Photography ©Quita Ortiz

Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Artisans

by Quita Ortiz

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is a cherished food source for the community and continues to be one of the country’s best farmers’ markets. Acequias, the traditional irrigation ditches that flow through the irrigated valleys of Northern New Mexico, were established centuries ago and continue to deliver precious water to grow food crops. The relatively recent, ongoing revitalization of small-scale agriculture has contributed to a robust local food scene with top-notch vendors. Santa Feans are fortunate to have access to affordable, locally produced food for creating healthy, delicious meals.

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is located in the Railyard at 1607 Paseo de Peralta. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., although the Tuesday market’s last day for the season is November 24. But the market isn’t limited to fresh produce. Many local makers, herbalists and other artisans sell there. Their products include artisanal breads, fresh herbs, local honey and fiber arts, to name a few. Look for their booths the next time you visit the market and make it a point to support not only local farmers’ but also these highly regarded vendors.

Rustic edible flower bouquets
Annie's Herbs. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.

Annie’s Herbs, in La Mesilla, near Española, is where owner Annie Krahl grows medicinal and culinary herbs, and some specialty greens. Offering flowers and both culinary and medicinal herbs, she has something for everyone. She grows the herbs on her own farm, and then dries, processes and blends them herself. Says Annie, “I had been an organic vegetable farmer for several years, but growing medicinal herbs was a whole world that I had yet to explore on a large scale.”

If you don’t have a green thumb yourself, but love cooking with fresh herbs, you’ll want to visit her stand and stock up on her bulk herbs. Try her lettuce mix that features immune- supporting greens. She also has beautifully arranged edible-flower bouquets and medicinal herbal tea blends. Her Nervine blend includes mint, mugwort, catnip, chamomile and calendula. Annie’s herb bundles are $3 each, and her bouquets are priced at $10 per pound, or $5 for a half-pound.

Cloud Cliff Bakery was established in 1984 and has been baking artisan breads ever since. They bake their delicious, preservative-free breads in a traditional French stone-hearth oven. The wheat for their flour is grown by family farmers’ at the base of Ute Mountain in southwestern Colorado. The farmers’ are part of the Sangre de Cristo Agricultural Producers, a co-op of organic wheat growers. Their Nativo wheat is milled into flour at a stone mill in Questa, north of Taos. A truly regional effort goes in to producing Cloud Cliff’s delectable baked goods.

Every Saturday you’ll find a wonderful assortment of their baked goods at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. For the best selection, arrive early — by around noon the pickings, though all still delicious, become slim. They offer homemade pizzas for $10, most loaves are $7, and scones and other pastries are $3 (try the lavender donut).

Goat soap for sale at a farmers market
Second Bloom Farm. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.
Bundles of lavender and garlic
Gonzalez Farm. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.

Second Bloom Farm features soaps handmade with goat milk and other natural ingredients. Owner Natalie Wood uses milk from her small goat herd in White Rock, where her farm is located. She sources other ingredients from local farmers’, and also harvests her own herbal ingredients to create small batches of artisanal soaps, “lotion bars” (lotion condensed into a bar that looks like soap) and steam-distilled essential oils and hydrosols.

You can’t miss the farm’s creative, quirky display at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. Try a bar of Lotus Blossom & Lavender soap that combines the two namesake ingredients to create a relaxing, moisturizing soap. It’s perfect for distressed skin, and at $8 per bar, perfect for everyday use. It will definitely brighten your skin and elevate your mood. Also try Natalie’s other soaps ($8 per bar), lotion bars ($10) and essential oils ($20).

Gonzales Farm is family run by José and his wife, María. They have two acequia-irrigated farms in the fertile Española Valley, one in Velarde and the other in Alcalde. They offer a variety of fresh produce, and beautiful decorative pieces, such as sage bundles and ristra wreaths, that María crafts. They have been selling at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market since 2006.

A farm run by just two people takes an enormous effort. For María, making these decorations provides a much-needed creative outlet and a welcome counterpoint to the hard work of farming. To create them, she uses their own chile, flowers and herbs. Her signature item is her wreath, which comes in small ($35), medium ($45) and large ($50), and makes a wonderful gift any time of year.

Beeswax candles
Buckin' Bee Honey. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.
a basket of shiitake mushrooms
Southwest Mushrooms. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.

Buckin’ Bee Honey offers a stellar array of bee products at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market that includes honey, beeswax, propolis tincture, lip balm and candles. Owner Steve Wall has been beekeeping in Santa Fe since 2000 and started vending at the farmers’ market in 2001.

Steve emphasizes that because of Santa Fe’s dry climate and high altitude, the honey and the beeswax flavor and scent are unique to this region. You can buy a quart of honey for $20, a pint for $11, and a 12-ounce bear-shaped squeeze bottle for $6. Candles range from $1 to $18 and make great gifts. As we all know, bees are critical to our survival, so supporting our local beekeepers means supporting their bees, which support all of us.

