Park City Farmers Market plants seeds in its new location
The Park City Farmers Market continues its 2018 season Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m. at Park City Mountain Resort’s Silver King Lot. The market will close the current season in October. The date will be announced later. Admission is free. For information, visit www.parkcityfarmersmarket.com.
The Park City Farmers Market has passed the midway point of the season at its new location at Park City Mountain Resort Mountain Silver King Lot, and Volker Ritzinger, founder and coordinator, is pleased, regardless of some technological glitches.
“It’s been super,” Ritzinger said. “I am surprised that so many people are showing up here, because our Google Map location still shows the (previous location at Canyons Village), so there is still some confusion. But people are figuring it out.”
The market had to move from the its 17-year home at the Canyons Village cabriolet parking lot to PCMR due to construction at the former.
Initially, Ritzinger was uneasy about the transition.
“I was nervous, because you never want to change something that has been successful and easily accessible,” he said. “At Canyons, we were just off the highway.”
Ritzinger tried to schedule the market at Canyons this year.
“There was just too much going on, so Vail found me another place,” he said. “I have such a good relationship with Vail. They have been so good to me.”
Still, moving the market to PCMR intrigued Ritzinger.
“It was crazy because I started the farmers market at Park City Mountain’s First Time lot 22 years ago, and now we’re back,” he said.
This year’s market is on track to featured nearly 100 farmers and vendors before it closes the season in October, Ritzinger said.
A familiar taste
While its location has changed, longtime Farmers Market patrons havehave seen familiar vendors this season, such as Jenson Farms, which has made the weekly trip to Park City from Draper for the past 15 years.
“I think what I like most about being up here is the environment,” Theron Jenson said of Park City. “It’s like a getaway; a retreat for me, that allows me to leave the hustle and bustle of the valley.”
The vendor, which is known for its corn, raises all of its produce naturally, Jenson said, drawing a distinction between “natural” and “organic.”
“I don’t like to use the word ‘organic,’ because it sounds negative,” he said. “So I like to say I try to grow the produce as close to nature as I can.”
Jenson does use a small amount of nitrate to break down the manure he uses for fertilizer, but doesn’t do any spraying.
Even the water isn’t chemically treated.
“The water I use doesn’t come out of Utah Lake,” he said. “My water comes from a well, so it’s not contaminated. So people who buy our produce know they will never ingest any chemicals.”
The difference between Jenson’s produce and others can be tasted, he said.
“By letting nature take its course, the flavor, especially of our potatoes, are second to none.”
Monster Bubbles, inc.
A newer addition to the Park City Farmers Market is Arnold Berg’s Monster Bubbles, which were seen floating across the lot two weeks ago.
Berg created his first monster bubble with a string wand in the summer of 2013 at his grandson’s first birthday. The bubble man knew he had something different when, on a camping trip later that fall, his handiwork drew a crowd.
That’s when he created Monster Bubbles, he said.
Berg sells a variety of string and net wands and an original bubble mixture that can be mixed with distilled water to create the large and small floating orbs.
His bubbles draw spectators of all ages when he does demonstrations, and he lets people try their hand at making bubbles at the Farmers Market as well as other outdoor events.
“I have found that while the children like the bubbles, it’s the adults who have a hard time putting down the wands,” he said.
Ritzinger said this season is Park City Farmers Market’s trial period with the Silver King Lot location.
“We have a one-year contract because (Park City municipal) wanted to see what type of impact we’ll have,” he said. “When we close in October and review how things went, we’ll go from there.”
The success of the Park City Farmers Market up to now is due to its staff, according to Ritzinger.
“It has to a lot with surrounding myself with good people,” he said. “I’ve done this for so many years, and I could probably do this in my sleep. But with a new location, it was something new, and we all needed to be coordinated.”
Ritzinger is also considering starting up an additional farmers market at the Tanger Outlets in Kimball Junction.
“We’ll see how that goes,” he said. “In the meantime, we’re getting some good feedback for coming back to Park City Mountain Resort, the place where we started.”
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