I’m the wife of a “retired” farmer. As a young teenager, my husband and his dad started a sweet corn business on their land in rural Wisconsin. With their trademark bright yellow and green paint, they set up self service stands at local businesses and sold at several farmers’ markets around their town every August until we moved out here to Denver. He was dubbed “the sweet corn king of Fond du Lac,” and it turned out to be a lucrative little business; from landing a front page story in the local newspaper to paying for his college tuition, and for a little nest egg for us when we got married. The corn was fresh and sweet, and to this day I always say, “friends don’t let friends buy grocery store sweet corn.”
Though he no longer sells corn on hot August days, he looks back on it as a sweet (and sweaty, I suppose) memory. We’ve found that most farmer’s markets here in the metro area aren’t as big or have as much produce as back in the Midwest, but we still love to check them out. Many of the farmers’ markets around here double as local artisan markets selling soaps, bread, pies, etc. Food trucks are also a very common site at the markets. Farmers’ markets are a great place to take the kids and eat your way through, as well as load up on produce for the week. It also teaches them important lessons about buying local and knowing where your food comes from. After all, we acutely know the importance of supporting your local farmer. Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite farmers’ markets in the area:
- Boulder Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 8-2 through November 28, Wednesdays from 4-8 pm through October 7) Considered by many to be the best farmers’ market in the area, the Boulder farmers’ market is located at 1900 13th Street. It boasts the best variety of produce, making it a worthwhile day trip for Denverites.
- Golden Farmer’s Market (Saturdays 8-1, through October 3rd, except July 25th) Make a little day trip on a Saturday to check out the Golden Farmers’ Market. Located off the Clear Creek Trail, this farmer’s market has great produce and an even better atmosphere. Clear Creek Trail is one of our favorite family walks. After the market, check out the Clear Creek History Park right on the trail, as well as the tubers and kayakers along Clear Creek.
- Highland’s Ranch Farmers’ Market (Sundays 10-2 through October 26). This Sunday Farmer’s Market is conveniently located in Highland’s Ranch Town Center. Take the kids, fill up a bag of produce, and then head over to Civic Green Park to cool off their fountains and little man-made stream. Stand of note: Styria Bakery. They make the MOST amazing focaccia bread topped with cheese, and with whole cloves of garlic baked in. I could eat a whole loaf in one sitting.
- Pearl Street Farmers’ Market (Sundays 9-1 through November 15). Located at 1500 Block of Old South Pearl Street, this farmers’ market has a fun neighborhood feel. Food trucks and local artisan stands abound, and I love looking at all the little shops in the cute and trendy South Pearl neighborhood. We loved the idea that Miller Farms has: Fill up a whole bag of produce (any kind they have) for $10!
- Cherry Creek Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 8-1 through October 31st, Wednesdays 9-1 through September 30) The Cherry Creek Farmers’ Market is on both Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1st and University. This one is a great option so you can opt of the weekend crowd and go on a less busy week day. You could even stop here on the way to or from the zoo for some fresh produce for a picnic!
Lastly, if you want to actually visit a farm, you can’t do better than Berry Patch Farms. Located in Brighton, Berry Patch is a scenic pick-your-own farm specializing in raspberries and strawberries (yum!). This is such a fun little field trip to take with your kiddos. Check the website for picking times as their crop and availability depend greatly on the weather, and don’t forget to make all.the.strawberry.things after.