Application decisions have been made, and the farmers' market is six weeks out. Now we play the waiting game. We know you're excited to see the usual suspects, but here's a peak at a few 2018 vendors of the Boulder County Farmers Markets.

We have three categories of vendors that we accept at our weekly markets — producer, packaged and prepared. Here's an inside look of each category of vendor, and a new vendor in each of those categories that we'll be seeing on the street come Saturdays starting in April and Wednesdays starting in May in Boulder, and on Thursdays starting in June in Lafayette. Each week we'll highlight a new group of vendors, where you should expect to see them selling, and what they will sell.

Producers are the staples of our markets. They are the growers of our food, raisers of our meat and the stewards of our land. These are Colorado farmers, ranchers and beekeepers. New to the Boulder Saturday market this year is Pachamama Farm & Wellness out of Longmont, though co-owner Oliver Weber is no stranger to the market. Before purchasing Pachamama in 2012, Weber worked with the distinguished Abbondanza Organic Seeds and Produce crew and was at the market twice week.


Advertisement

Pachamama, a Quechua word meaning "Earth Goddess," reflects appreciation for the earth. Naturally, Weber and his team believe that clean and nutritious food has the power to transform people's lives as well as the planet. In addition to growing and sharing the food they've grown with care, education and face-to-face interaction is part of their core mission. They believe the market is the perfect place to share all of the above.

Packaged vendors play a strong supporting role to all our amazing producer vendors, but don't put it past them to steal the show. More and more, they are using the fresh ingredients of their neighboring farmers to craft quality, local product that highlights the bounty of Colorado. We see this in Sol Food, a new business focused on sourcing locally and preparing meals on the go for all those too busy or hesitant to get into the kitchen every night. If you're intimidated by cooking with fresh ingredients, consider this your gateway drug.

Sol Food provides fresh and frozen prepared meals and snacks made with local ingredients and optimal nutrition in mind. These are grab-and-go meals for those who want to have a quick, easy and, most importantly, healthy options available while supporting local business and food systems. You'll catch them regularly at the Boulder Saturday and Wednesday markets and as a guest in Lafayette.

Similarly, prepared food vendors are stepping up their local game. We can't help but get stoked on Pastificio Boulder, a local pasta startup. They use freshly milled local heritage wheats and grains from Aspen Moon Farm "in-house" and on a daily basis to produce 100 percent whole grain, hand-made pastas. In the food court, they will pair these tasty pastas with seasonal produce and cheese. We're still drooling over their beet, beet greens and goat cheese raviolis that we were able to try in the off-season. They will also sell pasta frozen and plain so you can add your favorite ingredients in your home. Luckily, Boulder will benefit from their booth twice a week, on Saturday and Wednesday.

Tune in next week for more new vendor highlights. The focus will be on what's new at the Longmont Farmers Market.