Farmer’s markets can be a fun way to spend an hour or two of your weekend as long as you go in with a budget and stick to it (because farmer’s markets can quickly get pricey). I enjoy going a few times a year so I can find fresh fruit and vegetables, grab a jar of pickled dilly beans, and snag a fresh baked bread or pastry. Being outdoors and getting a spot of exercise via walking is a pleasant benefit as well. The fact that Denver and the surrounding area has a ton of different farmer’s markets on almost every day of the week (check out that link for a great list) means you can try a new one every time you get a hankering. You get to explore a new part of the city while also supporting local vendors and artisans. And if you’re so inclined, you could even use the outing as an excuse to try out a new local restaurant if you choose to get breakfast or lunch along with your visit.
I know the goods you find at farmer’s markets can be priced higher than I’d like. A loaf of bread costs $8. A jar of pickles, $10. You can get both of these items for cheaper at a grocery store, it’s true. But it’s nice to give your money to smaller businesses every once in a while. Support someone’s American dream! Besides, the people running those booths can usually tell you more about their product than a King Soopers employee (no offense to them, I know they work hard too) so if you have questions about ingredients or level of spiciness or flavor, a farmer’s market is a decent place to go. You could even try something new with a certain level of confidence. I have an acquaintance who helps her brother with his farm booth at the S Pearl St Farmer’s Market selling produce they grow on their farm, Brown Dog, and they work hard and long. By purchasing some lettuce or cherries at a farmer’s market, you’re helping a family put food on their own table and you’re helping reduce negative environmental impacts by reducing the amount of gas it took to move the produce.
I’ve attended four different farmer’s markets in the area since living here: City Park Farmer’s Market, Cherry Creek Fresh Market, South Pearl Street Farmer’s Market, and Parker Farmers Market. I’ve liked them all and they all have their pros. City Park was small when I went 7 or 8 years ago but I really liked the flower booth that was there. I’ll have to go again sometime to see what’s it like these days. Cherry Creek was right off the bike trail so I got to bike there. S Pearl Street is where I can support Brown Dog farms and get a pastry from Tokyo Premium Bakery while I’m over there. And Parker had a great dilly bean (and other pickled vegetable) booth. I hope to visit the People and Produce at Belleview Station market sometime soon since it’s less than 10 minutes away from me. Different vendors go to different markets so you while you may see some of the same faces and names, every market is still unique. So next time you get a desire to purchase soap, pickles, hot sauce, cheese, bread, pasta, or produce, consider swinging by the next farmer’s market!