First Makers Market of season planned for Thursday in Orchard Plaza

Live music will be part of event on first Thursday of each month

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Another summertime tradition in San Juan County makes its return this week when the weekly Makers Market begins its fourth year.

The event, which takes place each Thursday in Orchard Plaza through Sept. 29, runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on June 2. The market features locally grown produce, locally produced foods such as jams, jellies and baked goods; arts and crafts; clothing; leather goods, and other items.

Flo Trujillo, president of the Northwest New Mexico Arts Council, the organization that presents the market, said last year's market never attracted fewer than 20 vendors in any week and can accommodate up to 30.

"One of the things I'd like to do is energize young entrepreneurs and people from nonprofits and have them feel welcome to join us," she said.

Trujillo noted that many young people took up a habit such as knitting, sewing or creating some kind of art during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she said participating in the market is the perfect way for them to get their feet wet as merchants.

The first Makers Market of the season will take place Thursday, June 2 in Orchard Plaza in downtown Farmington.

"This is an opportunity for them to bring it out and see if there's a business in there for them," she said.

At least two young people already have taken the hint, she said, noting that two such teens already have made plans to sell their wares at the market's opening week.

Trujillo would like nothing more than for the market to have so many vendors it runs out of space in its Orchard Plaza home. If that happens, she said, she's already making plans to set up additional vendors on the sidewalks in front of Main Street businesses.

Farmington artist Al Fanto, left, discusses his painted pizza pans with a visitor at the Makers Market in Orchard Park in downtown Farmington on June 3, 2021

"There is space," she said. "But we want them to sign up with us first."

Market vendors are required to register online at https://nwnmac.org or in person at the market. The fee is $8 per day, but vendors can purchase a five-week registration for just $25 and use the five weekly registrations any time they want. Vendors are encouraged to bring their own table, chairs and canopy, and those selling farm goods and edibles must have a food license.

Live music will be presented at the market on the first Thursday of each month, as well as representatives of the Harvest Food Hub, who will be bringing along their mobile kitchen unit.

Chef Justin Pioche prepares some ingredients for his Navajo-inspired lamb dish during the Northwest New Mexico Local Food Summit cook-off July 15, 2021, in Orchard Plaza in downtown Farmington during the weekly Makers Market. The event returns as part of the Makers Market this year in July.

On July 14, the market once again will play host to a handful of local chefs, who will vie for honors in the Northwest New Mexico Local Food Summit cook-off. The event features three local chefs preparing a creative meal from the same basic ingredients, plus two other local ingredients they are allowed to purchase from vendors at the market.

Trujillo was pleased with the number and variety of vendors who took part in the market last year, and she hopes for even greater diversity this year.

"You never know who's going to show up, so it's not the same thing every week," she said. "So I hope people come down and give it a chance."

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.