Farmer's markets have been gaining popularity all over the country in the past five years, largely due to local citizens' desiring to know how their food was produced and where it comes from. The Boulder County Farmers' Market of Boulder, Colo., is more than mere rows of booths where produce can be purchased; it's an entire world and community unto its own of farmers, citizens, craftsmen, artists, musicians and small local businesses.
Radishes, bunches of radishes! — Photo courtesy of Boulder County Farmer's Market
Location, Location, Location
This farmers' market sits on 13th Street in Boulder amidst the downtown beauty and bustle of Pearl Street. Boulder Creek and its famous path run nearby, urging shoppers to loaf, lay and dip their feet in the crisp mountain runoff.
Since the market's situated between the Dushanbe Teahouse – perfect for brunch before the market or a late lunch afterwards – and the Boulder Library, you can eat, drink, grab a book and park it on one of the soft patches of grass nearby after you've made your purchases.
The Boulder Farmers' Market season runs spring through fall on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Saturday market begins on the first Saturday in April and goes through the fourth Saturday in November. Hours include 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday market begins on the first Wednesday in May and goes through the first Wednesday in October. Hours for the Wednesday market include 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Not only is this farmers' market special because it is surrounded by so much natural beauty, but it's also unique in its offerings. Locally raised honey, hand-made soups, vibrant jewelry and natural beauty products can often be found. Grass-fed meats, organically grown vegetables and canned goods are available at a reasonable price.
Forgot to bring cash? No worries. The BCFM offers "market bucks" that you can purchase with a credit card and use in the place of cash. Market bucks are accepted by all vendors and never expire, so they're convenient and ready for your next visit.
Entertainment and Arts
Often, impromptu bluegrass performers will pick for attendees, local bands play in the food court and artists render life-like and magical representations of the market, the Flatirons and the downtown area of Boulder, which can be purchased on the spot.
Yoga practitioners are often in attendance, offering free consultations and doing acrobatic poses, along with massage professionals ready to lay you down on their table and melt your cares away.
The Best Part
What's the best part of this Boulder favorite? Quite simply, being able to shake the hand of the artisan, farmer or business owner from whom you are purchasing your goods.
In a consumeristic culture where we order most items online, never see the production process and have no personal connection with the materials that were used or the people who created them, isn't this old-school way of celebrating food and community a breath of fresh mountain air?