The Market Report, June 20

Since I found myself in Littleton Friday night, I decided to substitute a trip to the Southwest Plaza's farmers' market, at Wadsworth and Bowles, for my regular Saturday morning visit to the Boulder Farmer's Market.

Big mistake.

If you bill yourself as a farmers' market, more than 25 percent of the stands should feature weird stuff like produce. And if the "farmers" at these stands need to run to Safeway for produce, they should at least take the bar code off the asparagus.

I realize that comparing a farmers' market in Boulder to one in Littleton is like comparing apples and oranges. But still, the Southwest Plaza market was particularly pathetic.

I ended up buying a leek and a head of garlic (with streaks of purple, heirloom-style) from one of the few produce stands. But it wasn't what I needed to make the Father's Day quiche I'd envisionered, so I wound up going to a Sunflower about a mile away. It was running its own farmers market, selling the same stuff available inside the store for a little less outside (where they wouldn't take credit cards, either). I saw the exact same garlic at Sunflower, and wound up buying my fruit and the rest of my vegetables there.

Anyway, it was a depressing lesson. Boulder may be known as "25 square miles surrounded by reality," but it's not unrealistic to want fresh, delicious and local produce.

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