Markets start with limited local fare 

From free-range eggs to natural, premium beef and fresh produce, the offerings at the season-opening Manitou Midweek Market looked pretty tasty. However, few of the veggies at this farmers' market actually came from Southern Colorado farmers.

Tomatoes sold by Musso Farms of Pueblo were from a hothouse in Greeley. The radishes, garlic and onions, like the tomatoes, were from elsewhere. Only the sweet peas and popcorn were fresh off the farm.

Carl Musso says the farmers are doing what they can.

"Even if we don't grow it ourselves, people from around here want food that hasn't bounced around from the farm to the warehouse to the store," he says. "I buy the tomatoes direct. They're just hauled one time. By early August, it'll all be our own stuff."

The crop calendar for the twice-weekly Colorado Farm and Art Market, which sells only Colorado produce, shows that rhubarb and strawberries are in season. By contrast, the farmers' market in Old Colorado City has crops from Arizona and California. Local farmers and vendors are waiting for crops to reach their prime.

At the season-opening Manitou Midweek Market, it was possible to find all the fixings for a true Colorado dinner except when it came to dessert. Apricots and peaches from Palisade won't appear for a few weeks.


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