Skip’s Farm to Market
Dalene Barton loves to prepare a plate of antipasti as a quick dinner. It’s an easy option for her kids to grab and go, and in the summer months, it saves Barton from heating up the house by cooking.
It’s also easy. Barton is a co-manager of Skip’s Farm to Market, a Basalt shop that specializes in produce and meat from regional farmers and other food products from area purveyors.
“It’s really fun to network with all the vendors. You know exactly where it’s coming from,” says Barton, who notes the farmers build relationships via Roaring Fork Farmers and Ranchers. “It seems like an exciting time for food in this valley.”
The market is an outgrowth of owner Skip Doty’s passion for fresh food. Doty owns Early Morning Orchards in Palisade, which includes 4,500 peach and nectarine trees.
“Skip has been at the Basalt Farmers Market for over a decade, but he wanted something more permanent,” Barton says.
The store opened in November — not exactly prime time for a shop focused on produce. But the staff was pleasantly surprised to discover how many vegetables were available in the winter months. Thanks to area greenhouses and good winter storage areas, customers found a steady supply of greens, onions, shallots, squash and apples. The store also helped keep several farmers in work, Barton says. Many farmers find other jobs for the colder months.
“When you eat locally, you have to be more seasonal and creative,” Barton says.
That’s easier come summer, when Colorado enters its relatively short growing season. More fruits make their way to market, and customers respond enthusiastically.
But Skip’s isn’t just about fruit and vegetables. The market carries nearly everything customers need to prepare a meal: bread from Glenwood Springs’ Sunshine and Moon Bakery, jellies from Colorado Mountain Jam, honey from the Roaring Fork and North Fork valleys, wild-caught seafood from Kaleb’s Katch in Gypsum and more.
“Food is medicine,” says Barton, a trained herbalist. “As an herbalist, that’s where you start.”