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The Boulder County Farmers Market is where you can do all your regularly scheduled grocery shopping, but you also get to meet the person who grew your food. (The Boulder County Farmers Markets – Courtesy Photo)
The Boulder County Farmers Market is where you can do all your regularly scheduled grocery shopping, but you also get to meet the person who grew your food. (The Boulder County Farmers Markets – Courtesy Photo)

Boulder County Farmers Markets

Allow us to paint you a scene: You get out of your car, walk across an endless expanse of concrete, approach some automatic sliding doors and are ushered into a cavernous hall with fluorescent lights.

Where are you? That’s right, you’ve arrived at the nearest big-box chain grocery store.

You are here for a one-stop shop. After all, you have a busy life, and you don’t want to visit multiple stores in order to cross off all the items on that long list you have saved in your notes app or scrawled on the back of a receipt.

What if we told you that the farmers market that you love visiting on Saturday mornings could also be your one-stop shop? Allow us to walk you through our local food market, just as you would weave through the aisles of the grocery store. Trust us, we’ve got all the bases covered.

Fresh produce

Our farmers’ booths look a bit different than the produce section of the grocery store. There’s a lot less plastic and a lot more nutrient density. You’ll find ripe heirloom tomatoes, dainty fairytale eggplants and every variety of leafy greens. It’s July, so juicy apricots and peaches have arrived, and they come ripe from the Western Slope, not Florida or California.

Best of all, you can talk to the person who used their own hands to water the seeds and pull the weeds that allowed the plants to flourish. You can ask about their growing practices or get their recommendations for how to prepare kohlrabi. And honestly, don’t we all just want to be friends with our farmers?

Deli and bakery

When it comes to artisan bread, tortillas and pastries, the options are endless at BCFM markets. Flaky croissants from Izzio Bakery or Moon Racoon Baking Company, fresh sourdoughs from Black Cat Farm or crusty loaves from Breadworks, and don’t get us started on the soft pretzels from XLVII Bakery.

For charcuterie boards, il Porcellino Salumi has all the cured meats you desire. Yummy Yummy has a seemingly bottomless cooler full of hummuses and dips (and they will let you try every single one). Mountain Girl Pickles has, as you might expect, every type of pickle.

Meat and dairy

Moving on, but, what’s that? Oh yes, the sweet sounds of a local folk music duo singing a fabulous John Denver cover. OK, onto the meat and dairy.

Our ranchers would love to tell you all about their animals, how they are raised, what they are fed and how that makes their meat superior — you really want to hear this. Visit SkyPilot for pork and lamb, Boulder Better Waygu for beef and Sunrise Bison Ranch for bison. Five Freedoms Dairy has milk, yogurt and cheese — or Oatis Oatmilk can offer a plant-based alternative. Finally, Wisdom Poultry has poultry and eggs covered.

Packaged, bottled and canned goods

Don’t worry, you can take a shopping break to grab a pastry and a coffee. Or soothe the short temper of your toddler with a stop at the kids’ craft booth.

Heirloom wheat flours and cornmeal from Aspen Moon Farm will supply baking needs. You can grab dried beans from Monroe Organic Farms and pasta from Pappardelle’s Pasta. If you need to top off pantry staples like honey or olive oil, you can visit Bjorn’s Honey or Healthy Harvest.

Pick up crunchy pretzels from On Tap Kitchen and chips and salsa from La Esmeralda for snacking needs. Kombucha from Happy Leaf, ginger beer from OliKo LLC and a bottle of wine from Bookcliff Vineyards will level up your beverage game.

Frozen section

Because you aren’t a rookie shopper, you pick up frozen items last. You don’t need to be buying tasteless frozen corn and pea medleys when you’ve already bought veggies from local organic farmers.

First, you grab some frozen kale and pinto bean pupusas from Pupusas Familia for whichever weeknight you are most exhausted and simply unable to muster the strength to cook dinner. To round out the meal, make sure to grab a pint of ice cream from Pint’s Peak Ice Cream. That ice cream is small-batch with local ingredients, and when you can’t decide between Brownie Bomb and Cuban Coffee, the sole owner and creator of the ice cream Caitlin Howington will help you decide.

We can all agree that hanging out at the farmers market is more fun than the grocery store, but you can also get all the supplies you need at the market. Which by our calculations, makes the markets the obvious choice for all your shopping.

See you in Boulder on Wednesday and Saturday, in Longmont on Saturday, or online at all week long!