Before the 9 a.m. bell rang to announce the opening of the 2019 Union Station Farmers' Market on Saturday, May 11, shoppers were already piling in, looking for greens, seeing which vendors were new and picking up the complimentary Mother's Day succulents from Fresh Herb Co.
After a week of rain and chilly temps, sunshine and a 55-degree morning made it a perfect day for the launch of the market (run by Boulder County Farmers Markets), and within an hour, lines could be found at just about every stand. That didn't slow down David Bowen, owner of Woodgrain Bagels, a Montreal-style bagel shop with locations in Boulder, Lowry and Aurora. This was his first time peddling bagels at the market, and customers kept the orders kept piling in.
"We wanted more community outreach and I wanted to talk to people more," says Bowen. And chat he did as customers lined up for sesame, salt and pepper, cinnamon raisin, poppyseed and "everything" bagels.
Also new to the market this year was Grains From the Plains, a fourth-generation farm owned by Kevin and Laura Poss. This operation came last year as a guest of the market and now plans on setting up once a month to sell heirloom wheat and flour. The three-year-old Emerald Gardens Microgreens out of Bennett has come on board, too, on a drop-in basis. Then there was Croft Family Farms, which had bins of perfect-looking greens, eggs, radishes and smooth white turnips.
"We had so much stuff this spring ready to go, and the markets we usually do weren't open yet," says farmer Michelle Cockroft, owner. "We called the Boulder County Farmers' Market and got in, so we're trying it out."
While plenty of staples remained, there were some stands missing. Shauna Lott of Long I Pie decided to skip the market circuit this year ( but will still run her pie-of-the-month club, events, classes and catering). Toohey & Sons also choose to skip the Union Station market and only sell in Boulder. Corner Post Meats was missing from the lineup, as well.
Thanks to fairly mild spring weather, there were plenty of goodies to choose from, including bright-red radishes from Ollin Farms; and pale pink and green rhubarb, lots of tender greens and organic asparagus from Kiowa Valley Organics. Rocky Mountain Fresh dolled out heirloom tomatoes grown in the greenhouse, and Mile High Fungi had the usual display of beautiful mushrooms in the oyster, lion's mane and shiitake varieties.
On the baked goods end, Crumbles Bakery, Hinman's Bakery and Raleigh Street Bakery had people lining up. Both Jodar Farms and McCauly Family Farms sold chicken and eggs, and numerous stands had an array of fermented vegetables.
Overall, it was a busy first day — and everyone came hungry for fresh veggies, local honey, fresh-made tamales and salsas, and pasture-raised meat.
"For whatever reason, the market is a pick-me-up," says David Rippe, co-owner and farmer at Kiowa Valley Organics. "You get to interact with customers face-to-face, and people who are appreciative of the produce."
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