Farmers' Markets celebrate fall, winter harvests
Find fresh, local produce all year long
by Betsy Lynch
As fall settles upon us, the color palette is changing at area farmers’ markets.
“Peach season ends, but apples and pears begin. We also see a lot of fall flowers, pumpkins, greens, onions, and garlic,” says Larimer County Farmers’ Market Manager Alison O’Connor. “Summer squash is less common, but winter squash becomes popular.”
Artisan bakers, brewers, cheesemakers, butchers, beekeepers, confectioners, and handcrafters also come to the forefront at fall and winter markets. Beyond fresh produce, you’ll find locally raised meats, eggs, cheeses, homemade bread, honey, condiments, and beverages, as well as fabrics, fibers, jewelry, and other goods made by Coloradans.
“The best part about shopping at farmers’ markets is that you can talk to the growers and find out about their varieties and practices,” says O’Connor. “It’s one way to better connect to local foods and farms.”
She points out that the Larimer County Farmers’ Market is a growers-only market.
“All products must be grown, made, or produced by the vendor,” she said. And to ensure that fresh, local food is accessible to all comers, its vendors accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Double Up Food Bucks, and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Buying during the fall harvest season might also save you money. Growers frequently sell slightly imperfect “seconds” at lower prices, offer discounts to customers who buy in bulk, and run specials on crops that are especially abundant.
Much of that autumn produce keeps well in cold storage — think potatoes, pumpkins, cabbages, onions, carrots, beets, and squash. The shelf-life of many fruits and veggies can also be extended by canning, drying, freezing, or fermenting. You can enlist help to do this safely from one of CSU Extension’s volunteer master food safety advisors at larimer.gov/extension/health-and-wellbeing/preservation.
The last day of the Larimer County Farmers’ Market is Oct. 28, while the Fort Collins Farmers’ Market runs through Nov. 12. Even when the snow flies you can continue to find fresh produce, local meats, dairy, breads and sweets, and items made by local artists at the Fort Collins Winter Farmers’ Market inside the Foothills Mall. The winter market operates on select Saturdays between Oct. 21 and April 6, 2024.
|FALL AND WINTER BOUNTY|
Larimer County Farmers' Market
Fort Collins Farmers' Market
Fort Collins Winter Farmers’ Market