Talking Shop

Mid-June is the time for fresh cherries and strawberries (and rosy stalks of rhubarb for those ephemeral strawberry-rhubarb pies); July and August bring apricots and sweet corn, Colorado peaches and heirloom tomatoes by the bushel. As the good stuff from in-state earth begins to ripen, farmers' markets all over Colorado begin to flourish in parking lots and plazas, bringing with them bushels of newly picked, unpinched produce, as well as artisan breads, wildflower honey, cut flowers and prepared foods.

Wednesdays offer three of our Front Range favorites, beginning with everyone's urban standby, the Cherry Creek Fresh Market, an ultimate and classic farmers' market experience famous for its edible handouts for grazers and highest-quality produce. Shop CCFM, in the Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot at the corner of First Avenue and University Boulevard, today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (or join the crowds there on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). Get more information at 303-442-1837 or www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.

In a citified spirit not quite reproduced by anyone else, the lunch-hour Civic Center Cafe & Outdoor Market is back for its second year in downtown Denver's Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue. Open most Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through September 26, this market distinguishes itself in a sophisticated manner, with tasty restaurant food, more vendors and tableside sounds provided by the Everybody's Music series. Go and be stylish.

But possibly the most laid-back al fresco fare to be had anywhere on the Front Range on a Wednesday is that presented by the Boulder County Farmers' Market, in the Boulder Municipal Plaza, off 13th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue. A smaller, less hectic and more family-oriented version of the group's massive, free-for-all Saturday markets, this is where folks can meet from 4 to 8 p.m. for a bite to eat under the trees, or for kids' art workshops or a leisurely shopping experience. Starting tonight, all-Colorado wine and beer gardens will also be open, making for an unparalleled sort of open-air community happy hour. Sweet. Call 303-910-2236 or log on to www.boulderfarmers.org.
Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Starts: May 5. Continues through Sept. 26, 2007

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd