Amidst the confusion and frustrations due to COVID restrictions, it’s been unclear to many patrons if some of our most anticipated food & beverage events would come to fruition this summer, or even, this fall. As grocery stores have been accessible since day one, we immediately wondered at the start of the lockdown, how will this affect our farmers markets and our access to local food? We are happy to report that these valuable face-to-face opportunities with our farmers, ranchers and purveyors is already underway in some areas with additional opening dates just on the mountainous horizon.
RMFR shares the most updated information on farmer’s markets across Colorado, to include new guidelines to help us all safely participate in the parade of produce and homemade goodies.
The Colorado Farm and Art Market prides itself on being “Colorado Springs’ most authentic farmer’s market cooperative” that features only true small family farms, ranches, businesses and non-profits. The weekly outdoor markets typically operate from June through October on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with an additional Winter Wonderland market in December, as well as monthly indoor events January through May.
CFAM opens on Wednesday, June 10, at the Pioneer Museum, recurring weekly through October from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Online pre-orders are available here to include curated baskets of locally grown veg, breakfast sausage from Larga Vista Ranch or, unearth lovely bouquets from Ellen’s Flowers. Pick-up is between 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. with no contact delivery right to your vehicle.
Many growers and vendors are offering produce and product sales prior to the market’s opening to include; C&R Farms/The Urban Orchard and Hanagan Farms who are both currently offering CSA registration.
The Pikes Peak Farmers Market kicks off the Old Colorado City Farmers Market, on Saturday, July 11, in Bancroft Park, and runs until Saturday, October 24.
The Boulder County Farmers Markets, which hosts four locations, is a nonprofit organization and Colorado’s oldest continually running ‘growers-only’ farmers’ market organization, operating since 1987. Named one of America’s “Top 10 Farmers Markets” by USA TODAY (2015), BCFM’s mission is to “support, promote and expand local agriculture, to make fresh products accessible to the community and to strengthen relationships between local food producers and food consumers.”
- The Boulder market (13th Street), began on Saturday, May 23, followed by the Longmont market’s opening, (9595 Nelson Road) on Saturday, May 30.
- The Thursday Lafayette market (103 South Iowa Avenue) will not open to the public this year but instead, will become offer curbside pick-up on Sundays, starting June 14, via BCFM2Go.
- The Union Station market in Denver is set to open Saturday, June 13, at 9 a.m. in a limited capacity.
BCFM simultaneously introduces a virtual cooking series in collaboration with the 2020 Union Station Market Chef Council, a group of Denver chefs in support of their local growers and the farmers market. Twice a month, a rotating Council chef will hand-select a weekly “Chef Box” at the Union Station Farmers Market, then cook a meal that folks can replicate at home on Instagram live using vendor’s products. The Chef Box is available for purchase via BCFM2Go, available at all pickup locations, while supplies last. Final dates and details TBD in the coming weeks on BCFM’s chef page.
Participating chefs include:
- June: Chef Paul C. Reilly of Coperta & beast + bottle
- July: Alex Seidel and Matt Vawter of Mercantile Dining & Provision
- August: Jen Janinski of Crafted Concepts
- September: Sheila Lucero of Jax Fish House LoDo
- October: Frasca Hospitality Group
For the time being, market visitors may pre-reserve a 20-minute shopping time to ensure access with only limited opportunities for walk-up customers. Reservations can be made through Eventbrite for:
The markets will open early to serve vulnerable populations – those over the age of 65 or most susceptible to COVID-19 – from 8-8:30 a.m.
Pre-ordering items is strongly encouraged with a compilation of purveyors who’re planning ahead for you here, in addition to a complete list of all vendors, market map and other available products.
The following will not be available until further notice:
- No food samples
- No market bucks (credit cards only, please)
- No live music
- No seating
- No artisan shows
- No nonprofit booths
BCFM has also released the following guidelines:
- DON’T come to market without a reservation
- DO pre-order as many of your items as possible
- DON’T come to market if you’re sick
- DO make a shopping list and plan your route
- DO use the restrooms before you leave home
- DON’T bring pets to market
- DO limit your party to one to two people
- DO wear a mask (required)
- DO use our hand-washing and sanitizing stations
- DO stand on our six feet distancing marks
- DO follow our one-way flow of traffic
- DO keep your market visits short
- DO use credit cards
- DON’T use cash if you can avoid it (if you must, bring small bills)
- DON’T touch any produce or goods
- DON’T consume any food onsite
- DO wash and disinfect all your purchases with a food-safe product when you return home
Continue to find up-to-the-minute dates and details at www.bcfm.org
*All imagery courtesy of Ashton Ray Hansen