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Local folk market draws a crowd

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA- From furniture builder to candy maker and knitters to jewelry craftspeople, the first local “folk” market at the La Veta Community Center on Valentines Day brought members of the community together for hugs, laughs, oohs and ahhs.  According to Maggie Watson, one of the organizers, the largest crowds were during the morning hours.  “Everybody had a wonderful attitude,” she said.  “It was a great kick-off.”  Watson said there will be more and different vendors at future market events. 

    Chris Hudson, La Veta Coffee Company, told the Journal that there are quite a few gourmet coffee drinkers in the area, and his “roast to order” business is “going fairly well.”  

    Barbara Beckner, who has been hand-making quilts locally for 24 years, said “I haven’t sold anything yet, but it’s nice to get out and see people.”  

    Cuchara Valley Furniture, owned by Sid and Steve Palmer, usually markets its handcrafted custom furniture out of the area, particularly in Taos.  Sid listed their all-native materials as, “iron, glass, deadfall aspen and beetle-killed pine.”

    Jennifer Sample’s table displayed handcrafted necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  “People are so nice and so open to this,” she said of the market.  “We plan to be back.”

    Bringing a little ranch history to her art, Joanne Larratt, from Beulah, crafts one-of-a-kind coiled baskets from rope formerly used by team ropers or calf ropers.  “This is a second life for a rope,” she said.

    Rena Kaplowitz was optimistic about the market.  “It’s about community,” she said.  “It’s about forming stronger bonds across political and other boundaries.”  In what she refers to as a “labor of love” she creates and markets herbal salves, particularly one to counteract “the scouring winds of La Veta.”

    Kit Pogue, one of the organizers of the market, felt that there will be more vendors by March and moving into the summer months.  Pogue markets herbs and gourmet cuisine, and her homemade fudge was of particular interest to shoppers.

    The next market will be Feb. 28 from 9 am to 3 pm at the same location.  Based on vendor input, organizers may decide to hold the market one Saturday a month after March.