Find a Local Farmers Market in CO
Just about everyone should know these days that Colorado farmers markets are among the best places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Colorado farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they occur in your own home town, so you don't have to journey far to discover them. They've been going on for years in some locations, but they have become more popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in Colorado
The advantages of shopping at your local Colorado farmers market are many. First off, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come directly from the farm to the market. Most crops available for sale at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Colorado farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help minimize global warming, and usually, farmers don't need to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost while using less fuel and contributing a lesser number of emissions in the air.
Often, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need to mark up his prices to generate income from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again before they get to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less of your budget for a far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit Colorado farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, plus they do not have to ship their products days or weeks beforehand at wholesale prices, so they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local CO farms, because the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Colorado Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, based on where you live and your climate. Really it all depends upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Colorado farmers markets are such a big deal now, that typically local newspapers will print a schedule of markets in your area as the season is about to begin.
Often, you'll find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've become so popular, in fact, that some communities get to enjoy several farmers markets every week, so it pays to shop all of them and choose the ones that provide the produce and other products you like the best.
What to Look for at a Colorado Farmers Market
You will be sure to find local Colorado farms promoting their wares at good prices, but there are a few things to look out for. Make sure the produce is ripe and hasn't been sitting out in the sun too long, or has been damaged in transport. Many booths will offer you a free taste of whatever you're looking at, so you can check out new flavors and crops you might not have had a chance to experience before.
Some farmers may also supply you with recipes and other ideas on how to serve their products, too. At the really big markets, organizers may bring in free entertainment, arts and crafts booths, and other amusements to draw in the crowds, and they may even provide play areas for the kids, too.
Look for other items at your farmers market, too. Sometimes local meat, cheese, and dairy producers bring their wares, and big markets are more like a county fair, with food booths, information booths, and even games for the whole family. So, check out a local Colorado farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.