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Summit County’s warm weather means local food, arts & crafts

Kathryn Turnersummit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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The sun shone down on Buffalo Drive in Dillon on Friday, appropriate for the first day of what is for many a summer ritual: the Dillon Farmers Market. Linda Watkins biked over from her Summit County home; She likes the market for the variety of products – there’s everything from Colorado produce, honey and meats to paintings and hand creams – and the community. Friday morning, she had a waffle cone of Anna Sones’ chocolate peanut butter ice cream (made in Summit County under the business name Higgles Ice Cream), and went back to tell Sones it was the best she’d ever had. This is Sones’ second summer at the market, where on Friday she was selling a few different flavors – including rum raisin, Palisade peach and even strawberry pop tart, all made with Colorado dairy.”It’s about seeing happy faces, and it’s just good exposure,” Sones said. Across the way, local Mark Yeager enjoyed a cone of Higgles Ice Cream while he displayed his wildlife photography – all taken in Summit County. He has sold his work at the farmers market for a few years now, and always gets a good response from both locals and vacationers. “It’s a really good venue,” he said. Frank Guerrero lives in Bailey, but has made the trek over to Dillon for years now to sell his fire-roasted mild, medium and hot chilies. He has numerous return Summit County customers, he said. One stopped by only an hour after his stand opened for the summer to buy a bag, and let him know that it’s her favorite booth – her car smells wonderful on the way home, she said. “It’s a real good community market. The community stays behind you,” he said. “In Dillon, they like chile. We sell more and more every year.” Clif Perry sells his Backpackers Gourmet Chocolate in Dillon, which he makes in Breckenridge, because it’s “proved to be a good market,” he said. “I get a lot of exposure.” Perry has been making his product for 30 years, and says he only deals in dark chocolate because “milk chocolate is like kissing your sister.”

But while Dillon’s market is the first to open, the others aren’t far behind. The Breckenridge Sunday Outdoor Market begins its 10th season June 17. Karin Bearnarth, who works for Bash Events, which produces the market at Main Street Station, said people like it because “it’s really big, and it has a variety of things.” Besides the local food and a lot of Colorado-made crafts, there’s a French potter, Alaskan seafood and German sausage. “We have people from all over the world here,” she said. Chris Brower, owner of Uncle John’s Farm Stand (which has locations in Frisco and Silverthorne) will open up just before the Breckenridge market, be in Breck for its opening day, and after that, plans to be in full swing for the summer. Brower sells all sorts of Colorado delicacies at his farm stand, including zucchini, squash, corn, peaches and jams. This year, he’s adding greens and herbs, along with farm-fresh free-range eggs to his stock, at the request of last year’s customers. Also at the request of customers, Brower is toying around with starting up a community-supported agriculture program, where people can place their orders on his website before it’s delivered around the county. Brower is expecting Colorado corn to come in earlier than usual this year. “It looks like things are going pretty good this year,” he said of this year’s produce. “It seems like things are ahead of schedule.” Brower has been in business for eight years now, and said he has been doing better and better every year. “We just kind of got into the local food movement,” he said. “I think people are becoming more aware of where their food comes from.”


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