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Nourishing the community

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Winter Farmer’s Market is more than just a place to purchase bread; it’s an opportunity for organizations to collaborate and for the community to learn about area businesses.

The event is held from 8 a.m.-noon the second Thursday of every month at Fuller Lodge.

It’s a monthly event that features dedicated businesses. Some vendors travel as far as 200 miles round trip, to furnish items for the market.

Local organizations, including Los Alamos MainStreet and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, have also contributed to event by helping increase awareness for both market items and local non-profit programs.

A collaborative approach has been taken to assist local and regional growers by promoting their industries and educating consumers about small-based businesses and the work throughout the state. Local non-profits are gaining a new forum to promote services and get the message out about their activities.

An addition to the market has been to collect market items and other non-perishables to benefit food programs and organizations in and around the community. The last three markets have collected items for the Casa Mesita Girl’s Home. The March Winter Market hopes to collect lunch and snack items that will be made available to local school counselors for students in need. Assets In Action has worked with Los Alamos Middle School to secure items for students who need lunch or snacks on a daily basis.

The market this week will feature a variety of items from buffalo, yak, pasta, cheeses and handmade baked breads to organic jams, jellies and pickled beets, and hand crafted items.

The vendors often work together selling items for each other so that only one worker needs to make the trip. Kenneth Baltz makes the monthly trip with his wife from Abiquiu. Baltz is known for his farm fresh eggs. Baltz started his own business in 2000 when a neighbor wanted fresh eggs and told Baltz about the demand for the item. He started with 25 chickens and has increased his feathered employees into the hundreds while operating a no kill ranch.

“My girls go out and scratch in the sand, eat bugs and I give them alfalfa hay and grass hay and they get a 20 percent soy protein soy pellet to help keep their feathers,” Baltz said.

Baltz sells eggs that are usually less than five days old and are fertile. “Fertile eggs are higher in the good cholesterol and lower in the bad cholesterol and have a higher protein content,” Baltz said.

Market Manager Cindy Talamantes coordinates the market for a good representation of items. Vendors can be heard on AM 1490, KRSN on “Monday Matters” the Monday prior to each market.