Park City Farmers Market opens 13th season at Canyons Resort
June 2, 2015
For the past 13 years, Volker Ritzinger has organized and presented the Park City Farmers Market at Canyons Resort.
The market was originally at Park City Mountain Resort, but the resort shut it down a few months before the Winter Olympics came in 2002.
"We were at Park City Mountain for three years and then they started getting ready for the Olympics and told us they didn’t have room for us," Ritzinger said during an interview with The Park Record. "They told me this in August 2001, when all the farmers were just getting their good produce in."
Ritzinger asked PCMR to reconsider, but the resort gave the market its marching orders. So, the next week, Ritzinger opened the market at Canyons Resort’s Cabriolet parking lot.
The Park City Farmers Market, which has become a Canyons Resort tradition, will open every Wednesday through the fall, from noon until 6 p.m., starting June 3.
"We worked out a three-year contract with Vail," Ritzinger said. "They are really good to us and this is a great relationship."
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Canyons and Vail Resorts are also committed to the community partnership.
"We are happy to be able to provide a location for vendors to showcase fresh and local products to our community," said Margo Christiansen, senior manager of communications at Canyons.
Ritzinger said the mission of the Park City Farmers Market is the same as it always has been.
"It’s important to bring in the best quality of food," he said. "We get all the Summit County growers involved and it’s important for the residents to know that we are getting the food directly from the farmers and providers."
The one thing that has changed over the years is the quality of the produce.
"We want to stay away from GMOs, and, in fact, we banned that from the market," Ritzinger said. "Over the years, the farmers who come to the market have actually changed how they grow their produce. They have gotten more organic over the years, so the market has more organic foods than it ever has."
Ritzinger knows this because he’s the one who inspects the farms that submit applications to the market.
"I’m always going to the farms to see how they grow their produce," he said. "It’s necessary that I spend a lot of time with them."
This year, the Park City Farmers Market will feature some new providers, Ritzinger said.
"One is Beltex Meats from out of Park City," he said. "They will offer hand-rolled sausages, cured meats, cold cuts, pâtés, charred meats, meats that are seasoned and ready to cook, stocks and bone broths.
The market will also feature new tie-dye clothing. In the past, Totally Wicked Tie Dyes sold their handmade clothing at the market, but they moved to Oregon, Ritzinger said.
"So, we have a different line of tie-dye coming in," he said.
Other than that, most of the farmers will be familiar to patrons.
"We will have our old farmers coming in including Growing Empire Nursery, who will sell sage, oregano, basil, chives and cacti in pots," Ritzinger said. "Tagge’s will have peas and other vendors will have salad mix, rhubarb, leeks, farm-fresh eggs, Swiss chard and rainbow kale."
Last year, the Park City Farmers Market features about 80 vendors and Ritzinger is looking to have about the same amount this year.
"They won’t all be here at once, especially on the opening day, because not all the farms will have their produce ready," he said. "We’ll probably start out with 40 or 50 vendors and then work our way up and see many more come up in July."
While applications are closed for clothing- and accessory-based vendors, Ritzinger said he would always accept applications from farmers throughout the market’s run.
"We are always open for new farmers and will work with them," he said.
In July, the market will present live music.
"Last year we featured a new trailer stage and we’ll have that again this year, but not at first, because the wind is pretty crazy during June," Ritzinger said. "So, we’ll have live music for sure in July and August."
Musicians interested in performing at the Park City Farmers Market can contact Ritzinger by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Ritzinger will then get them in touch with his music producer, Fred Buttrick.
"I surround myself with good people to do this, otherwise I couldn’t do it," Ritzinger said.
Last year, after Vail purchased Park City Mountain Resort, there was talk that the Park City Farmers Market would expand back to it’s old stomping grounds.
"We thought about it, but we want to make sure we don’t over-saturate the market," Ritzinger said. "We want to continue to present and offer high-quality produce, meats and accessories to the public."
The Park City Farmers Market, presented by Volker’s Bakery, will open at Canyons Resort’s Cabriolet parking lot on Wednesday, June 3, from noon until 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfarmersmarket.com.