll be selling ricotta, mozzarella, some flavored cream cheeses and then my specialty is actually a soft sheep's cheese that is kind of tart and has a lot of flavor," she said, adding that she'll eventually have a few aged cheeses, as well, once they mature.

Kurronen procures all of her sheep's milk from a dairy called Irish Cream in northeast Colorado, near the Nebraska and Wyoming border. Using sheep's milk is a bit unusual in the cheese-making business, she said, because it's a lot more challenging to milk a sheep than it is to milk a cow, and the yield is much lower.

"Cows can produce several gallons per day of milk, and a sheep produces about a half a gallon," she said. "Another part of the the sheepherding process — cows, when they give birth, have just one calf, where as sheep can have multiple births, so the livestock owner has more to contend with in that regard."

Put all of that together, and there aren't many people who raise sheep for milk.

"The milk that is produced, from a cheese maker's perspective, is highly coveted because it has nearly twice the fat content as cows' milk," Kurronen said. "One gallon of sheep's milk will make quiet a bit more cheese than a gallon of cows' milk, and because of the fat content, the flavor, in my opinion, is richer and deeper."

Urban Garden Foods

Denver-based Urban Garden Foods is another vendor that will be making the weekly trek to Dillon for the first time this summer. The company makes completely non-GMO, vegan, miso-based vinaigrettes under the label Miso Horny, said co-founder John Nadasdy.

"They're great as salad dressings, marinades, dipping sauces," he said. "We started the company about three years ago, and we've been doing the farmers market on South Pearl in Denver for the past few seasons, and this year we wanted to branch out and get more exposure in the mountains. We hear good things about the Dillon Farmers Markets, so we thought we'd give it a shot."

Miso Horny comes in three flavors, the original Soy, made with gluten-free, organic soy sauce, plus two new varieties that were introduced last year: Wasabi Crushed Red Pepper, a great marinade for beef or seafood, and Ginger Mango, which Nadasdy likes with chicken or seafood.

"Miso is a fermented soybean paste, so if you've ever had miso soup at a Japanese restaurant, it's the main ingredient in that," he said. "It's really high in protein, a very healthy food and it's a really good emulsifier with the vinaigrettes. Kids love it, too. If kids have a problem eating vegetables, put a little of that on it, and they'll destroy it."

Nadasdy said he's not really sure what to expect at his first Dillon Farmers Market, but has heard that it can be really, really busy.

"There's a ton of vendors, most of whom I'm not familiar with, so I think that will be exciting to see," he said. "And it's great to get up to the mountains every once in a while."

Wag's World Orchard

Wag's World Orchard has been a family-owned, family run operation for close to two decades, serving wholesale and retail customers with a mission to grow the biggest, best-tasting and best-quality products at a reasonable market price.

"We're primarily peaches, apples, cherries," said Nick Orros, market manager for Wag's. "We do grow a few acres of a variety of different vegetables — snow peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash — in addition to the cherries, peaches an apples. They'll all kind of come on at different parts of the season."

Orros said he's looking forward to building relationships with customers and getting to know them as the season progresses. In the beginning, it's a sort of feeling-out process, learning clients' interests and their reasons for eating healthy.

"It's a beautiful community, great people and we are Colorado-based," he said. "We're really proud of this whole farm-to-table movement, if you will, and also the sheer economics of it all. It's a good market; there's a huge turnout. It's a very vibrant market from what we hear and understand. We're grateful that we've been embraced and welcomed to enjoy the festivities."

If you go

What: Dillon Farmers Market

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, June 5 through Sept. 18

Where: Buffalo Street in downtown Dillon

Cost: Admission is free

More information: The first Dillon Farmers Market will only have about 80 percent of its vendors. Visit http://www.townofdillon.com or follow the market on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/dilloncolorado or http://www.facebook.com/dillonfarmersmarket.

Live music lineup

All music runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dillon Town Park.

June 5 — Rick Iracki

June 12 — Warren Floyd

June 19 — Todd Johnson

June 26 — Tom Gershwin

July 3 — John Truscelli

July 10 — Catness Kontak

July 17 — Doo Wop Denny

July 24 — Randall McKinnon

July 31 — Travis Book

Aug. 7 — Beau Thomas

Aug. 14 — Kevin Danzig

Aug. 21 — Rob Schmidt

Aug. 28 — Keith Synnestvedt

Sept. 4 — Local Folk

Sept. 11 — Jessica Moidel

Sept. 18 — Russ Chapman