Beginning this past Saturday, April 4th, a stretch of 13th Street between Canyon and Arapahoe in downtown Boulder becomes a weekly haven for fresh produce-loving foodies and fun-loving families for the next eight months.
The Boulder Farmers’ Market, which runs on Saturdays from April 4th to November 21st and on Wednesday nights from May 6th through October 7th, is renowned for its focus on the freshest local produce available and its indelible Boulder spirit and heritage. With produce, products, and events that flex and change along with the seasons, the Boulder Farmers’ Market is a central experience ingrained in the Boulder community.
What began in 1986 as an idea amongst local farmers who had decided not to make the transition from retail to wholesale (as many of the area’s farmers had) became realized as a Colorado non-profit organization, the Boulder County Farmers’ Market, in 1987. With markets during the season both in Boulder and in Longmont, the Boulder County Farmers’ Market is aided by the State of Colorado and the City of Boulder.
The organization is organized and run by local farmers with the best interests of the community and Boulder’s unique Front Range agricultural network in mind, as they consistently donate surpluses of proceeds to other community charities, nonprofits, and projects. While the Boulder Farmers’ Market specifically has evolved throughout the years to include prepared food vendors and fine arts and crafts events along with the bounty of fresh produce, the constant has always been that the market has been held centrally in the heart of Downtown Boulder.
The Boulder Farmers’ Market is lauded for its absolute focus on fresh produce, pure and simple, and each year new and exciting vendors populate the market booths offering their latest crops and creations. Many of these vendors are likewise deeply involved in the Boulder community and are focused on the clean eating principles that guide many Boulderites and Coloradans.
Local market vendors such as the Black Cat Farm, who support those in need in the community by providing the Community Food Share program with organic fruits and vegetables, are deeply invested in the city. Fourth generation Boulder farmers sell their goods alongside micro-farmers such as those at the Far Out Gardens, who only sell their produce on their land and at the market.
Shoppers can taste products from raw honey that comes from free-range bees to specialty organic chocolate to various types of cheeses and everything in between. Visitors can purchase fresh local flowers, browse local fine arts and crafts, see chef demonstrations, and eat breakfast and lunch made by local food vendors using their own grown products. Because of the intense focus on the well-being of Boulder as a whole, all purchases made at the over 150 merchants at the market are essentially dollars spent to support the city and sustain the region’s agricultural community.
The Boulder Farmers’ Market is likewise a consistent hot spot for local art, music, and family activities. Acoustic musicians and bands can often be found at the market food court and local nonprofit organizations occupy booths and distribute information about their programs and events going on in the community. Activities for children and families, such as the Easter Egg Hunts that are occurred over Easter weekend on April 4th both at the Boulder Farmers’ Market and the Longmont Farmers’ Market, make the market a fun outing for the whole family.
Saturday hours for the Boulder Farmers’ Market are from 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., and Wednesday night hours beginning on May 6th are from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. No dogs are allowed in the market area, and there is free parking in public garages on Saturdays as well as many other parking options. Additional information on the 2015 market season for both the Boulder Farmers’ Market as well as the Longmont Farmers’ Market can be found on the Boulder County Farmers’ Market website. You can likewise follow the Boulder County Farmers’ Market on Facebook to get updates on giveaways, contests, and special events occurring throughout the season.
Whether you are swinging through the market on your bike on the way home from work on a Wednesday night or spending the day enjoying the produce and the atmosphere on a Saturday, the Boulder Farmers’ Market is a staple of Downtown Boulder that exemplifies the freshness, uniqueness, and quality of produce, products, and art, that this city so values.