Taos Winter Market: Art, food and community

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This is the third year that Alexandra Rose has attended the Taos Winter Market, located at the gym of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 205 Don Fernando St. in Taos.

“It’s getting better,” she said. “This year, we have new and wonderful vendors with an amazing variety of products.”

Rose and her husband, Peter Rose, are Taos Winter Market’s founders. They decided to support local artisans by opening a space that also functioned, during the coldest months, as a place for the community to gather.

“The best thing is the good feeling among the vendors,” Alexandra Rose said. “They socialize and get to know each other. It’s a friendly atmosphere.”

As for the products, you can find everything from blue corn enchiladas, burritos and beans to handmade creams and jewelry. The market has, as they say here, un poquito de todo – a little bit of everything.

Cindy Stone, owner of Wild Earth Remedies, is one of the Taos Winter Market vendors.

“I use locally gathered wild plants to treat common ailments,” she said. “My most popular product now is ‘Desert Sage Arthritis Cream.’ It’s fabulous! I make it with six different herbs that, blended together, help diminish chronic pain and swelling. As for my skin care line, it is designed to heal and nurture our largest organ, the skin.”

Another vendor, Diane Eger, a clinical herbalist, brings to the market her very own Green Gift Herbals products. She has creams, salves, lotions and oils.

At her table, Eger had samples of osha, chaparral and horsetail, which she said is great for hair and fingernails. “I use herbs for health and beauty,” she said. Eger also sells jewelry, made with metal and precious gemstones.

Pueblo potter Antonia Lujan brought a tall water serpent pot to Taos Winter Market. “The water serpent is a protector of the water and the land,” Lujan explained.

She enjoys meeting people and trading with other vendors. “I just traded some lotions and eggs for my pottery,” she said. “Trading is so much fun.”

Beth Plowman’s table nearby is an eclectic mix of plants and pottery. One side of her table has miniature gardens. The other side is devoted to functional pottery – teapots, mugs and bowls. Next to them are different kinds of soaps, lotions and creams.

“I love to come here and talk to people,” she said. “I like to share ideas with other gardeners and potters – and students who are taking ceramic classes in college.”

For those with a sweet tooth, Lauryn Romero of Sweet Sol Baking Co. has been at the market all winter. She makes fresh pastries every morning in her commercial kitchen. She also has granola, yogurt, savory and sweet croissants and cookies. “We also make pastries for a few cafés, but the market is our single retail space,” Romero said.

Aurelia Ortiz is a regular client at Romero’s table. She comes to the market every Saturday and never fails to stop and buy something. “This is the only kind of granola my kids like,” Ortiz said. “Their yogurt is also delicious. That’s a healthy breakfast for the whole family.”

Another vendor, Bob Allalunis, aka “Basket Bob,” exhibits his art at the Millicent Rogers Museum. But he is also at the market, right outside the gym building, with a sample of the farming baskets that he learned how to make during the ‘70s in Taos Pueblo. He uses the red willow branches that grow on the banks of the acequias to weave them.

“I was able to raise my family in Taos by making these baskets,” he said.

Sarah Hammond is at the weekly market with tablet-woven belts, sashes and scarves. Anthony Martinez – from the Red Willow Center Farm at Taos Pueblo – has fresh eggs, pickles and Anasazi beans.

There are only three more weeks left for Taos Winter Market, which takes place Saturdays through April 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the gym of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Don Fernando Street behind the Plaza.

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