So. Labor Day. The end of summer, etc. Seems like the perfect time to start writing about farmers' markets, yes? Now that they're on their way out and all?
Honestly, I'm not sad about summer ending at all. Out here in Colorado we haven't had quite the misery that the East Coast experienced, but we did have the highest-ever August temperatures on record for Denver, and we smashed the previous streak of consecutive days above 80 degrees to smithereens, and, you know, our house doesn't have air conditioning. Thank god Colorado doesn't have humidity. (And there are many things I love about Colorado, but the lack of humidity? It might be the number one thing. It's definitely in the top five, at least.)
Anyway! Yes, fall. Cool weather, jeans, boots, sweaters, warm drinks, pumpkins, pretty leaves, etc. Also I am looking forward to a fall wardrobe not just for myself but also for Callum. Nothing is as cute as a little footed one-piece on a baby, and baby jeans are a very close second. So yes, I'm looking forward to fall.
But one thing I am not looking forward to is the lack of fresh local produce that fall brings. Except that you know where we have found to be the best place for really good local produce? Whole Foods. Isn't that sad? This is Colorado. It's an agricultural state. The whole state is full of farms. A lot of them are really close to Denver. I mean, when we replaced our fence we sold the old fencing to a nearby farmer for $150 (thank you, Craigslist). And when I decided I wanted to take Torsten to a goat farm for his birthday, I found one quite easily less than an hour away. You get my drift.
So why is it that all the local farmers' markets seem to totally suck? I mean, maybe we're looking in all the wrong places. But we've been to the huge popular farmers' market downtown, the tiny one near our house, and a couple other local ones in various suburbs. And we have never encountered more than two produce stalls at any of them, even the huge one. And all this year we haven't come across a single stall selling local jams. It seems to be mostly specialized stuff--salsas, pasta sauces, cheeses, sausage. I mean, that stuff is nice but sometimes I just want to go find some nice fresh local produce that isn't marked up to Whole Foods prices, you know?
And even the produce stalls that we do encounter aren't that impressive. They might have one or two nice-looking things, but as a whole it's nothing special. And whatever is especially good always sells out fast. Like we still haven't been able to buy any freaking fresh cherries at a farmers' market all summer because apparently they fly off the shelves.
And the big market, the really popular one where it's wall to wall people and drivers risk their lives to beat others to a parking spot? It's almost like a street fair. The vast majority of the booths seem to be selling prepared food. If it weren't so crowded it would be a great place just to go for lunch. But for local farmed products? Not so much.
I don't know what we're missing! It seems like here in Colorado there should be much better farmers' markets, but I am at a loss as to where we could possibly find them. I guess we have all winter to research and try to figure out what we're missing. And if it turns out that this is just how farmers' markets are around here, then maybe I have an idea for a new business come next summer.
What about where you live? Are there farmers' markets? Are they any good?
New Recipe: Greek Penne Pasta - This recipe sounded delicious to me when I came across it, and it turned out that it was. Also, I've reached the point with cooking where I can make a few ...
7 years ago