The Park City Farmer’s Market opened on June 12 at the Silver King parking lot at Park City Mountain Resort with a full slate of vendors.
No one was more pleased than market founder and organizer Volker Ritzinger.
“We have way more farmers than we expected,” Ritzinger said during an interview last week. “We had some farmers actually call to tell us earlier this week that they wouldn’t be able to make it, because they were a little behind schedule. But today they all showed up.”
The Park City Farmer’s Market will continue its 2019 run from noon to 5 p.m. every Wednesday through mid-October. Admission is free.
Ritzinger said his contract with Vail Resorts to use the parking lot ends this season.
Earlier this year, Park City Mountain Resort reached an agreement to sell the lot’s property to PEG Companies, a development firm from Provo.
“We have had a great relationship with Park City Mountain Resort and Vail for the past 20 years,” Ritzinger said. “They have been super nice to us and they work well with us. But we don’t know what the future will bring.”
While Ritzinger contemplates the future, Sarah Stutman, Park City Mountain brand experience manager, said in a statement that the resort looks forward to hosting this year’s Park City Farmer’s Market.
“We’re enjoying the beginning of another beautiful summer season at Park City Mountain and are excited to be hosting the Farmer’s Market at our village base,” Stutman said. “We hope that both locals and guests have the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh produce, local vendors and mountain scenery together.”
Ritzinger said he would love to continue working with PCMR if possible.
“If Vail has space for us somewhere — maybe back at Canyons cabriolet lot — we would love to stick around,” he said. “In the meanwhile, we’re still looking.”
One of the lots Ritzinger likes is located at Richardson Flat, near Quinn’s Junction.
“The lot is built on Summit County property, but Park City maintains and pays for the paving,” he said. “The space is big enough so everybody from Park City, Kamas, Coalville and Heber can get together and enjoy the market.”
There are restrictions of how the lot is to be used, according to Ritzinger.
“It says in the rules that no special events are allowed to set up on the lot, but I don’t think the Farmer’s Market is a special event for personal use,” he said. “It’s for the whole community, because we bring in better, healthier food and good-quality items.”
Closing the Park City Farmers Market is not an option, Ritzinger said.
“We need to have the Park City Farmer’s Market here,” he said. “So I’m going to find a place no matter what it takes. We will find some place. We have to.”
Ritzinger has seen a growth in the number of farmers who send in applications over the years.
“I have noticed a lot of people who were in the Army and Navy have retired and decided to go into growing vegetables,” he said. “So we have a bunch of veterans who have joined us.”
Once Ritzinger gets a stack of applications, he visits the farms to see how they operate.
“I want to make sure they don’t use GMOs and that they are fully organic,” he said.
Many of the applicants know Ritzinger’s criteria, because the Park City Farmer’s Market has been around for more than two decades.
“Even the new people who do apply have an idea of what we’re about,” he said.
Ritzinter said he approves almost all of the applications.
“The ones we didn’t approve are only because we have an abundance of the same products,” he explained. “While we try to get as many farmers as we can, we usually accept two vendors of the same product. It’s a balancing act. I don’t like to say ‘no,’ but I have to.”
This year, marketgoers can expect to see cheese, meat and pastry vendors.
“We also have furniture vendors, leatherworks, knives and live music,” he said.