Downtown harvest

Boulder Farmer’s Market opens its 26th season

SATURDAYS | April 6 – Nov 16   8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
WEDNESDAYS | May 1 – Oct 2, 4 – 8 p.m.

Saturdays in downtown Boulder get a little crunchier in April. Now through November, some 150 farmers, artisans and educators converge weekly at the Boulder Farmer’s Market, bringing fresh vegetables and much more.

On the market’s brisk and sunny April 6 opening, 10-year-old farmer Patrick Dolbeare was selling a bounty of tulips and starter plants for chard and kale. This is Patrick’s second season. Last year, he made enough money to pay for equipment, seeds, dirt and more, and still turned a healthy profit. He plans to be at the market every Saturday again this year.

“It’s a big commitment,” Patrick says, as dad Dirk Dolbeare – who provides the Heatherwood Elementary fourth grader with a back yard and plenty of guidance – smiles on.

The Boulder County Farmer’s Market is the largest and most diverse of its kind in Colorado. Here you’ll find a multiplicity of products that share one common theme: producers only. Whether grown, fished, baked, built, or crafted, every item represents the efforts of its seller.

Take five-year market veteran Jimmy Scherrer, owner of My Mom’s Pies. Using his grandmother’s recipes, Jimmy brings truly scrumptious (we tasted them) homemade pies to market. Hand made, freshly baked, and without a single artificial ingredient, Jimmy’s pies are “love on a plate.”

“The Boulder market gives us not only a significant selling opportunity, but also a chance to spread the word on our products,” he says. “It’s the number one rated market anywhere.”

Here you’ll find veggies, fruits, flowers, herbs, meats, dairy products, fresh eggs, artisanal breads, useful art, handmade soups, honey, and loads of good information.

“The thing that might surprise people most is the abundance of protein offered at the market,” says executive director Shanan Olson. “Sellers bring sustainably and humanely raised lamb, pork, beef, poultry, goat, guineafowl, cornish hens and more. We even have a seller who brings the Alaskan salmon he catches and flash freezes each year.”

Olson, who began her association with the market a decade ago as a seller, says the market hosts “thousands” of visitors each week. She and others offered up some good ideas for a successful trip:

A creative twist on mini gardens.

A creative twist on mini gardens.

 

GET THE MOST FROM THE MARKET

arrive early
Trish Koval is a market regular who likes to find what’s fresh each week. She advises an early arrival for the best selections, a peaceful pace, and meaningful conversations with sellers.

park for free
All city parking garages are free on Saturdays, as is the lot under Chase Bank on Canyon and Arapahoe. Go here for exact addresses.

come hungry
You simply won’t find a better selection of delicious, nutritious prepared foods in one place. Fresh baked goods, smoothies, Asian dumplings, tamales, ice cream, falafel . . . we could go on and on. Walk-up dining simply does not get any better than this.

bring your own bags & borrow a wagon
If you came just for fresh tomatoes, don’t be surprised to fall in love with more good stuff. Wagons are available to help you cart it all.

enjoy the market with kids
Children are always welcome and treated with honor. Arrive before 11 for the coolest weather and best conditions for strollers and little walkers. Kids will eat up the ice cream, smoothies, gelato, lemonade, fresh veggies, honey, cheese and applesauce! Face painters are here often; art and learning opportunities abound.

pay by cash or credit card
Buy market bucks with a credit card – they function just like cash – or use the convenient ATM.  The market accepts WIC and SNAP food assistance coupons.

leave pets at home
“We love furry friends but they simply don’t belong at the market,” Olson says. “Hard working service animals are always welcome.”

enjoy market music
Musical guests play in the food court every week, generally from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Think local musical artists with a distinctive Rocky Mountain sound.

find popular produce at its peak

  •  Early spring season: greens galore
  •  High summer: cucumbers, tomatoes, melons
  •  Beyond the summer solstice: cherries, apples, peaches, watermelon, plums and every fruit in between
  •  Fall:  sweet carrots and winter squash, carving pumpkins, sweet cabbages and greens

 don’t worry about the weather
The market is open in all conditions.

 

Blueberry cream cheese crisp by Shamane’s Bake Shoppe, sold fresh at the Boulder Farmer’s Market.

Blueberry cream cheese crisp by Shamane’s Bake Shoppe, sold fresh at the Boulder Farmer’s Market.

 

Dew Farms brought beautifully scented handmade soaps to market on April 6, made from the loofah plant. Their loofah scrubbers are specially designed for fresh produce. (How convenient!)

Dew Farms brought beautifully scented handmade soaps to market on April 6, made from the loofah plant. Their loofah scrubbers are specially designed for fresh produce. (How convenient!)

 

 

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