Southwest Mushrooms was established by Stephanie Dukette. Fifteen years ago, following a two-day seminar with world-renowned mushroom expert Paul Stamets, she began growing mushrooms at her home in Santa Fe. In 2011, she began selling at the farmers’ market, where she soon discovered she couldn’t keep up with demand. After customer encouragement, she expanded her operation and now offers not only fresh mushrooms but also a variety of tinctures and dried mushroom capsules. One of her signature items is her shitake mushrooms, which sell for $24 per pound. Her tinctures and capsules range in price from $13 to $55.

Recently, Stephanie began exploring additional medicinal uses of mushrooms and experimenting with different mushroom-herb combinations. So keep an eye out for new products from her.

A man shopping for essential oils
Artemisa Herbs. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.
Animal skins at a farmers market
Shepherd's Lamb. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.

Artemesia Herbs is a family-owned-and-operated business that has been practicing sustainable, ethical herbal medicine for nearly thirty years. Working with ingredients from their own farm in Dixon and from local and regional farms and wildcrafters, they’ve created a plethora of artisanal herbal products, including herbal tinctures, salves, infused honey, oils, vinegars, and bath and beauty products.

Owner Susan Feavearyear has studied with herbalists worldwide. Artemesia Herbs has been selling at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market since 1995. A great way to sample Artemesia’s many products is by joining their Community Supported Apothecary (CSA). You’ll receive different products and medicines seasonally, four times a year. Options range from an annual Single Share ($60) to a Family Share ($350), and they include tea or spice blends, tinctures, honey or vinegar, fresh or dried culinary herbs, and starts for your own garden. Artmesia Herbs products are available weekly at the market.

Shepherd’s Lamb is a longstanding and well-known family business in Tierra Amarilla. It provides the only certified organic lamb in New Mexico. Antonio and Molly Manzanares have spent the last thirty years developing a modern, sustainable family ranch. They graze their flock of around 1,000 ewes on wild land.

Their fiber arts products are as impressive as their meat. Over the years, they have expanded their business to include pelts, yarns, wools and blankets. It’s understandable if you love your Pendleton blanket, but the next time you’re ready for a new, high-quality blanket, choose a Shepherd’s Lamb blanket, made from the wool of their beloved flock. Prices range from $145 to $420, depending on the blanket size.

green chile and red chile mustard
Old Pecos Foods. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.
jars of honey at a farmers market
High Desert Honey Co. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.

Old Pecos Foods offers Southwestern Style Gourmet Mustards. Diane and Mike Jaramillo have created delicious gourmet mustards and are passionate about satisfying your palate. They see their mission as offering only the finest gourmet mustard while simultaneously keeping the cost as low as possible. Keeping their products affordable and accessible to everyone is an important aspect of their business model.

The Jaramillos started their business in 1998 in Glorieta and began vending at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market soon after. Since this is New Mexico, naturally one of their best-selling items is their Green Chile Mustard, which sells for $7 per jar. You can also get a set of two jars of mustard for $10, or their five-jar variety pack for $20.

High Desert Honey Co. is in Taos, where beekeeper Katee Kleiber focuses on honeybee relocation, mentorship and orchard pollination. But her bees produce lots of honey, so she sells specialty raw and creamed honey at the farmers’ market. She infuses some honey with an immune-boosting blend of herbs that includes turmeric, ginger, ashwagandha, osha, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper. It’s great honey to have in your medicine cabinet for when you’re feeling under the weather. Products range in price from $3 to $12, depending on jar size.

jars of jam
Heidi's Raspberry Farm. Photography ©Quita Ortiz.

Heidi’s Raspberry Farm has been vending at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market since 2002 and has gained acclaim for her jams. After buying land in Corrales, Heidi Eleftheriou, started her raspberry farm. Her jams, made with certified organic raspberries, sugar, natural fruit pectin and cane sugar, are consistently popular items at the farmers’ market.

Heidi makes available a variety of jams, including plain, perfectly delicious raspberry jam, and ones infused with red chile or other flavors, such as ginger and lavender. You can buy samplers of five jams that range from $20 to $25, artisanal samplers from $14 to $20, or individual 10-oz. jars for $10.

Camino de Paz is a Montessori School and Farm in Santa Cruz. Owners Greg Nussbaum and Patricia Pantano, along with their students, have been selling at the farmers’ market since 1999. In addition to their classes, students help run the farm, doing everything from animal husbandry, to processing foods, to getting products to market. Stop by their booth to talk to the students and ask them about their learning experience. They have amazing dairy products, including goat milk yogurt, goat cheese, goat kefir and cow’s milk feta cheese.

Quita Ortiz
Contributor

Quita Ortiz is a native New Mexican who resides in the Pojoaque Valley. She’s a writer, photographer, maker, herbalist and avid hiker. Follow her on Instagram to see more Northern New Mexico scenery and learn more about the region’s culture.

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