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Beets, onions and garlic from Croft Family Farm.EXPAND
Beets, onions and garlic from Croft Family Farm.
Linnea Covington

Wrapping Up the End of the Farmers' Market Season at Union Station

The 2019 Union Station Farmers' Market wrapped up its season on Saturday, October 26. The weather proved beautiful, a perfect fall morning and early afternoon to get the last root vegetables, squash and lettuces before Sunday's cold snap took over.

"It's bittersweet right now," said Union Station Farmers' Market coordinator Bri Boyer, who was dressed like the cartoon character Totoro for the market's costume contest. "I'm going to miss this a lot, and it's been a really fun season."

Chef Jon Lavelle of Fruition cooking at the last 2019 chef's demo.EXPAND
Chef Jon Lavelle of Fruition cooking at the last 2019 chef's demo.
Linnea Covington

Over at the chef's demo booth, Jon Lavelle cooked up a storm on behalf of Fruition, where he took over the prestigious position as chef de cuisine in July. Frantically, he sent his helper to check the pot of water they were hoping would boil soon so the fall vegetable pasta dish would be completed in time. Spoiler: It was, and the resulting plate of scrumptious noodles, which showcased end-of-season produce including tarragon, tatsoi and kale from Croft Family Farm, giant rutabaga and kohlrabi from Thistle Whistle Farm and cabbage from Micro Farms, was worth the wait. Lavelle also threw in a little pork belly from the restaurant for good measure.

Mark Guttridge and family working the last day of the 2019 Union Station Farmers' Market.EXPAND
Mark Guttridge and family working the last day of the 2019 Union Station Farmers' Market.
Linnea Covington

Over at Ollin Farms, owner Mark Guttridge, along with his niece and daughter, sold warty pumpkins, pie pumpkins, delicata squash and radishes. Right now, he noted, is his favorite time of year.

"I'm excited about the end of the season, and it was nice to see Denver grow as a market and more young people coming by," said Guttridge. "Now I can transition into different work, like mushroom experiments, and I will do a lot of planning. Winter is when all the planning occurs, and if you're not planned by March, you're behind."

Mile High Fungi and Raleigh Street Bakery swap personalities for a festive last market.EXPAND
Mile High Fungi and Raleigh Street Bakery swap personalities for a festive last market.
Linnea Covington

Around the booths, the mood was festive and a little giddy, especially when we visited Mile High Fungi and its neighbor, Raleigh Street Bakery. The owners had taken the market's costume contest to new extremes and greeted patrons as the other stalls owners. That meant a giggling Liz Nail lent her Mile High Mushroom hoodie next door and drew on a fake beard, much to the enjoyment of regulars who know both teams well. Humor and shiitakes make for real fungi and fun gals.

"The end of the market this season is bittersweet, and we all eat so much better throughout the season thanks to our fellow producers," Nail explained. "But I feel so accomplished: We made it through another year and all the hurdles. Farming is hard, and it will be nice to take a break and sleep in."

Pink celery from Micro Farms was one of the more exotic end-of-season vegetables.EXPAND
Pink celery from Micro Farms was one of the more exotic end-of-season vegetables.
Linnea Covington

Not every farmer will get the luxury right away. While the Union Station market has closed for the year, you can still pick up the last of the harvest at the Boulder County Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. until November 23; the Longmont market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until November 23; and the South Pearl Street farmers' market Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until November 17.

Once that's over, we'll see you in 2020, with more goodies from the gardens and coverage of local farmers' markets, along with the farmers who make them so awesome.

Chef Jon Lavelle cooking up a pasta dish at Union Station Farmers' Market on October 26, 2019.EXPAND
Chef Jon Lavelle cooking up a pasta dish at Union Station Farmers' Market on October 26, 2019.
Linnea Covington
Apples and pears from Ela Family Farms.EXPAND
Apples and pears from Ela Family Farms.
Linnea Covington
The last day of the 2019 Union Station Farmers' Market.EXPAND
The last day of the 2019 Union Station Farmers' Market.
Linnea Covington
Bri Boyer, the Union Station Farmers' Market coordinator in costume.EXPAND
Bri Boyer, the Union Station Farmers' Market coordinator in costume.
Linnea Covington
Ollin Farms' warty pumpkins.EXPAND
Ollin Farms' warty pumpkins.
Linnea Covington
Chef Jon Lavelle's seasonal ingredientsEXPAND
Chef Jon Lavelle's seasonal ingredients
Linnea Covington
The final dish at the final cooking demo.EXPAND
The final dish at the final cooking demo.
Linnea Covington
A little market-goer eyes some turnips and beets at Thistle Whistle Farm's stand.EXPAND
A little market-goer eyes some turnips and beets at Thistle Whistle Farm's stand.
Linnea Covington
Michelle Cockroft with her helpful family at the Croft Family Farms' stand.EXPAND
Michelle Cockroft with her helpful family at the Croft Family Farms' stand.
Linnea Covington
Bunches of chiles from Thistle Whistle Farm.EXPAND
Bunches of chiles from Thistle Whistle Farm.
Linnea Covington
Cacti from Cocac made an guest appearance.EXPAND
Cacti from Cocac made an guest appearance.
Linnea Covington
Team Micro Farms.EXPAND
Team Micro Farms.
Linnea Covington

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