Growers market serves smiles, samples, creations

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The best things in life are simple, especially when it’s right around the corner or down the street.

Pastries, pottery, jewelry and hand-sewn goods are some of the items you can expect to find at the growers market. The market opened last weekend and is held from 5 to 7 on Tuesdays, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the historic plaza.

Lindsey Padilla/El Defensor Chieftain: Pottery maker Scott Goewey shows-off the pottery creations he has been making for 45 years.

Expect something for everyone, and then you’ll see why the growers market is what brings everyone together.

Customers can enjoy sitting outside and tasting samples of feta, blue, mozzarella and gouda cheese, as well as butter goat cheese. These are special products of the Old Windmill Dairy in Estancia.

Nadine Ulibarri-Keller sells eight varieties of cheese from the dairy. She doesn’t re-sell the products, and her son, Nick Keller, who assists her, meets with someone in Albuquerque to bring the products back to sell at the growers market. She has been selling their cheese since 2002, and this is her first year that she started selling the goat cheese in the growers market.

“I come from a fifth generation of farmers. I love my community and I like bringing local and fresh products here,” Ulibarri-Keller said.

Customer Jim Fogarty has been coming to the growers market for a couple of years. Fogarty said he likes jewelry, the Italian glass and the baked goods.

Mary Lyn Limbert and Ayla Ryan, from Magdalena, enjoyed their first day in the market on Saturday. Limbert started sewing when she was 17 and she has been doing it for 30 years. She says she does it because she likes it. When she was little, she says she hated dolls, but now she sews and makes them for kids. She also likes to make quilts.

“When you first learn you will make mistakes, then it becomes easier,” Ryan said.

Ryan learned how to crochet from her husband’s grandmother, and she learned how to knit from her own grandmother when she was 8 years old. She said when she first learned how to crochet it was frustrating because there were so many patterns, but now it’s a great stress reliever.

While you take a stroll through the Plaza, you can also enjoy fresh baked goods. Jon Morrison and his assistant, Allison Mazan, make pastries such as cookies and tarts, and breads such as sourdough bread, sweet rolls and bagels. They bake these delectable delights at the community kitchen around 1 a.m., depending on what they’re baking.

Morrison started baking five years ago at Cottonwood Valley Charter School. He usually sells five to six loaves of bread a week, and up to 30 loaves twice a week.

Mazan said she loves baking croissants and cupcakes to sell at the Manzanares Street Coffee House. Morrison encourages those who want to take their hobby to the next level to go ahead and pursue their dreams.

“Don’t take yourself too seriously. It (baking) started out as a hobby. Do what you enjoy, start small and see where it takes you,” Morrison said.

For pottery maker Scott Goewey, he creates his dreams through pottery to be used and affordable because it’s a connection between him and the world.

He has been making pottery for 45 years, and it’s his favorite thing to do. He’s been selling at the growers market for almost a year in the fall.

“I like the stuff I make, and the fact I can do it everyday teaches me to be disciplined,” Goewey said. “I love it.”