The Colorado Farm and Art Market is a cooperative farmers market that is owned and operated by the participating member vendors, including farmers, artisans, and licensed processed food vendors.
The Colorado Farm and Art Market is devoted to nurturing relationships between consumers and local producers of farm products, value-added food items, and fine crafts and art through the operation of cooperative urban markets. The organization also seeks to grow community across urban and rural boundaries and promote and sustain local and regional economies.
The following principles guide both Colorado Farm and Art Markets.
- Regional food production systems are essential to the health of the economy.
- Artistic expression is important to the identity and health of the community.
- Small local business is important to the security and stability of the regional economy.
- Food security, food safety, food identity preservation, and nutrition are important.
- Consumers have a right to participate directly in the local food supply chain.
- Consumers have a right to accurate and honest information about how their food is produced.
- Collaboration and cooperation help manage competition and reduce duplication.
- Environmental stewardship and community reinvestment are major priorities.
2015 Board of Directors
Susan Gordon, Venetucci Farm – CFAM President
Susan has been an influential part of the Southern Colorado food scene for many years. Before coming to Venetucci Farm, where she currently lives and works with her husband Patrick Hamilton and their two daughters, Sarah and Clare, Susan ran the Learning Ground Farm in Canon City and helped to start the Colorado Farm and Art Market in 2004. She believes that ‘soil in good heart’ is at the root of healthy plants, healthy food, healthy people and a healthy planet. She and Patrick employ farming practices that restore and enhance the health of the soil.
Doug Wiley, Larga Vista Ranch-CFAM Board Member
Doug is a fourth generation Colorado farmer, who was born and raised on a dairy farm near Boone, Colorado. In 1983, he earned a degree in Agronomy from Colorado State University. He has farmed organically for over 20 years and currently produces grass-finished beef, pastured pork, and organic produce. Doug, along with his wife, Kim, have transitioned their farm to Biodynamic Agriculture practices and use the Holistic Management methods to graze and run the farm. Their long-term goal is to build support for local and grass-based agriculture.
Leah Johnson – CFAM Board Member, Vice President, CFAM Member Vendor
Gail Johnson – CFAM Board Member Treasurer
Colene Edwards – CFAM Board Member, Secretary
Bonnie Simon – CFAM Marketing Director
Natalie Seals – CFAM Market Manager
Karen Fleming – Board Member
Brandon Preston – Board Member
A Brief History
The market was formed in 2004 by a group of small family farmers in the Arkansas Valley Watershed who employ sustainable farming practices. These farmers wanted to create a venue where they could sell local, sustainably grown product, develop direct relationships with their customers, and over which they could have some control. All other markets in the Springs were (and still are) sole proprietorships. These farmers had a goal of creating a farmers market that promoted local agriculture while building and nurturing relationships between consumers and local producers.
The market started on Wednesday evenings at America the Beautiful Park in conjunction with the “Gettin’ Down in Downtown” summer concert series. Since its inception, Colorado Farm and Art Market has been committed to a downtown location, believing that the downtown area should remain a vibrant economic and social center of the community, and that people who live and work there should be able to shop for fresh, locally grown food within walking and biking distance. In 2006, CFAM expanded to the Briargate area, first at the shopping complex near Salsa Bravo, and moving the the Margarita at Pine Creek in 2008. The site at the Margarita at PineCreek remains a festive destination for Saturday shoppers, and Colorado Farm and Art Market will continue to grow that market.
In 2011, the Colorado Farm and Art Market moved the Wednesday markets to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. We enjoyed the central downtown location but we felt we were not able to establish the destination type feel of the Saturday markets. This year, we have joined up with the Ivywild School on South Cascade Avenue. We hope this new project will bring a better sense of community gathering place to the Wednesday evening markets. We will be bringing back live music and patrons will be able to enjoy the foods of the Bluestar, La’au’s Taco and the amazing beer from Bristol Brewery.
Do you love Colorado Farm and Art Market and would like to become more than a regular market patron? We have several volunteer positions available to you, including:
Flier and Poster Distributor: We’re trying hard to get the word out! Materials need to be distributed at schools, churches, stores, and other community hubs in neighborhoods across the city.
Info Booth Attendant: You’re coming to the market anyway, so stay a few hours to greet market patrons, hand out Colorado Farm and Art Market literature, assist with Market Bucks transactions, and sell Colorado Farm and Art Market merchandise!
Education Coordinator: Help us educate kids about food–where it comes from, its seasonal nature, what to do with it, and realizing that quality local food is good for us and the environment too! We’ll be hosting mini food seminars for kids on several market dates this year, so if you’d like to help, come join us. We’re also looking for parents to distribute this info the the local school districts, so if you have connections in the schools, let’s put them to work!