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Fresh Vegetables and All Things Local

Jessica.Olson's picture

Basalt and Aspen residents shop for local produce at Farmers Market: Basalt and Aspen residents a have cornucopia of fruits and vegetables to chose from at local farmers market.Basalt and Aspen residents shop for local produce at Farmers Market: Basalt and Aspen residents a have cornucopia of fruits and vegetables to chose from at local farmers market.BASALT, CO -“Good morning,” the woman said cheerfully as she walked past me, munching on a raw bunch of kale. It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Basalt (25 minutes down-valley from Aspen), and the local farmer’s market was in full swing.

My boyfriend and I bought a giant cinnamon roll and a tall glass of iced coffee and walked around the market, enjoying the variety of stands. In between bites of cinnamon roll, I crunched samples of carrots, cucumbers, and turnips. “Watch out, you’ll never go back!” one woman warned as I popped a juicy bite of heirloom tomato into my mouth.

Moving down the line, I was drawn to a stand full of beautiful handmade jewelry. My budget is a bit tight, so after talking to the jewelry maker for a while I moved on. There were stands of local honey, handmade sweaters, fresh breads, local beef, artisanal cheeses, kettle corn, locally printed T-shirts, the most elaborate “natural dog pastries” I have ever seen, and of course, more produce and live plants. Wyly Community Art Center also opens their doors to the community during the Basalt Farmer’s Market, so we went inside for a quick walk-through. Still feeling a bit hungry, we stopped at the Brigittes Brick Oven Wood Fired Pizza stand and parked ourselves next to the music tent to eat. Satisfied, we walked back through the booths, buying a few bits of delicious produce for the week. It was a wonderful morning of, as my boyfriend put it, “Fresh vegetables and all things local.”

Although the growing season in this region of Colorado is very short, many residents of the Roaring Fork Valley understand the importance of eating locally. This attitude gives rise to many farmer’s markets. In Aspen, the Saturday farmer’s market runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday June through October. This year it expanded to include an extra block, for a total of three blocks and around 90 vendor booths of local goodness. About 25 minutes down-valley you will find the Basalt Sunday Market, from June-September 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Drive another 20 minutes down-valley to Carbondale and you will find the Wednesday farmer’s market, June-September from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Those feeling especially bold can venture all the way down to the Glenwood Springs farmer’s market (another 10 miles down-valley) every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. until dusk.

Farmer’s markets are not the only way to support local growers and crafters. Driving through the Roaring Fork Valley during the summer months, you are sure to see several produce stands. There are even restaurants that attempt to use as many local products as possible. In Carbondale, Restaurant SIX89 features 100 mile dinners every Wednesday night throughout the summer. For just $25, you can enjoy three courses created by the chefs using only the available local ingredients. The restaurant even contributes to the menu with its own small garden! For those who wish to experience the benefits of sustainable, local food and crafts, the Roaring Fork Valley has many choices to indulge during every day of the week.Oncoming View of Basalt Farmers Market: View of the Basalt Farmers MarketOncoming View of Basalt Farmers Market: View of the Basalt Farmers Market