by Avery Kashmann
With summer-turning-autumn on the horizon and harvest time beginning its peak, farmers markets throughout the area are overflowing with nutritious bounty from Colorado gardens, orchards, ranches and fields.
Colorado Fresh Markets, under the direction of Chris and Michele Burke, has organized several popular market events since 1997. _Cherry
Creek Fresh Market, _in the Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot at 1st
Ave. and University Blvd. welcomes Saturday visitors, 9a.m.-1p.m.,
with a high-quality mix of nearly 100 Colorado growers and diverse local
gourmet food vendors, chef demos, kitchen and garden products,
gardening tips from master gardeners and live music. A smaller Wednesday
market runs in the same location, also 9a.m.-1p.m.
City Park Esplanade Fresh Market, in its 15th year, sets up along the Esplanade just west of East High at E. Colfax Ave. and Columbine St., Sundays, 9a.m.-1p.m. While not as expansive as the Cherry Creek event, the City Park Market offers a great selection of local growers along with a nice blend of fresh food vendors in an urban park setting.
The third of the Burkes’ Denver-area markets, Stapleton Fresh Market at 29th Ave. and Roslyn St., welcomes marketers on Sundays, 8:30a.m.-12:30p.m., bringing
fresh produce, specialty food items, flowers and sundries to the
ever-evolving neighborhood bearing the name of Denver’s airport
predecessor to DIA.
Visit coloradofreshmarkets.com or call 303-442-1837 for info.
The South Pearl Street Farmers Market, already in its 12th season, has spread its wings in recent years to stretch along the entire 1500 block of S. Pearl St. and into the southern half of the 1400 block. The retail district hosts the market Sundays, 9a.m.-1p.m.
Along with a wonderful selection of Colorado produce and other
handmade products, gourmet foods and home accessories, breads, cheeses
and more, Pearl Street hosts live entertainment on a mid-market stage,
special monthly festivals and new this year – a Flea Market the last Sunday of each month. The Sept. 22 market includes a Pet Adoption Fair; Oct. 20 is the annual Chili Cook Off; and Oct. 27, HalloweenFest.
Info: visit southpearlstreet.com or call 303-734-0718.
Among the newest entries into the farmers market fray, Broadway Farmers Market, on the lawn of South Broadway Christian Church at 23 Lincoln St., provides an evening option, Wednesdays, 5-9p.m.
The later market hours are designed to take advantage of the booming
night-time foot traffic that continues to increase along the Broadway
Denver’s first-ever sunset market welcomes Colorado growers and an
assortment of specialty food vendors, as well as food trucks and live
For a look at urban farming close up and personal, head over to Ekar Farm, just east of Alameda Ave. and Monaco St., at 181 S. Oneida St.
The Ekar veggie stand is open on Sundays, 10a.m.-1p.m., proffering a
variety of organic produce direct from the Ekar fields. If you’d like to
join in the fun, Ekar hosts Days in the Dirt Sundays, 9a.m.-noon for
volunteers willing to help tend the harvest.
Info: 303-520-7581 or ekarfarm.org.
Urbiculture Community Farms offers fresh local produce every Saturday, 9a.m.-noon, at their new farmstand at Celebration Community Farm, 1650 S. Birch St. (at Iowa Ave., just east of Colorado Blvd.).
The farmstand operates on a “pay-what-you-can” basis for all income
levels, so there should be no hurdles keeping you from dropping by for a
taste from this edible wonderland. Opportunities for volunteering, kids
programs and nutrition/cooking classes are also offered.
Also part of the Urbiculture family, Gabrielle’s Garden, 852 Kalamath St., brings the La Alma/Lincoln Park community important access to fresh locally grown produce
while sharing knowledge about nutrition through affordable classes,
engaging citizens in urban farming and building a stronger sense of
community through a mutual love of good food. A pay-what-you-can
farmstand is open Saturdays, 9a.m.-noon.
For details about Urbiculture Farms markets and other offerings: ucfarms.org or 303-949-2901.
Denver Urban Gardens supports 125+ community gardens in metro Denver, including more than 35 school-based community gardens. Visit one of DUG’s stellar gardens during the annual Rosedale Garden Sale, across from Harvard Gulch Park (E. Iliff Ave. & S. Logan St.), on Sat., Aug. 24, 8a.m.-2p.m., a garden-wide
effort supported by over 60 volunteers. Find fresh-picked organic
vegetables and herbs; fresh-cut bouquets of flowers; homemade jams and
baked goods; yard sale items; a kids booth featuring special treats; a
passport tour of the garden; plus, fall seedlings and grilled corn! A Harvest Festival featuring fall crops including pumpkins and squash is set for Sat., Sept. 28. Info: dug.org or 303-292-9900.