Festivals

Published on July 17th, 2013 | by gatsbyadmin

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Colorado Farmers’ Markets – Get involved!!!

Summer is in full swing in Denver and all of Colorado, which is all the more reason for you totake advantage of itand start checking out your local farmer’s markets. There are many of them spread throughout not only the metro area, but also all along the front range and into the mountains. While it’s true that these local markets have endless fresh and locally grown produce (which is reason enough to check them out), but many also feature baked goods, live entertainment, and hand-made items from jewelry to furniture.

The big craze right now for many who already attend farmers markets is going “locavore” – someone whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food, in order to support a more locally based, self-reliant food economy enhancing the economic, environmental and social health of their community. Now, this way of life is certainly a little extreme for lots of us, but fear not, you don’t have to take the entire locavore plunge to get into your local farmers market – you can ease in slowly. Make it a once-a-month thing if you’d like, because even then, you’ll still be reaping almost all of the benefits of a full on locavore.

 

Nearly every borough in Denver offers their own farmers market, there’s an official Metro area market, and a few little known ones off the beaten path that are definitely worth checking out, if not for the amazing fresh fruits and veggies, for the experience.

Cherry Creek Fresh Market
When: Saturdays, May 4 – October 26, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. & Wednesdays, June 19 – September 25, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: E. First Ave & University Blvd., Denver
Consistently named by locals as their favorite farmers’ market, the Cherry Creek Fresh Market is devoted to Colorado producers. Shopping here helps local family farmers stay in business, preserves quality local food sources for Colorado while using fewer resources, and most importantly, provides you with access to the freshest and most nutritious produce available. Get some just-popped kettle corn or a fresh-made tamale, mingle with the crowd and start shopping!

City Park Esplanade Fresh Market
When:
Sundays, May 12 – October 27, 9 am – 1 pm E. Colfax Ave. & Columbine St.
Where: E. Colfax Ave. & Columbine St., Denver
The lush, green expanse of City Park is the perfect spot for a good old-fashioned Farmers’ Market. The City Park Esplanade Fresh Market boasts the same vendors as Saturday’s Cherry Creek’s Fresh Market, but is usually a little less crowded. It’s also a perfect spot for a picnic – just grab some fresh fruit, some bread and cheese and find a nice spot in the sun.

Highland United Neighbors Farmers Market
When:
Saturdays, June 1 – October 12, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where:
1500 Boulder St., Denver
This market in Northwest Denver is easily accessible from downtown, Sloans Lake, Sunny Side and the Highlands. The Farmers Market is on the 1500 block of Boulder St., in front of well-known local restaurants Vita, Lola and Linger.

The Market at Belmar
When: Sundays, June 2 – August 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Alaska Dr. and Teller St., just east of Alameda Ave. and Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood
This European-inspired marketplace is a great way to spend your Sunday morning or afternoon. For the best fresh picked basil pestos, marinated Italian cheeses and balsamic vinaigrettes this side of Tuscany, head to Loredana’s Pesto. Morton’s Orchard offers Colorado vine-ripened organic fruit—the peaches are to die for. And if the sight of all that food makes you ravenous, pick up an order Sister’s Pantry’s Asian Dumplings with soy lime and cilantro. Or show up early for the fantastic pancake breakfast!

South Pearl Street Farmers’ Market
When: Sundays, May 19 – November 3, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: On the 1500 block of Old South Pearl St., between Florida Ave. and Iowa Ave., Denver
Super-fresh produce, ready-to-eat treats, artisan cheeses and just-out-of-oven baked goods – this is what a Farmers’ Market is all about! The quaint Old South Pearl neighborhood hosts this splendid Farmers’ Market every Sunday in the summertime. The irresistible smell of freshly roasted chilies will lead you over to Pope Farms’ booth. If you’re looking for tips on what to do with your haul, show up around noon for the weekly “Nibble At Noon” chef demonstration featuring recipes, cooking tips and more.

Littleton Farmers’ Market
When: Saturdays, May 4 – September, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: 8501 West Bowles Ave., Littleton
In addition to filling your fridge and pantry with fresh produce and baked goods, at the Littleton Farmers’ Market you’ll enjoy a vibrant community spirit and fun atmosphere. A typical Saturday at the market includes a hospitality tent with information about Historic Downtown Littleton, special kids activities, live music, gardening tips, a chair massage, adopt a pet and get veterinarian advice.

Highlands Ranch Farmers’ Market
When: Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., May – October
Where: Wadsworth Blvd. and Bowles Ave., Highlands Ranch
Made up almost entirely of farmers and producers from the areas surrounding Denver, this is a fun, fresh market that is worth the drive to Highlands Ranch. Fill all of your fruits and veggie needs and then explore some of the other, more unique booths, like Body By Lynne, featuring natural bath and body products, or Taste of Denmark, with danishes, strudels, tarts and coffee cake.

Happy Apple Farm
When:
Late spring – early fall, 9am – 4pm Wednesday through Sunday
Where: 1190 1st St, Penrose, CO (near Pueblo, CO)
This is about a two and a half to three hour drive from the Denver area – a perfect day trip. Happy Apple Farm offers a hay-ride for all into the orchard with your own baskets to pick everything from gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries and apples in the summer, to pumpkins in the fall. Their country store offers everything from jalapenos and chiles (which the Pueblo area is world-renowned for), to fresh pies, preserves, pickled veggies, apple butter, and much, much more. Having gone here since I was a small child, trust me when I say this place is perfect for families with kids of all ages.

 

Alamosa Farmers’ Market
When: Saturdays all summer – 8am – 1pm
Where: Parking lots off State and Main streets
Many people don’t know that the San Luis Valley is famous for their potatoes – and six different kinds (Yukon Gold, russet, fingerling, all-blue, mountain rose, and purple majesty) are available at the Alamosa Farmers’ Market. Afterwards, check out the Great Sand Dunes National Park, only about a half hour away – a must-see for any and all Colorado residents and nature lovers alike.


So, before you catch the leaves starting the change and feel the nights get just the slightest bit cooler, keep it Gatsby by taking advantage of the opportunity to eat fresh, local produce, while supporting your local economy and community.

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