Farmers' Markets

Farmers' Market Finds: Discovering Longmont's Dirt Candy

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Linnea Covington
Watermelon and Schwartz radishes from Emerald Acres farm out of Erie.
The Union Station Farmers Market (run by Boulder County Farmers Markets), which runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October 28, is a Denver chef's best friend. The market rolls out the jewels of the earth, from ruby-tinged tomatoes and amethyst-hued eggplants to emerald-green lettuces. There are new finds each week, which makes it a marketplace perfect for a chef looking to try something fresh, new and grown nearby.

This week we took a detour from our usual haunt and ventured to the Longmont Farmers' Market (9595 Nelson Road), also run by Boulder County Farmers' Markets. The chef scheduled couldn't make the tour so I decided to take matters, er, vegetables, into my own hands and shopped for a farm-friendly family dinner. Good thing September is one of the best months to peruse the stands. While most of us think of fresh produce as a spring and early summer thing, the end-of-summer harvest proves best with a bounty of garlic, chiles, radishes, so many tomatoes, green beans, squash, apples and the last of the stone fruits.

My dinner goal included grilled cheese with chiles, summer succotash with pesto, and a pot of tomato sauce, which wasn't for dinner that night but would be enjoyed during Sunday supper. While the end spread didn't turn out as glamorous as some of the dishes we have featured in this column, it sure tasted good, and my three-year-old ate the whole sandwich and tried the veggies. In my book that equals success. It was also great to see how big and bustling the Longmont Farmers' Market is in comparison to the Union Station version. If you get a chance, go visit before the end of the season (which runs through November 18 this year).