Market happenings: Boulder Farmers Market will host a Reuse Day at the markets on Saturday. Vessel, a company aiming to replace single-use cups, will be on hand signing people up for its reusable mug program. Market-goers are asked to bring reusable bags, silverware and mugs because Refill Revolution, FLOWS and Respect Your Mother will also be at the market with educational information on reuse. If you have extra bags, help stock up the Boulder County Farmers Markets’ “Leave a Bag, Take a Bag” program. The drop off will be at the info booth.
Book club: Boulder County Farmers Markets, Slow Opportunities For Investing Locally (SOIL Boulder) and Slow Food Boulder County are teaming up to bring locals a book club that encapsulates a year in the life on a farm.
Starting this week, the three organizations will trade weeks reading a chapter (average nine to 10 pages) of “The Seasons on Henry’s Farm,” by Terra Brockman. From seed planning to changing climates and farm labor pitfalls, book club participants will get an inside look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of farming throughout the different seasons. The club will have weekly Facebook discussions, and gather four times for a potluck during the months of the winter/summer solstice and spring/fall equinox. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be invited to the discussion group.
In season now: Now farm fresh at market stands are beets, cauliflower, pumpkin, butternut squash, delicata, acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, carrots, Swiss chard, apples, onions, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, celery, arugula and potatoes. All season long, you will find honey, bread, baked goods, eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, cheeses, preserves and mushrooms.
Lots of this, please: The time is nigh to enjoy those earthy, colorful beets.
The farmer says: It’s been a while since the tried-and-true beet has been featured in this column. Luckily, we can enjoy these nutritious jewels mid-summer and well through November, if stored properly.
Beets have a lot of health benefits to offer — the root vegetable is a good source of fiber, is high in nitrates and may contain anti-inflammatory benefits. If eaten regularly, they can keep blood pressure in check. The vegetable has also been known to increase athletic performance if the beet is consumed to a couple hours before training, so eat your heart out all you Colorado triathletes.
The versatile beet can also be used as a natural dye. When using natural fibers, like cotton and wool, the color will hold longer. Adding vinegar and salt will act as a bonding agent. Perhaps an experiment is in order?
How to prepare: Wash the beets, then cut the greens. Keep the greens and use them like you would Swiss chard, kale or collard greens. Beets lend themselves well to grating, roasting, steaming, boiling or pickling. (Although you may want to wear gloves to keep fingers stain-free.)
Goes with: Beets pair well with potatoes, tomatoes, arugula, lettuce, goat cheese, butternut squash, onions and carrots.
How to store it: Be sure to store the beets after the tops are removed. Like most vegetables, the greens will pull moisture from the root, drying it out. And though the roots can last up to 10 days in the refrigerator, be sure to enjoy the greens as soon a possible. Beets can also be layered in sand to keep for months of winter storage.
Good to know: This list represents a general overview of the week’s harvest, not every item that is being produced locally. Some farms do not grow or have ready some items on the list.
If you go
Boulder Farmers Market13th Street and Canyon Boulevard8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23
Longmont Farmers MarketBoulder County Fairgrounds8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23